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This final writing assignment allows you to present an analysis of the best reasoning on each side of your issue. In the process, you will get to demonstrate some of the key skills you have learned during this course. In particular, you will demonstrate the ability to create high-quality arguments on both sides of an issue, to support your reasoning with scholarly sources, and to provide a fair analysis of the strength of the reasoning on each side. Use the same topic as you did on your previous papers and make sure to incorporate any relevant feedback you got from the instructor on your previous writing assignments. For an example of how to complete this paper, take a look at the

Week 5 Example

paper (in the classroom).

Your paper must include the following sections, clearly labeled:


Introduce readers to your topic; include a brief preview of what you will accomplish in this paper. (approximately 150 words)

First Argument

Present the best argument on one side of the issue. (approximately 150 words)

Express your argument in standard form, with the premises listed one by one above the conclusion

1: Breast fed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations.

2: Breastfeeding gives the baby more nutrition

Therefore, breastfeeding is better than formula

Defense for First Argument

Support the first argument as well as you can, using academic sources to demonstrate the truth of key premises. You may also choose to clarify the meaning of key premises and to explain how your reasoning supports the conclusion (approximately 250 words).

Opposing Argument

Present the best argument on the other side of the issue (approximately 150 words).

Express your argument in standard form.

Defense of Opposing Argument

Support the opposing argument as well as you can, using academic sources to demonstrate the truth of key premises. You are welcome as well to clarify the meaning of premises and/or to explain the reasoning further (approximately 250 words).

1: Formula is easier for feeding a baby then breastfeeding and everyone can
bond with the baby while feeding not just the mother.

2: Personal issues that women may have with breastfeeding (Donna Murray, RN,
BSN 2020).

3: Financial barriers as far as breast pumps and the accessories that is needed
with it such as bottles and bags (Donna Murray, RN, BSN 2020).

4: Health concerns is another reason why women prefer to use formula than

Thus, formula fed babies are easier to care for by family members without the
presence of the mother. A weakness is
that formula can be costly, and overwhelming should one not have adequate
amounts of formula.

Analysis of the Reasoning

(approximately 350 words)

Evaluate the quality of each argument, addressing whether key premises are true and whether the conclusion logically follows from them.

Analyze arguments for any fallacies committed or for any biases that may influence either side. Do you feel that one argument makes a much stronger case than the other and why? (There is no need to “take sides,” only to assess the quality of the arguments.)

Support your analysis with scholarly sources.


(approximately 150 words)

Provide a brief conclusion and summary of your issue and how it can best be addressed by critical thinkers.

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The Analyzing Reasoning on Both Sides Final Paper

Must be 1,200 to 1,600 words in length (not including title and references pages), double-spaced, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s

APA Style

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Must include a separate title page with the following:

Title of paper

Student’s name

Course name and number

Instructor’s name

Date submitted

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to

APA Formatting for Word 2013

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Must use at least three scholarly sources in addition to the course text. The

Help! Need Article

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tutorial can also assist with searching for


Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources

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table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.

