Write a 750-word argumentation/persuasion essay. Follow the guidelines:
Each essay will:
- Begin with an outline in MLA format
- Be equally double-spaced with 1" margins (do not use the default margins, as the side margins are often set to 1.5 inches)
- Use Times New Roman 12-point font or Courier New 11-point
- Be left justified
- Include headers (note the difference in the outline header and the first page header)
- On a separate page at the beginning of all of your essays (but as part of the same file), you will list the Thesis sentence (one complete simple or complex sentence that appears in your essay's intro and is the controlling idea for the essay) AND your MLA-formatted Outline.
- On a separate page at the end of your essays (but as part of the same file), you will include the list of Works Cited in proper MLA format when required (the argumentative essay). Sources will only be accepted when requested in the assignment. The research paper will list the appropriate number of critical sources, as well as the text you are researching.
- The introduction and thesis need to state the issue being discussed and your formal position on the issue (remember, no personal pronouns! This essay presents evidence for your position in third person). Narrow your thesis down to show your purpose in presenting the argument: Why are you arguing about this issue and what do you want your readers to do about it?
- Generate strong support for the thesis. Prewriting is a must is this case; research is unavoidable. You will need a good deal of information to support your point in a unified, adequate, and specific manner. Document your sources correctly by copying down all appropriate information (author, title, volume, page numbers, exact quotes, publisher, etc.). Plagiarism is inexcusable in this class.
- Organize the supporting evidence into a minimum of three points for body paragraphs. You might need to include some description, to show cause and effect, or to explain a process as part of your argument. In any case, arrange the details effectively to convince your reader. For some writers, this means leaving your strongest point to the final body paragraph and following it with a strong conclusion.
- You may briefly acknowledge and refute the opposition in order to strengthen a particular point in your argument. This shows the reader that you are not a fanatic, and that you have considered both sides. This does not mean you will be presenting both sides throughout the essay; this simply means that in one body paragraph where you are discussing a specific point of support for your topic, you may be able to mention the opposition to your point AND tell why the opposition falls short in its thinking process on that point.
- Establish a solution in your conclusion. Simply arguing a point is not enough. Remember the "so what" aspect. So, what is your reader supposed to do with this information?
Pt. I: Post a 2 ½-page draft (about 750 words, excluding the articles "the," "a," and "an") for an argumentative paper, as explained in the reading assignments (paraphrases, summaries, and direct quotes are not included in your word count). Follow the format requirements for MLA as listed in the Syllabus and in your St. Martin's Handbook. An outline must precede the essay. Remember that this paper must contain three sources that you cite in the paper (no more than two sources may be internet sources). List them in proper MLA format at the end of the paper after the centered heading, "Works Cited." For this essay and the remaining essays, you must write in the third person. Save your draft of the Argumentative Essay (including the outline and Works Cited page) in one complete file named “yourlastnameArgueDraft” and post it to your Group Discussion Board using the instructions at the end of this lesson.
Pt. II: Complete a peer review and post it using the instructions provided at the end of Lesson 3.
Pt. III: Once you have received feedback from me, you will revise this draft and submit it to the SafeAssignment link by the deadline given in the Course Calendar; it is not necessary to have received a peer review before revising your essay. Save your final draft of the Argumentative Essay (including the outline) in one complete file labeled “yourlastnameArgueFin”.
Banned topics: Religion, euthanasia (mercy killing/assisted suicide), death penalty, drug testing on animals, homelessness, porn on the internet, hiring quotas, global warming, poverty, abortion, legalizing drugs, birth control for teenagers, prayer in schools, gun control, cloning, changing the drinking age, dress codes, school uniforms, smoking in public places, changing the speed limit, curfews for teenagers, single-parent adoption, legalizing prostitution, censoring music/videos, gay/lesbian adoptions, women in the Army, random drug testing in the workplace, breastfeeding vs. formula, Ritalin use in children, corporal punishment (spanking) and any others not approved by the instructor. Use this rule of thumb when deciding on a topic: if it's a fairly common topic like those listed above are, discard it and come up with something original, something that affects you in a more local way. The above topics are certainly argumentative ones, but they are overdone and require little in the way of originality.
Topics: Argumentative/Persuasive topics are listed at the end of the chapter under Additional Writing Topics. Even though many of the topics above are listed in your reader, you may NOT use them in this assignment for a variety of reasons, the largest of which is their overuse in English 1301 classes. Be creative! Think about something that interests you, affects you, bothers you, etc.
While you must be able to find some sort of relevant research for your topic, the topic does not have to be earth-shattering, just controversial. For instance,
- are you tired of getting junk mail? You might be against corporations selling your personal information for use in advertising/mail solicitation;
- are you concerned that the United States is becoming too segmented? You might argue that English should be the national language;
- are you a reliable part-time employee who has to lose money in order to take time off with your family? You might argue part-time workers should be granted a week's paid vacation after a year of employment;
- are you tired of trying on clothes at different stores in the same size that fit completely differently or buying children’s clothes that are sized for your infant/toddler/young adult that in no way meet the label's size suggestion? You might argue all clothing labels should abide by a standard sizing requirement;
- are you worried that people like Paris Hilton are becoming role models for young people? You might argue that children today are "given" too much and need to learn the value of a dollar; or
- are you tired of seeing your neighborhood children mope around all summer with nothing to do? You might argue that your community needs a playground, pool or youth center.
These are just examples of argumentative topics that have value and relevancy. You may choose any one of these if you wish as additional topics for selection. You are not required to use any of these topics; they are simply provided as a way to show you how your life can be a good place to start brainstorming for topics.
1. Brainstorm for topics. Submit your chosen topic for approval via Messages.
2. Choose one topic, choose a method of development, and organize all details accordingly. Create an outline BEFORE writing the paper; remember that an outline is due with each essay.
3. Research for appropriate evidence to support your argument. While you are researching, be sure to note all information necessary to filling out your Works Cited page for that entry. Remember that no more than 2 out of the 3 required sources can come from the internet. Try using CTC's online databases (accessed on your portal page) for appropriate resources; sites like Wikipedia.com should be avoided for their lack of reliability.
4. Don't forget your So-What Conclusion and your Works Cited page in MLA format. The Works Cited page uses the hanging indent function (consult the help index on your computer’s word processing program); applies all the same spacing and header requirements as regular text pages; lists in alphabetical order by author’s last name (or first important word in the title if there is no author); arranges all information according to what specific kind of source is used; and is used to create the in-text parenthetical references that help to identify which quote or paraphrase comes from which source. For instance, if your Works Cited page lists a book by John Smith and you quote or paraphrase from page 4 of that book in your text, the parentheses that follow that quote or paraphrase will probably look like this: (Smith 4). Diana Hacker's website, http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch04_o.html , is a great place to go for information and for another sample of MLA format for the WC page and in-text citations.
5. Go to Course Schedule for time lines. Submit your draft and final essay according to the schedule provided.
Feedback will be given on your rough draft. As with every essay for this course, I do not mark every single error and comment on every minute detail of the essay; that is the job of a proofreader. As your instructor, I will provide you with some specific notations and some general comments that you will need to apply in order to make your own choices in revision.