Essay skills: How to execute a “split stand” approach

16 04 2011

This post talked about how we might find it helpful to split our stand, as illustrated in this excerpt from the original post:

It is simplistic/myopic/an overgeneralisation to conclude that it is more of a threat overall. After all, it is difficult to truly and fairly compare an economic promise with a political threat. It is thus more fair to compare the threats and promises on the same basis – for example, by comparing the economic promise against the economic threat, or the cultural promise against the cultural threat [Clarification]. Such a comparison reveals that globalisation is more of a threat culturally, but more of a promise economically and politically [Stand].
However, as this is not your standard, simple approach, it is important to recognise that a failure to execute it well might make your essay flop spectacularly. So how do you execute it and impress with a more sophisticated stand? It all lies in the clarification.
If you’re splitting your stand, it is crucial to have a good reason to do so. If you do not have a good reason, and if you do not state this reason clearly, it might appear as though you’re indecisive or trying to sit on the fence. Take another look at the above example, paying attention to the clarification in italics.  This clarification gives the reason for splitting your stand, making it clear to your reader that you’re not sitting on the fence.

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