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Your essay must be written in a
Word document (.doc or .docx) no other file formats will be accepted
This assignment needs to be 3-4
pages and contain at least five paragraphs
You need to have an explicit
thesis statement in your introduction.
Use complete sentences.
Double-space this assignment.
Your name, my name, course
title and date in the top left-hand corner. The title goes below this,
Include a Works Cited page at
the end of this assignment that lists which sources you have used.
Include parenthetical citations
in the paper to show where you have quoted, summarized and paraphrased.
Use a 12-point font with
one-inch margins on either side
When you write an argumentative essay, you need to use examples, statistics, experts’ testimony and other various kinds of evidence to support your points and your thesis. As this is the case, I am requiring you to do research and to use research from at least five sources within your essay. You may quote, paraphrase and/or summarize from these sources. This means that you will use in-text citations and/or running acknowledgements within the body of your paper to show me where you have quoted, paraphrased and/or summarized, and to let me know where this information is from. I expect you to understand this information and use it. You will also need a Works Cited page that lists your sources in the correct MLA format. Please ask me if you have questions that are not answered within my lectures or the handbook.
The sources that are appropriate for you to use for the argumentative papers* are books, reference materials, magazine and newspaper articles, articles from the Infotrac database (this will be covered in more depth), videos, interviews or surveys, CD-ROMs, and academic/scholarly websites (valid .edu or .org sites). In a couple weeks, you will be reading more about how to evaluate web site sources.
Be sure to include two articles from academic databases as sources for the argumentative essay.
To write an effective argumentative essay, it is good to have a
basic understanding of logical thinking. It is also important to
understand what the word “refutation” means. To refute an argument is
to show the argument in question is not valid, logical, fair or true. Your
argumentative essay should contain a paragraph of refutation. There are two
steps to refutation:
You need to state clearly your
opponent’s main point that you are about to refute.
You need to show how this
argument is unfair, untrue, illogical, irrelevant or invalid.
Refutation is key to a good argument. This is when the actual
clash of ideas takes place.
STRUCTURE OF AN ARGUMENTATIVE RESEARCH PAPER:
Before you sit down to organize ideas, you must have ideas.
Remember to use freewriting, brainstorming or clustering to help you gather
some ideas about your topic. All of the argumentative essays will have a
structure similar to the kinds of essays covered in EN101. You will still need
a thesis statement. The thesis statement will take a stand on your topic;
for our purposes, present this at the end of your introduction, as the last
sentence. Also, within your introduction, defining your topic of debate is a
common tactic. You also will probably want to give background information about
In the body of your paper, you should have at least three main
points to support your topic. For example, if we were arguing that laws about
the ownership of guns should be more restrictive, perhaps your three main
points to argue this would be guns in the wrong hands can be very dangerous,
less guns will lead to less crime, and too many available guns has lead to
violence in our schools. Once you have your main points, you can organize them.
Most likely a least-to-most important structure would work best. But wait,
didn’t I write something about refutation? Where does this fit in?
Your paragraph of refutation can be positioned anywhere within
your essay, but it is best to place it just prior to the conclusion. Some
people like to have their paragraph of refutation after their introduction to
show their readers what the opposing argument is and why it is not as valid as
their own argument. Others prefer to have it before the conclusion. Some find
that their paragraph of refutation naturally connects to one of their main
points, so they place it before or after the paragraph in which they are
writing about this main point.
Within your body paragraphs–whether they are paragraphs
developing your main points or paragraphs of refutation–you need to include
evidence. This is why research is necessary.
Helpful Phrases Use to Acknowledge and Rebut
the paragraph before the conclusion)
people may say …, however, …
common argument against this position is…, but
some say… nevertheless, …
people disagree, saying … I challenge this. I do not think…
is easy to think “…”, but when one looks at the facts…
may say that …, but I argue
argue that … While it might be true that…, still all in all…