Project 3: Writing the Opposition
750-1,000+ words + Annotated Bibliography+ Character Worksheet
P3 is a creative piece. The assignment asks the writers to use their imagination to create at least
one character and a story around the character’s opinion of the P3/4 topic. The character has to
have the opposing view- the side that you personally don’t support. Say that you have chosen as
your general P3/4 topic, gun control and your argument/opinion is that everyone should be
allowed to possess a gun. Then, your character in P3 will have the opposite opinion- they will
against guns. Now your goal is to create a story around this opinion. You need to research this
The idea behind this project is that by writing from another point of view, one will gain a
deeper understanding of the issues, ideas, and beliefs of those one disagrees with, and will
be able to write a better P4 argumentative essay because you will understand the other
Project 3 can appear in the form of a short story or a dramatic monologue or scene. The
requirement is that the protagonist of the writing must be someone who opposes your position on
the issue you have chosen for P4. To do this, you will have to research what the opposing views
are to see why one thinks, believes, and acts in ways opposing your viewpoint. You can set this
up in a variety of ways: the character is confronting a difficult situation that exemplifies their
ideas; the character is in dialogue with others of like mind; the character encounters a situation
that challenges his/her/their preconceptions, etc.
To be successful, you will need to do the following:
Topic Selection: For P3 and 4, you will need to choose an issue that is clearly contestable; that
is, there is more than one reasonable point of view on the issue. The topic, however, shouldn’t
be overused and conventional—like abortion, gun control, marijuana legislation, the media’s
effect on anything, the death penalty, this athlete is better than that athlete, etc. Instead, you
should write about something fresh or at the very least have a fresh take on a more conventional
topic. Standard topics tend to have no new thinking and lead to a rehash of what others have
thought and written. Often, good topics are local. You should think about a topic that could have
compromise positions. Arguments are rarely black and white.
Research: You will need to read and research the opposing views thoroughly. You will need
not only to know what the counter positions are but the reasons for those positions—not only
what they think but why they think it. What are their positions based on? What is important to
the opposition? It also is helpful to determine where there may be common ground between all
the positions on an issue. This will help you to inhabit the opposing views. It is difficult to write
a character when you don’t know that character’s motivations.
Character: The central character or characters in P3 should hold opposing views to your own.
The character should through dialogue and (perhaps) action illustrate the views and motivations
behind their ideas. The character should not be a straw man; that is, the character’s ideas, words,
and actions should be fair to that point of view and not a caricature.
Drama/Plot: You will need to develop some kind of dramatic tension in P3. The writing should
not just be a character “spouting off” ideas. Instead, there needs to be a situation that the
character is responding to.
Research: You will need an annotated bibliography of at least three sources that you have used
to understand both the context of the issue and the mindset of your character(s). But you do not
need to cite anything in your text, since this is a creative project. The bibliography is essentially
a Works Cited page with an explanation about what you have learned from this source and how
this source will be helpful to you in P3/4.