Is Marijuana Use Safe?
Dr. Christopher Foster
PHI103 Informal Logic
Ashford University
Modeled example for the final paper assignment
In recent years, many states have voted to legalize marijuana, both for medical and
recreational uses, with other states possibly following suit in the future (Sanders, 2018).
However, federal law still prohibits the use or sale of marijuana in the United States. With the
recent decision by the Justice department to crack down on marijuana distribution in states with
legalized marijuana (Johnson, 2018), the question returns of whether those federal laws have real
medical science on their side, or whether they are relics of the politics of a bygone era (Ripley,
2017). This paper will begin to explore the specific question of whether marijuana use is harmful
to health. It will present a strong argument that marijuana is relatively safe and a strong argument
that it is unacceptably dangerous. This will be followed by an analysis of the merits of reasoning
and support provided by each.
Argument that Marijuana Use is Safe
Premise 1: Many studies have been done on the safety of marijuana use, and pooling
their data creates a large and reliable data set from which to determine the effects of
marijuana usage (Grant, Gonzales, Carey, Natarajan, & Wolfson, 2003).
Premise 2: Pooling the data from studies on the effects of marijuana usage shows no
significant cognitive impairment in reaction time, attention, language, executive function,
perceptual function, and motor skills in marijuana users (2003).
Premise 3: Meta-data showed minor cognitive impairment from long term marijuana only
in the areas of learning and memory, but these were minor and can be minimized (e.g., in
a medical context) (2003).
Premise 4: Marijuana has beneficial uses that outweigh its minor harms (Wetterau, 2015).
Premise 5: If a substance has beneficial uses that outweigh its harms then its use is
acceptably safe.
Conclusion: Marijuana use is acceptably safe.
Support for the Argument that Marijuana is Safe
A giant meta-study pooled data from many research studies of the effects of marijuana
use and determined that marijuana use did not result in significant change in performance in six
of eight cognitive areas (Grant et al., 2003). Because the study considered all relevant research
studies and had a large data pool, these results can be considered reliable. Thus, there is
substantial support for the first two premises of the argument.
The two areas in which there was a decrease in function, learning and memory, showed
relatively minor effects, which could be mitigated, for example, in medical contexts. For
example, the declines were the result of long term and/or recent use of marijuana. Casual users or
medical users may not experience even those minor declines in performance (Grant et al., 2003).
There are many documented medical benefits from marijuana use, including for nausea,
AIDS, chemotherapy, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, MS, and Huntington’s disease. The
risks of harm from the use of a potentially addictive drug can be mitigated with proper
precautions from a physician (Wetterau, 2015).
The fifth premise is difficult to prove specifically because of different possible
interpretations of what it means for something to be ‘acceptably’ safe. However, various
academic articles support the idea that marijuana’s level of risk is within acceptable limits. Some
argue, for example, that it is safer than alcohol and even some foods (Americans for Safe Access,
2018), so if those substances are considered safe enough to be legal, then perhaps marijuana
should be too.
Furthermore, one can weigh the harms of its use against the harms of its criminalization.
One author, for example, reasons, “Given that marijuana’s harms appear to be relatively small,
though, advocates argue that, even if legalization leads to more pot use, it’s worth the benefit of
reducing incarceration and crippling violent drug cartels financed in part by revenue from illicit
weed sales” (Lopez, 2018). Therefore, one can reason, its use is safe relative to the harms of its
prohibition, and therefore that constitutes an acceptable level of risk.
Argument that Marijuana Use is Unsafe
Premise 1: Marijuana is an addictive substance (Volkow, Baler, Compton, & Weiss,
Premise 2: Marijuana use causes long term negative effects on physical and mental health
(Feeney & Kampman, 2016).
Premise 3: Marijuana use causes elevated driving risks (Neavyn, Blohm, Babu, & Bird,
Premise 4: Marijuana use among adolescents is correlated with lower academic
achievement, job performance, and social functioning (Palamar et al., 2014).
Premise 5: It is unsafe to use substances that are addictive and that have many negative
Conclusion: It is unsafe to use Marijuana.
Support for the Argument that Marijuana is Unsafe
The first four premises of the argument are supported by studies indicating each of the
effects in question. The degree to which these effects depend upon the quantity and duration of
use, along with the age of the user and recentness of use is still an open question. However, the
