Argumentative essay

Argumentative Essay Assignment SheetWhat is it? In this type of assignment, you take a stand on a particular topic that is debatable. You present a clear and strong thesis statement in your first paragraph to assert your position on the topic. You then provide strong, logical evidence that supports the validity of your argument throughout your paper. However, you will not research this topic. Consider your audience! Who is the intended audience of your paper? Knowing your audience is essential to making a strong argument. Ask yourself the following: What does your audience value and believe? For the purposes of this assignment, you are going to assume that the audience disagrees with your stand. Keep this in mind when writing the paper. Your argument is going to be more convincing if you show that you have taken the situation of your audience into account.How will their interests be affected by the issue? In other words, why should your audience care about this issue? This question can also be broader—why should anyone care about this issue? What kind of evidence will be most effective with them? Your evidence will be based on your personal experience and that of one of the articles included in the module. DO NOT RESEARCH or PLAGIARIZE! If you have questions about this, ask! Even short passages taken from an outside source will constitute plagiarism.For this essay, you may write in either first or third person point of view. However, you will avoid “I feel” or “I believe” or “I think” statements. Do not write in second (you, your, you’re). What are the requirements?Your argumentative essay will include the following:

1. You will select a topic from those listed in the module using the articles and you will include directly quoted passages from the article you select in your essay as evidence. When using passages from the article, quote them and introduce them fully using the author’s name and the title of the article as shown in the example in the module.

2. Have a clear thesis with a topic, how you feel about it, and why (see the examples in the module).

3. Include all of the important details—who, what, where, when, and why.

4. Include evidence from your own experience as well as evidence from an article in the module.

5. Include refutation—what is the opposition likely to say? This is where you will note what those against your argument are likely to counter-argue. You will then refute this argument and state why it is not as strong as your own stand. Remember to make it clear this is refutation and not your stand.

6. Conclude with a summation of the essay and perhaps a question or idea that leaves the reader with something to consider.

An example outline to help you with your writing would be the following:INTRODUCTION: Usually first paragraph but could be first two paragraphs. Make your introductory paragraph interesting. How can you draw your readers in? What background information, if any, does the reader need to know in order to understand your claim? Give your thesis at the end of the introductory paragraph and make sure it includes the topic, what you will argue about it (your stand) and why. NEXT: SUPPORTING EVIDENCE PARAGRAPH: Usually this is one paragraph but it can be longer. What is one item, fact, detail, or example you can tell your readers that will help them better understand your claim/paper topic? Your answer should be the topic sentence for this paragraph. Introduce your evidence either in a few words (As so in so states in the article from the module.) What supporting evidence (reasons, examples, personal examples, examples from the article you selected) can you include to prove/support/explain your topic sentence? Explain Evidence: How should we read or interpret the evidence you are providing us? Remember, this is

personal evidence or evidence from the article but not researched evidence. How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this paragraph? Link this evidence to your thesis.SUPPORTING EVIDENCE PARAGRAPH #2, 3, 4 or however many paragraphs you use for evidence (at least 2). Repeat above. COUNTERARGUMENT PARAGRAPH or REFUATION: PURPOSE: To anticipate your reader’s objections; make yourself sound more objective and reasonable. Usually 1-2 paragraphs. What possible argument might your reader pose against your argument and/or some aspect of your reasoning? Insert one or more of those arguments here and refute them. End paragraph with a concluding sentence that reasserts your paper’s claim as a whole. Make it very clear that this is what the opposition would think and not what you are asserting. CONCLUSION: Remind readers of your argument and supporting evidence. Restates your paper’s overall claim and supporting evidence. How long should it be?At least 2 full pages. This is a minimum requirement that you must meet. You may always go over the minimum but never under. It must be turned in on time; (you are allowed one late essay for the semester, but it will receive a one

letter grade reduction).

Your paper will be set up in MLA style as shown in the paper layout power-

point in the module.

How will it be assessed?

The rubric gives the details on this. You can also review the sample essays

in the text and modules.

Option 3: For your argumentative essay, read the following and respond to it using a clear

thesis, background information, definition of the topic, proofs, and refutation. You will not

research this topic. Instead, you will respond to this article. You will not research this topic.

Instead, you will respond to this article. You will use directly quoted passages from the article

for support. You will document these passages by introducing the author’s full name and the

title of the article on first reference and in subsequent references using the author’s last name

after the quoted or summarized passages like this (Richie). These passages should represent a

very small percentage of your essay. Your words should take up more than 80% of the essay’s

two-page minimum. As always, set this up as you have all previous assignments in MLA style.

Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?


Some experts estimate that more than a million students in the United States, from kindergarten

through 12th grade, are taking courses online. Have you ever taken a class for credit online?

What was the experience like? In general, do you think K-12 students can learn as much in an

online course as they can in a traditional class? Why or why not? What makes for a good online

course, in your opinion?


“More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality,” Trip Gabriel writes:

Jack London was the subject in Daterrius Hamilton’s online English 3 course. In a high school

classroom packed

with computers, he read a brief biography of London with single-paragraph excerpts from the

author’s works. But the curriculum did not require him, as it had generations of English students,

to wade through a tattered copy of “Call of the Wild” or “To Build a Fire.”

Mr. Hamilton, who had failed English 3 in a conventional classroom and was hoping to earn

credit online to graduate, was asked a question about the meaning of social Darwinism. He

pasted the question into Google and read a summary of a Wikipedia entry. He copied the

language, spell-checked it and e-mailed it to his teacher.

Mr. Hamilton, 18, is among the expanding ranks of students in kindergarten through college —

more than two million in the United States, by one estimate — taking online courses.

Advocates of such courses say they allow schools to offer not only makeup courses, the fastest-

growing area, but also a richer menu of electives and Advanced Placement classes when there

are not enough students to fill a classroom.

But critics say online education is really driven by a desire to spend less on teachers and

buildings, especially as state and local budget crises force deep cuts to education. They note that

there is no sound research showing that online courses at the K-12 level are comparable to face-

to-face learning.


Tell me about the experiences you’ve had with online learning. In general, do you

think students can learn as much in an online course as they can in a traditional class? Why or

why not? Do you tend to agree with online-learning advocates who say that this method allows

schools to offer a richer menu of electives? Or do you tend to agree with critics who say that the

popularity of these courses reflects a desire to save money on teachers in tough budgetary times?

What makes for a good online course, in your opinion?

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