The function of an argumentative essay is to show that your assertion (opinion, theory, hypothesis) about some phenomenon or phenomena is correct or more truthful than others'. The art of argumentation is not an easy skill to acquire. Many people might think that if one simply has an opinion, one can argue it successfully, and these folks are always surprised when others don't agree with them because their logic seems so correct. Argumentative writing is the act of forming reasons, making inductions, drawing conclusions, and applying them to the case in discussion; the operation of inferring propositions, not known or admitted as true, from facts or principles known, admitted, or proved to be true. It clearly explains the process of your reasoning from the known or assumed to the unknown. Without doing this you do not have an argument, you have only an assertion, an essay that is just your unsubstantiated opinion.
The move toward transparency and discussion can be seen in the Joseph Smith Papers project and other sites maintained by Church members such as Joseph Smith's Polygamy . Many of the essays discuss controversial events or topics that haven't previously been addressed by the governing body of the church. Some of these topics include the practice of Polygamy by the church's founder Joseph Smith, the previous ban that prevented African males from receiving the Priesthood, Book of Mormon translation and DNA research, and the Book of Abraham translation. The efforts to be more open with the complete history of the Church will lead to a better understanding of the founding events for both members and investigators.
The Church recognizes the wide interest in many of these topics. Recent research like the Joseph Smith Papers Project , has gathered more information than ever before about early Church doctrine and practice. The Gospel Topics pages are meant as a personal resource for members as they study and teach about the history and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We live in a world where there is so much information available on every topic. And particularly in the age of the Internet, there are both good and bad sources of information. As a Church, it's important for us to research and provide official, reputable, historically accurate information about our history and doctrine.