Argument Essay - Teacher Web

Document Sample
Argument Essay - Teacher Web Powered By Docstoc
					                                  Argument Essay
Argument: reasons and evidence to support a debatable position without necessarily
calling for a change

Most compositions-including literary analyses, research papers, and theses—are actually
more specific forms of the simple argument essay.

The purpose of written arguments may be
 To convince a thoughtful and skeptical audience to support a cause,
 To urge people to action,
 To promote change,
 To refute a theory, or
 To arouse sympathy.

Characteristics of an academic argument essay:
 Relatively brief
 Usually about an issue of public concern
 Includes a central claim or proposition
 Relies on evidence that the audience will believe
 Makes sure the audience knows what is at stake
 Usually invites or encourages a response

Evidence
 Rational and logical: reason, facts, examples
 Emotional: feelings, morals, opinions
 Ethical: character, values

Types of evidence:
 personal experience
 observation
 anecdote
 analogy
 data
 emotion
 expert
 testimony
 precedent
                                     Planning the Essay

Choose a subject that allows for the possibility of persuading your reader. Avoid
subjects that cannot be addressed logically or that have been “overdone” (smoking laws,
right to bear arms, abortion). Also, avoid topics that you do not know about because
this type of essay is not a research-based paper.

Some general topics are listed below:
  assisted suicide                                   casinos
  computer literacy                                  genetic testing
  gay marriage                                       taxes
  stem cell research                                 illegal immigration
  voting rights                                      cybercrimes
  death penalty                                      federal budget
  print advertising                                  television advertising
  plagiarism                                         politics

The specific topic of the paper takes a side, either for or against; for instance, a possible
thesis statement of an argument against stem cell research is “government-funded stem
cell research must be abandoned.”

Once you have your topic and possible thesis, make a list of the main points you will use
in your argument. Analyze each piece of evidence to see how effective it will be in
supporting your thesis. For the purpose of this assignment, you need three or four
specific points that prove your argument. Avoid anything that is distorted, inaccurate, or
inflammatory. Argue solid, reasonable, fair, and relevant evidence. Of course, consider
the audience’s knowledge as you write.

Be aware of your audience’s probable objections to your argument. Approach counter-
arguments by either conceding that they exist or by trying to undermine their strength.


The introduction establishes that a problem exists, and briefly states what can be done
about it. It answers the questions who, what, when, and where. The thesis statement of
an argument essay should be an assertion that the rest of the essay supports with facts
and examples (evidence).

Each body paragraph of the argument should discuss a different form of evidence to
prove or substantiate the thesis. Topic sentences of each body paragraph should
introduce the claim that is to be discussed in that paragraph. Maintain focus in each
body paragraph.

Prove your claim using specific, vivid, strong language; but be careful not to be
offensive. Include enough evidence to convince even the most jaded, stubborn person.

The conclusion summarizes the benefits from taking your position, and perhaps explain
some other effects. Remember that the conclusion is what your audience is most likely
to remember. Drive home the importance of the argument.
                                         Argument, Essay #2
Assigned: September 27
Rough Draft Due: October 4
Final Draft Due: October 11

Turn in (1) Final draft (2) Marked typed rough draft (3) Planning page (4) This page

An argument takes one side of a debatable, controversial issue and attempts to persuade someone to take a
side. The purpose of an argument is to persuade readers that a position has merit. To argue effectively to
convince readers, support your position with evidence and use sound logic in doing so.

WRITE YOUR TOPIC: _____________________________________________________

Planning: Choosing the right subject is an important first step. Try to choose a subject that allows for the
possibility of persuading your reader. Avoid subjects that cannot be addressed logically.
         Make a list of the main points you will use in your argument. Analyze each piece of evidence to see how
effective it will be in supporting your thesis. Avoid anything that is distorted, inaccurate, or inflammatory.
Argue solid, reasonable, fair, and relevant evidence.
         Consider the audience’s knowledge as you write.
         Be aware of your audience’s probable objections to your argument. Consider any counter-arguments.
Devise methods to respond to counter-arguments.

