Sample Argument Essay

English 100                                                                                                                 Mr. Dickinson

Essay 4: Argument Using Four or More Sources (1000 points)

Writing Assignment

Using four or more diverse sources, write a 4-page argumentative essay on an issue of your choice that does one of the following:

  • Argues the best solution for an issue
  • Argues a certain way of looking at an issue
  • Argues a specific plan of action


  1. branding, rebranding and the implications of naming
  2. doublespeak
  3. Is Patagonia’s corporate ethics something to which other companies should aspire?
  4. slanting and charged language in political campaigns or advertising
  5. obscenity statutes
  6. the increasing wealth gap and its implications
  7. gene screening and its implications
  8. abstinence-only and its impact upon AIDS foreign aid
  9. greenwashing and corporate image
  10. Should the American government pay reparations and return land to Native Americans?
  11. How should we view Denisovan man findings?
  12. How might nanotechnology best be used in cancer treatment?
  13. skin bleaching and racial socialization
  14. bike share programs
  15. heritage breeds of animals or plants
  16. open education resource texts
  17. conservatives making a fetish of Ayn Rand
  18. tax inversion
  19. How the Tiktaalik discovery should alter views of how species form
  20. How is cognitive dissonance used to manipulate voters?
  21. How might the Flynn effect best be harnessed by educators?
  22. Was the U.S. opposition to the United Nations ban on child soldiers appropriate?


Write to argue a claim about which your readers may disagree.

  • Use modes like description, narration, definition, comparison/contrast to develop essay
  • This is an objective essay, so minimize your use of “I.” You can use “I,” but must be limited and necessary.


Your audience knows the basics of the subject.  Imagine that your audience includes those who disagree with you or doubt your thesis.  How do you need to write to convince these people?


Use at least four book, ebook, or library database article sources for your paper.  To test your skill, no websites may be used for this paper.  Also, use at least one scholarly source.  Because of these conditions, locate more sources than will be used. You can answer most questions about evaluating sources and citing by checking the handbook.


Use the writing steps worksheet for a more detailed version of the writing process.  Each of these steps is easy—that is, it can be easy if you break it down and allow yourself enough time for each step.  Refer to the JCC library website’s information literacy tutorial, the handbook, or your text for more information.  Remember that I am available for office hours.  Send me questions or call me at (315) 786-2221.


  • Include a provable opinion (thesis). The better thesis statements will also summarize the major points of the argument.  In either case, your thesis is the one statement your readers will “test” every other sentence in the paper by.  Make it a good one.
  • Include a powerful thesis statement near the end of your introduction.
  • Avoid using a two-part introduction.  Get right into a formal introduction.
  • If possible, preview the major body paragraph topics in your introduction.
  • Restate the thesis at the conclusion.  Review your major paragraph areas in that paragraph.

Additional Information

  • Establish the authority of those you are quoting.
  • Include a thesis: a provable opinion about which reasonable people disagree. (Your thesis must be arguable.)  Make sure your thesis narrows this topic enough.
  • You will need a works cited page for this essay.
  • Carefully cite your sources.  Include strong interpretation of any quote’s specifics.
  • Show both sides of the argument.  It’s up to you where you’d like to deal with the other side.  Remember to be fair with your tone—your audience includes those who disagree with you!