10. Written Assignment: Argumentative Essay with Research

Due: Dec. 5

Argumentative Writing

Argumentative writing is perhaps one of the most significant forms of essay writing. Most of the final timed writing topics are argumentative: they lend themselves well to stating an opinion and supporting that opinion with valid evidence.

Argument is simple to define: two sides with opposing viewpoints come together to discuss those viewpoints and look for compromise or agreement. It’s not battling one another and refusing to listen to the other’s feelings, ideas. Argument should be used to move forward, not backwards.

For this assignment, you will pick an argument you have an interest in. Things like abortion, gun control, violence on TV are the obvious ones, but what about issues relevant to you: high costs of text books, parking regulations on campus, the noise ordinance downtown. Pick something you have an interest in and argue that it should/should not be allowed.

That is an important point: arguments generally begin with the premise that something should (should not) exist. Creating a thesis should include that kind of wording (City officials should not have a separate noise ordinance for college students living off campus).

A successful argument will be open-minded. You will consider both sides of the issue and show your reader that you support your side of the argument because of the issues, not because of emotional values. In your paper, look for the strengths of your argument: why do you believe that your side is the right side. Then look for weaknesses in your opponent’s viewpoints (brainstorming both sides of the issue may help) and clearly identify them in your paper. Finally, concession can be a strong ally. If your opponent has a minor point or two that can’t be argued against, give your opponent credit. It should not hurt your strengths. If the concession is too strong, maybe you’re arguing the wrong side.

Research is a valuable tool for this paper. As stated several times already, research is required for this assignment. I will be looking for additional sources and correct MLA format. Remember the requirements. Ask me if you don’t.

Remember, if you want to do a revision on this paper after you’ve handed it in, you need to get it to me on time. The semester is winding down. Good luck, and pick a topic you can enjoy and appreciate.

Grading summary

Participants 11
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Due date Monday, 5 April 2010, 3:25 PM
Time remaining Assignment is due
Late submissions Only allowed for participants who have been granted an extension