When writing a paper on the strengths and weaknesses of a particular topic, apply a SWOT analysis to your argument. SWOT is an acronym for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that relate to a given subject. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this issue? How do the strengths translate into opportunities? What weaknesses pose serious threats? Evaluating your topic in this manner provides an analytical point of view which can be backed up with specific evidence by referencing to critical writings about the topic.
The introduction should clearly present your thesis statement. What problem/s will the essay analyze? What are the pros and cons of the chosen subject? What are experts about the subject saying? State which institutions or critical writings extol the strengths and those that identify the weaknesses of your chosen subject to substantiate your argument.
Identify your main subject, explaining the reasons for your choice and specifying the opposing views it raises. Relate these views to established critical opinions, providing the strengths and weaknesses of your topic in relation to its role in society or field of study.
State the main strengths you have chosen to explore in your essay. Provide an overview of the associated theoretical arguments that back up your claims. Explain these strengths and the opportunities available because of these strengths.
Paraphrase the counterclaims that negate or disagree with the strengths outlined in the previous paragraph. List the counterarguments that theoretical writings adopt, and explore any threats inherent to these weaknesses.
Relate the strengths and weaknesses outlined above to other texts and theoretical arguments, which can yield further insights to your chosen topic. Identify areas in both schools of thought that are important or controversial, and those that might invite further investigation.
Formulate your own opinion backed up with the information presented in your essay. Explore and evaluate both sides of the argument outlining how your chosen subject matter can prove to be a strength and when it can result in a weakness. Consider what countermeasures can be adopted to minimize weaknesses and threats and maximize strengths and opportunities.
Summarize your argument by briefly highlighting the most important points raised, and if possible provide some potential solutions. In the conclusion, you can decide that one side of the argument you presented is more valid and state your reasons for this decision. Otherwise, you can explain what other factors need to be addressed to make an informed decision about the issue.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images