Is access to drinkable water a human right?

Academic Writing: Understanding Arguments

Fall Quarter, 2008       4 credits, composition/expository writing     Emily Lardner

Tuesdays, 6-9:30PM      Sem II, E2109


In this introduction to academic writing, we will focus on arguments–-the ways that writers take positions and the ways they support those positions, and the ways that arguments change depending on the context. Although “having an argument” is a term used to describe disagreements, even fights, for our purposes, we will explore arguments as a way of explaining why you believe as you do. We will examine arguments made by other writers, and work on constructing our own.

The capstone argument will address the question, is access to drinkable water a human right? To answer that question, you will need to think through the concept of human rights, some quantitative information about who currently has access to drinking water and who does not, and the implications of whatever position you take. The books we are reading will be good resources, and so too are any related articles you find. 

Why water? We all need it, and not everyone has access to it. Part of doing scholarly work is learning to think critically about things we take for granted.