multiple studies cited do seem to support strongly the idea that the use of this substance can
cause lasting harm.
The fifth premise links the facts given in the first four premises to the language of the
conclusion. It shows that any substance that has the properties demonstrated in the first premises
will qualify as unsafe, thus demonstrating the truth of the conclusion. Furthermore, the fifth
premise makes a substantial point that weighs against even medical uses of the product. Though
the consequences of strictly medical uses may be relatively minor, if a product is addictive and
has harmful consequences, then users are likely to continue to use it beyond its medicinal value,
resulting in long term harms (Wetterau, 2015).
The fact that there have been demonstrated risks associated with the use of marijuana
indicates that researchers should caution against the legalization of the product, especially since
its legalization could to lead to greater social acceptability and more widespread use, especially
among teens. Seen in this light, these harms become quite significant and suggestion strong
caution against the legalization and use of the substance.
Analysis of the Reasoning on Both Sides
As noted, both arguments have premises that are supported by substantial scholarly
research. Both arguments additionally provide strong support for the truth of their conclusions.
Each even includes a premise that links the factual claims made in the previous premises to the
specific judgment made by the conclusion, resulting in powerful support for the truth of each
conclusion. However, their conclusions make opposite points, resulting in an apparent
contradiction. There is a good question, therefore, of how to determine which of these
conclusions is most likely to be true.
There are several factors that can be used to explain this strong evidence for opposite
conclusions. One is that authors, even authors of scholarly meta-studies, are frequently going to
put more focus on studies whose results tend to support the conclusions that they personally
support. Furthermore, each study will focus on factors that strengthen the case for its preferred
side. For example, a scholar whose research supports the use of marijuana might focus on
mitigating factors such as the fact that dosages can be carefully controlled in a medical setting.
Researchers on the side of the opposition, on the other hand, may emphasize that addicted users
are likely to use the substance in doses well beyond those recommended by physicians.
Given the fact that even scholars can approach such issues from biased points of view, it
is difficult to arrive at one and only one ‘objective fact’ about whether marijuana use is
acceptably safe or unacceptably dangerous. However, study of scholarly sources on both sides of
this issue allows critical thinkers to be more aware of the types of risks and benefits and to be
able to weigh the concerns for and against the use of the substance as objectively as one can. Use
of non-scholarly sources, by contrast, can lead one to partisan advocacy in which one is not as
objectively aware of the substantive considerations on both sides of the question.
Having studies both sides of this question, my own evaluation of the research indicates
that long term marijuana use, or use at a young age, can have deleterious health consequences.
However, use by adults in the limited context of medical application can have benefits that
render the risks acceptable (Grant et al., 2003). Furthermore, in a medical setting, the use is
typically controlled, temporary, and supervised by a physician. Therefore, the level of risks in
these contexts, especially when contrasted with those of many other legal prescription drugs,
may fall within an acceptable range.
It is common for people to be wedded to a position and to seek evidence only to support
their side. However, in pursuit of truth, critical thinkers make a point of understanding the best
arguments on all sides of important questions. This allows them to be more informed and also
more fair-minded, open to changing their views to whichever position most aligns with the best
Having researched the topic of marijuana use, I have found strong support for contrasting
positions. On the one hand, there appears to be strong evidence for some potential harms
associated with long term use of the substance. On the other hand, when it comes to medical
applications, which tend to be short term and in which there are real medical benefits, these risks
may fall within acceptable limits.
Americans for Safe Access (2018). Cannabis safety. Retrieved from
Feeney, K. E., & Kampman, K. M. (2016). Adverse effects of marijuana use. The Linacre
Quarterly, 83(2), 174-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/00243639.2016.1175707
Grant, I., Gonzales, R., Carey, C. L., Natarajan, L., & Wolfson, T. (2003). Non-acute (residual)
neurocognitive effects of cannabis use: A meta-analytic study. Journal of the
International Neuropsychological Society, 9(5), 679-689.
Lopez, G. (2018). Marijuana is a relatively safe drug—with some risks. Retrieved from
