Read Chapter 15 in the text, and write a 500 word Argument essay. The essay must be your original writing and should adhere to MLA style guidelines. I treat this essay like a final exam as it cannot be revised and will show me if you have learned proper essay format, development, and to avoid grammar errors. As the essay is worth 200 points, I recommend that you take it to the writing lab or submit to Smarthinking before submitting the final draft. Make sure the essay is in proper MLA format. Avoid using the second person “you.” Use specific nouns instead: people, students, homeowners, dieters, etc. Finally, do not plagiarize. If you use any outside information, cite it properly
When a student hears the word “argument,” she often thinks of something negative or combative. In academic writing, argument does mean to espouse a side; however, the writer presents a balanced, well-reasoned argument and will address the opposition respectfully while refuting or even accepting the opposing argument. Argumentative writing is also useful outside of the classroom. A person might write an argument let-ter to the homeowner’s association explaining why boats should or should not be allowed to be parked on the side of residences. Someone might also compose a persuasive e-mail to a school detailing why the school must develop a recycling program for paper and plastic trash. When composing an argument, writers can back up their claims with evidence (facts, statistics, quotes) from the readings or from outside sources. In order to give proper credit and avoid plagiarism, writers must cite in the text of the essay and at the end of the essay any time when inserting any borrowed information. Writers can also use personal or anecdotal evidence as long as the writer avoids logical fallacies. See the full list on the following page, but an example of one logical fallacy, overgeneraliza-tion, is if the writer was bitten by a dog once and he presents this experience as evidence that all dogs are dangerous. Students should be able to recognize a different tone of writing in this chapter. For example, I have avoided using the second person “you,” and have chosen the nouns “writers” and “students.” As well, the diction (word choice) is slightly more elevated. Similarly, in academic argument, writers typically adopt a more academic tone and attempt to avoid bias and name-calling. This differentiates academic argument writing from, say, a political speech or an advertisement. There are several methods of argument: 1. Classical (often called personal argument, or debate style)—In this method of argument, the writer chooses and advocates one side of an issue. The writer will briefly address the opposite side of the argument. Addressing the other side of the argument is called counterargument or refuting the opposition. The writer may even acknowledge the merits of the other side of the argument, but will ultimately present a strong case for the writer’s side of the argument. 2. Persuasive—In this style, the writer not only embraces one side of an issue, but also pushes the reader to take action. 3. Rogerian—This method is similar to the classical form of argument; however, a writer will examine all sides of an argument in detail while ultimately espousing one side. 4. Research—The writer employs extensive research to support his or her claims. 5. Analysis—The writer examines in detail a text or piece of writing, and evaluates the writer’s argument. Typically the writer of the analysis argument essay will agree or disagree with the parts or all of the text he or she is analyzing. Writers can use any of the above methods to argue the same topic. Most college composition classes, however, ask students to write a classical or a personal argument. Take the argument, “students (should/should not) be required to wear school uniforms.” In the classical approach, a writer would choose a side, say, that students should be required to wear uniforms to school. This is the essay’s thesis. In prewriting, a writer should write down all of the possible points or sides of an issue and then choose two or three main points to include in the body paragraphs. In this case, the writer’s main points could be that uniforms prevent bullying, promote school unity, and elevate student’s self-esteem. The writer could use the experience of her own children as long as she was careful not to overgeneralize or assume her child’s experience held true for all children. She might also include any statistics or studies being sure to properly cite any outside information. Finally, at some point in the essay, the writer will address a main point of the opposition. So, in this case, the writer can address the fact that school uniforms can be expensive. The writer would either refute this or even acknowledge, that uniforms present an additional cost, yet a child’s self-esteem is even more valuable. This can be done in a phrase, a sentence, or even a paragraph.
OUTLINE Thesis: Students should be required to wear uniforms to school. Body Paragraph 1: Uniforms Prevent Bullying A. Students who cannot afford certain styles are not singled out. B. Specific example Body Paragraph 2: Uniforms promote school unity. A. School logo; school pride B. Fewer cliques based on clothing choices Body Paragraph 3: Uniforms elevate student’s self-esteem A. Students focus on academics. B. Students are not singled out. C. Address opposition’s point that uniforms can be expensive.
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