Name: Hour: Argumentative/Persuasive Essay Language Arts 2 Final Essay Due

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Name: ___________________________________ Hour: ___________
Argumentative/Persuasive Essay

Language Arts 2

Final Essay Due: _________________________

For this assignment, you will be writing a five-paragraph (minimum) argumentative essay on a topic that you choose. This essay will be written much like the narrative essay you wrote in the beginning of the year, in that it will be a process write. You will spend time on each component of the essay and turn in a polished product on the final due date.

Step 1: Choose ONE of the following essay topics:

a. Should Art and Music Classes be Mandatory?

While some high schools offer art and music courses to their students, these courses are not always mandatory. Some teachers, students, and parents think that schools should emphasize traditional academic subjects like math and science, as those skills will help students more in the future when they join the workforce. Others feel that requiring all high school students to take classes in music or the visual arts would teach equally valuable skills that the students may not learn otherwise, and would also help them do better in traditional academic subject areas. In your opinion, should art or music classes be mandatory for all high school students?

b. Are Foreign-Language Classes Worth Requiring?

Foreign-language instruction is declining in public high schools in the US. Some people think this reflects the rise of English as the accepted language of commerce around the world, and that knowledge of foreign languages is of lessening importance. Other people see the reduction in language study as a sign of the United States’ failure to integrate with the rest of the world and a threat to the nation’s vitality in an increasingly cross-cultural marketplace. In your opinion, should greater support and requirement be given to foreign language programs in high schools in the United States?

c. Does Advertising Serve a Useful Purpose in our Society?

Advertising is something that infiltrates our daily lives in this country. In fact, the majority of people sees and hears hundreds of advertisements for many different products each and every day. Some people think advertising is useful because it provides important information about many different products. Other people think advertising is not useful because it tries to persuade people to buy products they do not really need. In your opinion, does advertising serve a useful purpose in our society?

Step 2: Find a published article that is related to your topic and bring it to class.

You will want to search the internet and be sure that you find, and print, an article that is from a reputable source. Well-known newspapers and magazines are good places to start. (No articles from Wikipedia,, etc. will be accepted!)

Step 3: Take your essay through the writing process.

  1. Brainstorming: After you’ve chosen a topic and have your article, you are ready to begin the writing process. Start by creating a t-chart with both sides of the issue so that you can decide which side you are going to argue for and against. You will want to come up with as many reasons as possible (minimum of three) for both sides. (Hint: choose the side that you have the most and best reasons for.)

  1. Outline: You will complete a detailed outline that will show exactly how your essay is going to be organized. You will use the outline sheet that I will pass out in class. This is the most important part of the writing process and should take the longest to complete. If you do a good job on this outline, your essay will pretty much write itself.

  1. Rough Draft: Your rough draft will be hand-written and must meet the following criteria:

  1. At least two pages without skipping lines

  2. A minimum of five paragraphs (with at least five sentences in each)

  3. One body paragraph that acknowledges and refutes the opposing side

  4. Textual evidence, from your article, in all three of your body paragraphs

  1. Final Draft: Your final draft must be typed and meet all of the criteria that are on this assignment sheet and on the grading rubric. The final draft must also meet the following formatting guidelines:

Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins

Your paper should be a minimum of 1½ typed pages

Requirements: Your essay must include the following components:

  1. An introduction with an attention-grabber, background information that serves as your transition, and a thesis statement that states your opinion on your chosen topic.

  1. Three body paragraphs: One paragraph acknowledging your opposition’s opinion and refuting it and two paragraphs stating reasons in support of your opinion.

  1. Textual evidence from your article(s) in each of your body paragraphs

  1. A conclusion that restates your thesis and summarizes your argument.

Important Due Dates (all work due at BEGINNING of hour on day noted, unless otherwise specified):

Item Due Date Point Value

Choosing Topic Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10 points

Article Related to Topic Wednesday, February 12, 2014 20 points

Brainstorming Wednesday, February 12, 2014 (during class) 10 points

Outline Thursday, February 13, 2014 30 points

Rough Draft Friday, February 14, 2014 30 points

Final Draft Monday, February 24, 2014 100 points (S)

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