Essay 3: Argumentative Essay

Essay 3: Argumentative Essay                                                                  (25 Points)

Assignment: For this assignment, you will write an argumentative essay (minimum three pages long) in which you take a stand and defend your position, to establish its worth, even if other people cannot be convinced to agree. In order to support your position by evidence, you must incorporate two outside (secondary) sources.

Key Terms:

Argument: Argument is the appeal to reason. It is different from persuasion in that it does not try to move an audience to action: its primary purpose is to demonstrate to an audience that certain ideas are valid and that others are not.

Taking a stand: After you have chosen your topic, you are ready to take your stand – to state the position you will argue in the form of a thesis. Before going any further, you should examine your thesis to make sure that it is debatable. There is no point in arguing a statement of fact or a point that people accept as self-evident.

Evidence: As you gather evidence and assess its effectiveness, keep in mind that evidence in an argumentative essay never proves anything conclusively. The best evidence can do is convince your audience thatan assertion is reasonable and worth considering.

Dealing with the Opposition: You must deal effectively with arguments against your position. Try to anticipate the objections that a reasonable person would have to your thesis. By directly addressing these objections in your essay, you go a long way toward convincing readers that your arguments are sound. In classical rhetoric, this part of an argument, called refutation, is considered essential to making the strongest case possible on behalf of your thesis.   

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to practice and develop the ability to construct, argue, and support the classical pattern (structure) of argument, to generate a thesis based on reason, and arrange, draft, and write an argumentative essay.

Topic Selection:

Choose a subject that you are familiar with. The more familiar you are with the subject, the better your essay will be. In addition, you should select a limited issue, one narrow enough to be treated effectively in the space available to you, or confine your discussion to a particular aspect of a broad issue.

Think carefully about your purpose and stance. You might notice how your outside research sources approach the subject? Are they critical? Are they admiring? Do you want to encourage or discourage others from reading, watching, etc. the subject of your argument?

Due Date and Formatting:

This assignment must follow the MLA formatting guidelines detailed in Good Reasons with contemporary Arguments (chapter 20)  

            Final Draft is due on Saturday, November 7th.

Classical Argument Pattern (Structure):


Background Information

Lines of Arguments

Alternative Arguments