Neavyn, M. J., Blohm, E., Babu, K. M., & Bird, S. B. (2014). Medical marijuana and driving: A
review. Journal of Medical Toxicology 10(3), 269-279. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13181014-0393-4
Palamar, J. J., Fenstermaker, M., Kamboukos, D., Ompad, D. C., Cleland, C. M., & Weitzman,
M. (2014). Adverse psychosocial outcomes associated with drug use among US high
school seniors: A comparison of alcohol and marijuana. American Journal of Drug and
Alcohol Abuse, 40(6), 438-446. https://doi.org/10.3109/00952990.2014.943371
Ripley, E. (2017, December 20). Why is marijuana illegal? A look at the history of MJ in
America. Retrieved from https://news.medicalmarijuanainc.com/the-road-to-prohibitionwhy-did-america-make-marijuana-illegal-in-the-first-place/
Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014). Adverse health effects
of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370, 2219-2227.
Wetterau, N. (2015). Medical marijuana—Can we do no harm? Family Doctor: A Journal of the
New York State Academy of Family Physicians, 3(3), 16-20. Retrieved from
Is Breastfeeding Better than Formula?
PHI103 Informal Logic
Due Date
Is Breastfeeding Better than Formula?
Doctors recommend that for the first six months in life, breastfeeding is recommended
since it provides nutrients to the baby and is the most convenient way of feeding a baby.
However, most mothers willing to breastfeed their babies could feel less like mothers due to lack
or insufficient breast milk for their infants. The introduction of formula milk makes it possible
for such women to feed their babies with milk that mimics breast milk’s nutritional composition.
The question in this paper; is breastfeeding better than formula? This is analyzed by presenting
both sides of its viewpoints and supported through scholarly articles.
Presentation of the Argument that Breastfeeding is Better than Formula
The benefits of breastfeeding have been outlined in the article to include preventing
malnutrition and infectious diseases. Additionally, higher mortality rates in breastfed infants are
recorded, including higher intelligence quotients (IQ) and fewer asthma cases (Grummer‐Strawn
and Rollins, 2015). The article’s different breastfeeding benefits illustrate the relevance and
contribution of breastfeeding for people in different social, economic, and cultural setup.
Breastfed babies have higher chances of healthy weight gain and reduced allergies or possible
cases of obesity, as the article suggests.
Premise 1: Breastfed babies are healthier and portray fewer allergic reactions.
Premise 2: Breastfeeding mothers also have low chances of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and
postpartum depression.
Premise 3: Breast milk produces specific antibodies that fight pathogens and boost the baby’s
Therefore, breastfeeding has posed many benefits to infants fed at the right time with the
right amount of breast milk. Mothers who breastfeed are also advantageous because of the
prevention of other health and stress-related conditions after birth.
Quality of reasoning for the Source
The article summarizes the health benefits accompanied by breastfeeding infants. The
author achieves this by researching different feeding methods with breast milk and their
implications on their health. The article notes that feeding a baby with breast milk from a cup or
bottle instead of directly from the breast is vital in addressing obesity or malocclusion
(Grummer‐Strawn and Rollins, 2015). This is crucial for the reader to note that breast milk is
essential for the baby regardless of the feeding method imposed since feeding implies different
benefits. However, the article also notes that feeding the baby directly from the breast is not
harmful as it poses other benefits. The report’s argument is based on facts with different sources,
proving that researchers have reviewed the points outlined and approved. Generally, the article
has integrated researched information to argue that breastfeeding is essential for babies firmly.
The author concludes that breast milk is beneficial to the baby’s health, cognitive development,
and generation of elements that help fight allergic reactions.
Presentation of the Opposing argument that breastfeeding is better than formula
Milk formulas are breast milk substitutes that can be manipulated in their nutritional
composition to include fats and proteins necessary for the baby’s growth. The nutrients required
to feed low birth weight infants or deficient birth weight infants cannot be achieved by maternal
breast milk (Brown, Walsh, and McGuire, 2019). The stages involved in handling breast milk,
such as pasteurization, refrigeration, and freeze-thawing, may reduce its immune-nutrient and
macro-nutrient content. However, the manufacturing formula process is monitored and regulated
to meet international and national manufacturing standards regulated by the FDA (Martin, Ling,
and Blackburn, 2016). Formula enriched in the necessary nutrient available in breast milk may
provide higher nutrient levels than breast milk.
