Argumentative essay written as an annotated bibliography
Argumentative Essay Assignment
Last updated Spring 2017
Purposes of the assignment, in connection with course objectives:
a. Plan, write, and revise multi-paragraph compositions that not only demonstrate competence in the following, but also function as an integrated whole: generating and exploring ideas; writing for a variety of purposes and audiences; and focusing and developing a thesis by exploring a variety of appropriate organizational strategies.
b. Practice critical/logical thinking and reading skills – such as evaluation, analysis, synthesis, and criticism – through written assignments that stress analytical, evaluative, and persuasive/argumentative writing.
c. Practice critical reading skills.
d. Use accurate grammar, mechanics, and spelling and will choose diction and usage appropriate to their writing purposes and audiences.
The Rhetorical Situation:
Genre: Essay, Argumentative, Closed Form
Audience: General Academic Audience (college students and beyond)
Purpose/Aim: To persuade
Explanation of Significant Aspects:
Pre-writing: Although you have already chosen your topic and done some research, I still would like you to practice some pre-writing in preparation for the essay. To this end, you will create a Roman-numeral style outline.
Organization and length: This will be a closed form argumentative essay with a subjective and assertive thesis, claim-based topic sentences, and adequate support for a five- to seven-page essay. Papers exceeding or deficient of this length will receive grade deductions.
Support: While subjectivity will guide your organization and presentation, your opinion and speculation cannot be used to support your points. You must support your points with reliable sources and clear logic. Specifically, you must have at least four sources in support of your argument. Furthermore, you will also need to include responses to objections. To establish your own ethos, the sources to which you respond for the opposition must also be of a high academic quality, and you must have at least two that support some point of opposition to your point of view. Of course, you will not be able to respond to all of your oppositions points. However, at the very least, you must pay attention your opponents strongest arguments.
Unlike the annotated bibliography, I dont have any requirements for the types of sources for the argument. Nonetheless, the more that come from academic journals, the better. On the other hand, I strongly discourage the use of newspapers, Wikis, encyclopedic sources, and unedited/popular blogs, to name only a few of the less scholarly sources.
Tone: While addressing the opposition, an important point to keep in mind is tone. Remember the Golden Rule, Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around, etc. Another good approach to the assignment would be one that assumes I, your audience and your grader, dont agree with your point of viewfrom beginning to end. In short, treat other points of view respectfully.
More specific requirements and additions:
Ethos: You will establish ethos by
Demonstrating an understanding of the rhetorical situation described above.
Demonstrating a good understanding of your research and of your topic generally by incorporating quotes, paraphrases and summaries of highly qualified sources.
Incorporate at least 6 highly qualified outside sources, including 2 representing opposing views
Include at least one quote and no more than two quotes per paragraph with proper MLA citations
Using college-level and formal grammar, usage, punctuation, diction, syntax, etc.
Using proper MLA format throughout the paper (heading, header, font, spacing, citations, etc.)
Demonstrating an authoritative, confident tone
Keeping background information on the topic in your single-paragraph introduction
Pathos: You will establish pathos by
Beginning with an appropriate title
Introducing your paper in an appropriate attention-getting manner
Closing your paper in a memorable single-paragraph conclusion
Including support for your argument that is best suited for an academic audience
Appealing to your audiences humanity and values, such as through their sense of humor, of compassion, or of justice, as your case and/or personality may dictate
Not using discriminatory or bashing language
Logos: You will establish logos by
Demonstrating proper closed-form essay organization
Supporting your points with well-researched and logical particulars
Drawing logical conclusions based on well-qualified resources and sound logic
Avoiding logical fallacies