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Would Decriminalizing Drugs Reduce Crime And Violence?


1. Create your written assignment in a Word document (not Notepad, text or any other type of document) and save it.

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2. Use this option – Select Browse My Computer – to upload a file from your computer.

3. Do NOT copy and paste your assignment.


If you experience technical difficulties in submitting this assignment, seek immediate assistance from Blackboard Support at 888-892-9095 and notify me if the problem is not resolved within 24 hours.


Note: Using this method places the text into Bb in a way that the instructor can highlight things on what you wrote and write comments on it. If you just copy and paste, I can’t do those things.




Point/Counterpoint Outline Instructions

You will use this outline to write your Point/Counterpoint essay in Week 4. Submit this outline in Week 2 (two weeks before your Point/Counterpoint essay is due) so I can provide feedback to help you write your final essay.


Select one of the issues from the list provided below. If you want to use a topic that is not on the list you must contact me for approval of your topic before you write your outline and essay. TOPICS THAT ARE NOT ON THIS LIST OR ARE NOT PRE-APPROVED WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.



The topic you choose will also be the title of your outline and essay, word for word.


· Would decriminalizing drugs reduce crime and violence?


You may choose one of the following five Point/Counterpoint debate topics from your textbook: 1) Should we legalize drugs in general? 2) Should cognitive performance-enhancement drugs be used by healthy people? 3) Should alcoholism be viewed as a disease? 4) Should prescription drugs be advertised to the general public? If you choose to write about 1 of these 5 topics, you must include new and different arguments and also different sources than the textbook provides.



Use the Outline Template (a separate Word document) to construct your outline. Type the following information into the boxes provided inside the template. READ THE SAMPLE OUTLINE BEFORE YOU BEGIN WRITING AND COMPARE YOUR OUTLINE TO THE SAMPLE OUTLINE BEFORE YOU SUBMIT IT.


1. A title that clearly states the issue as a question. Take your title from the list of approved topics and just copy what it says there word for word.

2. An interesting introductory paragraph that clearly introduces the question to be discussed with the point (argument for) and counterpoint (argument against). Do not include your opinion (do not say “I think, I believe, in my opinion.”)

3. Briefly list 3 strong arguments FOR the issue (the point). ***Each of the 3 arguments must cite a source.

4. Briefly list 3 strong arguments AGAINST the issue (counterpoint). ***Each of the 3 arguments must cite a source.

5. Briefly state your opinion on the issue in the closing paragraph.

6. List your references in alphabetical order at the end in APA format.

7. List your in-text citations from each reference inside the sections they apply to in order to show which reference the information came from.


IMPORTANT: The idea of this assignment is to have an open mind and really explore both sides of the issue. Even if you already have a strong opinion, try to understand the other side’s reasons and argue their side as strongly and objectively as you do for the side you agree with.


Arguments must directly relate to the question. For example, to address the question “Is marijuana a gateway drug that leads users to try more dangerous drugs?” you can list many harms of marijuana but that does not explain by itself how that leads to using more dangerous drugs. You can also list many benefits of marijuana but that alone does not explain how it will not lead to use of more dangerous drugs.


Writing Style and Format


· Use spell check to catch spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes. Then proofread your outline at least one time. Read what you wrote out loud to find missing words or things that do not sound right. Take pride in your work and strive to be mistake-free.

· Do NOT use any quotations . Instead, paraphrase (write in your own words) the ideas or information and cite the source.

· Type in Times New Roman, Size 12 font, 1-inch margins all around.

· At the top of the outline, write your name, course (COH 318), assignment (Point/Counterpoint Outline) and date.


You are strongly urged to make a half hour appointment with the Writing Center to help you write your essay. Appointments fill up quickly so reserve a place as soon as you can. 




Use at least 4 total different sources for your arguments. Each of the 3 arguments for and each of the 3 arguments against must have at least one source. You can use the same source for more than one argument.

At least 2 of the sources must support your point (for). They must come from peer-reviewed journal articles or government reports.

At least 2 of the sources must support your counterpoint argument (against). They must come from peer-reviewed journal articles or government reports.

You can add as many extra references as you want to from your textbook or from non-scholarly sources (such as online journals and treatment center websites) but they do not count as one of the four required sources. All sources must be recent (e.g., published within the past 5-10 years). The CQ Press Library articles (below) are NOT counted as peer reviewed articles or government reports.


Use the National University Library database to search for sources.


Contact the Library – or (858) 541-7900

1-866-NU ACCESS x 7900 (toll free)


This class also has a special NU library page that was created to help you do research


***To find the pro and con of substance abuse issues go to

Click on:

· COH 318 (on the left)

· Public Health Advocacy (on the left)

· Federal (in the CQ Press library box)

· CQ Press Library (SAGE) at the bottom

· CQ Researcher Plus Archive

· Browse Topics (at the top)

· Health

· Substance Abuse

· Select one of the titles

· Click Pro/Con on the left side to view the arguments for and against. Note: All the articles do not have Pro/Con but some of them do. This can greatly help you identify arguments and find sources.


IMPORTANT: These CQ Press Library articles are NOT counted as peer reviewed articles or government reports. They contain links to peer reviewed articles that you CAN use as part of your 4 requires sources, or you can use these articles IN ADDITION to the 4 required sources.



Use APA 7th edition format for your References list.


APA Resources 1-page instruction on Reference List format

· 2-page handout on APA







Learning Objectives: (CLO 1, GLO 2, GLO 3, GLO 6, GLO 8, ILO 1, ILO 2)