Premise 1: In cases of unavailable breast milk, the formula is the best to ensure infants’ similar
nutrient intake.
Premise 2: The nutrients required to feed low birth weight infants cannot only be accomplished
by breast milk.
Therefore, for mothers with little to no breast milk and have preterm or low birth weight
babies, the formula is the best option for feeding.
Quality of reasoning for the Source
The Source bases its reasoning on the angle of preterm and low birth weight or deficient
birth weight infants. The articles adequately support the argument by first acknowledging the
nutritional content in breast milk. However, the articles take an exciting point by mentioning the
consequences incurred when handling breast milk, which results in low nutrients for preterm and
low birth weight infants. The argument of why breast milk could not be appropriate due to
handling issues is well indicated and articulated using facts. The articles also mention the
importance of formula, including that the milk can be added nutrients necessary for infants’
healthy development and growth. The sources have been researched to show milk alternative, a
formula in preterm infants, and how it can be enhanced to meet an infant’s nutritional
requirements. Therefore, the nutritional composition of formula could be equal or more than that
of maternal breast milk to boost the infant’s growth where the mother is unable to fulfill their
maternal function, which is breastfeeding. The articles have given substantial evidence towards a
successful argument that formula is better than breastfeeding when the mother is incapable of
breastfeeding or where the infant is incapable of taking the breast milk due to nutritional
concerns that facilitate growth in preterm conditions.
Evaluation of Arguments in Non-Scholarly and Scholarly Sources
Both scholarly and non-scholarly resources are vital in providing information to a
different audience. Authors who write non-scholarly articles may vary in the profession from
bloggers to medical specialists or other disciplines related to the articles they write. However, the
authors rarely refer to their careers because they target the general population and minimize
technical words when explaining a concept. Contrary, scholarly sources are written by
individuals who have specialized in a particular research field. The articles contain technical
information with the targeted audience being students or researchers seeking to derive
information in their research field. The sources are also peer-reviewed to determine their
credibility before being released to their audience. Both scholarly and non-scholarly articles are
influenced by the need to inform their audience on a particular topic of concern. Although that is
the case for scholarly and non-scholarly articles, scholarly articles are written due to a research
question and concern toward a subject.
In contrast, non-scholarly articles are written out of giving information about a topic.
Ultimately, scholarly articles are based on logic, facts, and experiments conducted to formulate
the final product, the Source used by other researchers and students. The quality from scholarly
and non-scholarly sources is valid according to the targeted audience.
Researching and arguing for and against breastfeeding and formula milk using popular
and scholarly resources has given me the knowledge needed to determine and distinguish what I
need to incorporate in my writing. I can differentiate other resources from intellectual resources
provided an academic task to research. Most scholarly articles include bibliographies or
references from other researchers that support the argument, a difference I have realized when
handling this assignment.
Brown, J. V. E., Walsh, V., & McGuire, W. (2019). Formula versus maternal breast milk for
feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,
Grummer‐Strawn, L. M., & Rollins, N. (2015). Summarising the health effects of
breastfeeding. Acta Paediatrica, 104, 1-2.
Martin, C. R., Ling, P. R., & Blackburn, G. L. (2016). Review of infant feeding: key features of
breast milk and infant formula. Nutrients, 8(5), 279.
Running head: Is breastfeeding better than formula?
Is Breastfeeding better than formula?
PHI103 Informal Logic
November 4, 2020
Is breastfeeding better than formula?
For every 597 women who optimally breastfeed, one maternal or child death is prevented
Policies to increase optimal breast feeding could result in substantial public health gains.
Breastfeeding has a larger impact on women’s health previously appreciated (Harvard Medical
School Study 2016). Breast milk is widely acknowledged as the most complete form of nutrition
for infants, with a range of benefits for health, growth, and development (American Academy of
Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding 2012). In the United States, most new moms (80 percent)
breastfeed their babies. About half of these moms breastfeed for at least 6 months (Azalia
Fernandez 2019). This paper will begin to explore the specific question of is breastfeeding better
than formula in all cases.