Drafting: In the introduction establish that a problem exists, and briefly state what can be done about it.
Make a statement of what you believe to be true, or make a subtle demand that something be done. The thesis
statement of an argument essay should be an assertion that the rest of the essay supports with facts and
examples (evidence).
        Each body paragraph should discuss a different form of evidence to prove the thesis. Topic sentences
of each body paragraph should introduce the claim that is to be discussed in that paragraph.
        Prove your claim using specific, vivid, strong language; but be careful not to be offensive. Arguments
may be rational, which includes facts, examples, or reasons (“Smoking causes cancer.”); emotional, which includes
morals, social values, or opinions (“Adults who smoke are bad role models for children.”); or a combination of
emotion and rationale. Whichever form you choose, be sure to include enough evidence to convince even the
most jaded, stubborn person.
        In the conclusion, summarize the benefits from taking your position, and perhaps explain some other
effects. Remember that the conclusion is what your audience is most likely to remember. Drive home the
importance of the argument.
        Also, the end of the essay should briefly address opposing views. Logic tells anyone that for any
argument, someone disagrees. It is best if you have these views mapped out before you begin the essay so that
your body paragraphs lead to these points.

SPECIFICATIONS:
 Typed, Times New Roman 12, one-inch margins
 Double space from the first line of the heading (your name) to the last line of the essay.
 Begin with a MLA heading
 Final draft must be between 2-3 pages.
      Deduction of 10% for an essay that does not meet the required length.
      No essay should exceed the maximum length)
 Title the essay originally centered on the line under the last element of the heading.
 Indent paragraphs using equal tabs - not the space bar.
 The introduction should be 4-6 sentences. Of course, end the intro with the thesis.
 The conclusion should be 4-6 sentences.

 Compose a thesis statement at the end of the introduction. The essay must be focused around this
  statement. Remember that the thesis statement MUST include the idea provided in the topic.

       Much to the disbelief of some civilians, incarcerated individuals do not suffer from unfair or cruel treatment.
       Smoking should definitely not be allowed in public places.
       As a consequence of the act of plagiarism, a college student should be expelled immediately and permanently.
       For many reasons that benefit the economy and the environment, hunting should not be banned.

    No valid and developed thesis statement = F. No argument will change the grade.

 Body paragraphs must be 10-12 sentences. Focus the body paragraphs on one topic, but develop them with
  sub-topics and explanations. Frame each body paragraph with a topic sentence and a concluding sentence.

        Possible body paragraph format:
                Sentence 1: Topic sentence (TS)
                Sentence 2: Introduce first subpoint
                Sentences 3-6: Explain subpoint (examples, statistics, etc.)
                Sentence 7: Introduce second subpoint
                Sentences 8-11: Explain subpoint
                Sentence 12: Concluding sentence (CS)

 Be mindful of the audience. What are your readers? What do they know about the subject? What is their
  opinion about the subject? Why is your argument worthy of the reader’s time?

 Combine sentences and thoughts with adequate transition between differing thoughts within the essay.
  Incorporate words such as however, therefore, and, but, next, afterward, etc.

   Use the third person for most of the essay.
   Use the first person only if you are including a personal story as an example in one of the body paragraphs.
   Do not ever use the second person!
   Do not use contractions!
   Do not use empty expletives (there is, there are, there was, there were, it is, etc.)!
   To specify your meaning, place a noun between “this” and a verb.
   Do not use the abstract pronoun “one” as a subject. Be more specific.

 Check for accurate sentence construction. Proofread for fragments, run-ons, and comma splices.
 Check punctuation.
 Use strong, vivid word choice. Write your sentences S-V-O, and embellish with phrasal and single word
  modifiers.
 Revise wordiness and repetition. Do not begin consecutive sentences with the same word or group of words.

Use a dictionary to check spelling and a thesaurus to find vivid words. Run Grammar Check and Spell Check, but
do realize that these programs do not catch everything.

Criteria for grading: (1) Adequate thesis statement (2) Essay develops the thesis statement (3) Adequate
paragraph length and development (4) Format of the essay (5) Adequate sentence structure (6) Attention to
the major errors (7) Misspelling (8) Willingness to follow instruction
Name ______________________

                               ARGUMENT Planning
TOPIC:

__________________________________________________________________________



Body paragraph 1 Argument

__________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Ideas

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________



Body paragraph 2 Argument

__________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Ideas

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________



Body paragraph 3 Argument

__________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Ideas

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________


Body paragraph 4 Argument

__________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Ideas

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:10
posted:11/25/2012
language:Unknown
pages:5