Article supporting Breastfeeding
The first article that I searched was ‘Breastfeeding vs Formula” it is a web site from kids
health. The article argues the pros and cons on breastfeeding or formula fed. The reasoning given
contains these key premises:
Premise 1: Breast fed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations.
Premise 2: Breastfeeding gives the baby more nutrition
Conclusion: Therefore, breastfeeding is better than formula
Argument support breastfeeding
The argument given appears to make strong points in favor of the conclusion. The first
premise seems to demonstrate that babies that are breast feed have fewer infections than babies
that are formula fed. There are numerous of health organizations that recommend breastfeeding
as the best choice for babies and mothers.
Is breastfeeding better than formula?
The article stated that breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and
protect a number of chronic conditions (KidsHealth.org June 2018). Breastfeeding gives the
opportunity for the mother and baby bondage. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germfighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system
(KidsHealth.org June 2018). Babies have a lower chance in getting ear infections, diarrhea,
meningitis, and respiratory infections if they are breast fed. Breastfeeding also protects from
allergies and asthma. Breast milk is beneficial to premature babies
A second premise is that breast feeding gives the baby more nutrients than formula.
Breast milk digest easier than formula and also causes less constipation and diarrhea. Breast
milk contains natural vitamins and minerals from the mother. The only vitamin that babies do not
get much of from breastfeeding is vitamin D. A strength for this argument is that babies tend to
be healthier than formula babies and the article supports it. A weakness to this argument is how
long do you breastfeed a child. Breastfeeding requires a lot of work and time. Some women may
give up breastfeeding earlier if it interferes with daily work or school schedule.
Article supports formula feeding
There are many women that does not support breastfeeding. Some women feel as though
they do not have the time to breastfeed. This article states the reason why women choose to use
formula rather than breastfeed their baby. It will give pros and cons to formula fed babies. It
makes a sustained case that formula feed is better than breastfeeding.
Premise 1: Formula is easier for feeding a baby then breastfeeding and everyone can
bond with the baby while feeding not just the mother.
Is breastfeeding better than formula?
Premise 2: Personal issues that women may have with breastfeeding (Donna Murray, RN,
BSN 2020).
Premise 3: Financial barriers as far as breast pumps and the accessories that is needed
with it such as bottles and bags (Donna Murray, RN, BSN 2020).
Premise 4: Health concerns is another reason why women prefer to use formula than
Conclusion: Thus, formula fed babies are easier to care for by family members without
the presence of the mother. A weakness is that formula can be costly, and overwhelming
should one not have adequate amounts of formula.
The argument that formula is better than breastfeeding
There are strong points that support formula is better than breastfeeding. Though
breastfeeding may seem easier and more convenient, it can be many cons not to breastfeed. In
some cases, formula is much easier because anyone can feed a baby formula. If a mother is
breastfeeding and not using a bottle, then only the mother can feed their baby. Also, if a baby is
on formula then it makes it easier for the mother to find a babysitter.
Some women may have personal issues with breastfeeding. Embarrassment, body image
issues, fear, and lack of confidence can call contribute to negative feelings about breastfeeding
(Donna Murray, RN, BSN 2020). Some women see breast as sexual objects. Concerns about
exposing the breasts to nurse can make women feel uncomfortable (Donna Murray, RN, BSN
2020). Women may feel ashamed or embarrassed to breastfeed in public. Another concern is
health reason with breastfeeding. Certain health conditions can cause a low milk supply, or a
mom might worry about the medications that she has to take and how it will affect her baby
Is breastfeeding better than formula?
(Donna Murray, RN, BSN 2020). Women who have breast cancer may not be able to breastfeed
after radiation therapy and women that has HIV infection is recommended not to breastfeed
(Donna Murray, RN, BSN 2020).
Overall, the arguments about breastfeeding is better than formula has strong points on the
pros and cons of breastfeeding as well as formula feeding.
Is breastfeeding better than formula?
American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New
York. 2011. https://www.verywellfamily.com
Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical
Profession Seventh Edition. Mosby. 2011. https://www.verywellfamily.com
Breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding https://kidshealth.org. June 2018

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