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Assignment: Prepare an Argument Essay

THE PURPOSE:

This assignment requires you to use your research and investigation skills. You will be required to learn about the topic in order to analyze it critically so you can build a clear argument that is based on reason/logic; uses addresses the counterarguments; and synthesizes source

information as evidence.

REQUIREMENTS


  • Take a look at the list of potential topics and select one.

  • Choose a debatable, reasoned position to argue.

  • Draft an interesting, attention-grabbing opening (using strategies such as an opening question, a quote, an interesting fact or statistic, or anecdote)

  • Clearly state your position in a thesis statement.

  • Investigate and research your topic and position to ensure you understand the issue in depth critically thinking about and analyzing what you read. Print out information you use. Write down information for each source that you will need for your in-text citations (authors, titles, date of publication, publisher). You must cite at least three different sources based on your research. Make sure these sources are credible.

  • Draft paragraphs which establish the main points supporting your thesis and facts to support your points.

  • Research and take notes on the positions of those who disagree with you. You must cite at least two sources that document the opposing position.

  • Based on your research draft paragraphs which summarize the opposing viewpoint (counterarguments). Then respond to each of these opposing viewpoints.

  • Draft a conclusion wrapping up and clinching your argument.

  • Include correctly formatted in-text citations from different sources in MLA format. (5 minimum)

  • Include a complete Works Cited Page on a SEPARATE Page. The word WORKS CITED should be centered at the top of the page. Works cited sources should be alphabetical and in proper MLA format.

  • Read and edit your draft for grammar and punctuation. Check it against the rubric to make sure you have everything required.

Your final essay will be about 1500-1750 words and will require you to synthesize at least five outside sources. You should include:



  • Creative Title

  • Your Name

  • Professor’s Name

  • Date

  • Type of Draft (Rough or Final)

Potential Topics:

  • Is global climate change man-made? The current debate on global climate change presents varying viewpoints. One is that humans are a substantial cause of global climate change. Another is that nature, not human activity, is primarily responsible for climate change. Which position do you take in the debate? Use specific research, reasons, and examples to support your position.

  • Is the death penalty effective? The vast majority of democratic countries in Europe and Latin America have abolished capital punishment over the last fifty years. Passions in the U.S. are sharply divided about the death penalty. Amnesty International views the death penalty as "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights." Arguments for capital punishment state that society has not only the right, but the duty to protect the innocent by imposing the death penalty on those who commit murder to keep the murderer from ever killing again. Which position do you take in the debate? Use specific research, reasons, and examples to support your position.

  • Should animals be used for research? Those who agree state that animal testing helps researchers find drugs and treatments, improves human health, and ensures the safety of drugs. Those who disagree point to the numbers of animals who are experimented on and then killed after their use. Do you believe the benefits of animal testing outweigh the problems associated with the practice? Why or why not. Use specific research, reasons, and examples to support your position.

  • Is a lottery a good way to fund public schools and public works projects? Proponents of the lottery system argue that lotteries generate funding for public schools. Opponents of the lottery system argue that it encourages gambling and increases crime and addiction. Do you believe the lottery system should be supported by the government? Why or why not? Use specific research, reasons, and examples to support your position.

  • Can humans ultimately achieve peace by winning wars? Activist Jeannette Rankin once said, “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

  • Has technology decreased our ability to communicate effectively? Many of us spend hours in front of our computers and communicate more by e-mail or instant-messaging than in person. Some people believe that this is good because it helps shy people communicate more openly with others. Others believe that computer communication prevents us from developing interpersonal skills and limits our ability to have meaningful relationships with others. How do you feel about this issue? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

  • Should all citizens in the U.S. be required to serve in the military for at least a year or more? In many countries, citizens are required to serve in the military for a year or more. Do you believe the United States should institute a similar practice? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

  • Should we continue to spend billions of dollars a year on foreign aid? Although foreign aid spending is typically only a very small portion of our annual budget (currently about .1% of the Gross National Product), the United States still spends billions of dollars a year on foreign aid. Some people feel this is too much and that we should spend nearly all of our money addressing problems here at home. Others feel it is not nearly enough and that we should spend a great deal more helping other nations. How do you feel about this issue? Explain what you think we should do and why.

  • Do the benefits of using surveillance cameras outweigh a citizen’s right to privacy? Many people feel that the use of surveillance cameras in public places, such as parking lots, is a good idea that can help ensure our safety. Others worry that too many cameras violate our right to privacy and give law enforcement officials too much power. In your opinion, should we install more surveillance cameras in public places? Why or why not? Support your position with specific reasons and examples.

  • Should smoking be banned in public? Society accepts that adults can decide to harm themselves so long as they do not harm others. Those who argue against a ban say that it is legal to smoke tobacco so governments have no right to try to make people smoke. They also argue that banning smoking in public will encourage people to smoke more at home. What is your position on this issue? Support your position with specific reasons and examples.

  • Should the legal drinking age be lowered from 21 back to 18? Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Minimum Drinking Age Act which rose the legal drinking age to 21. Some argue that it is only fair that if you are of legal age to fight for your country, you should be allowed to consume alcohol. What is your position on lowering the drinking age?

  • Are Video Games Tied to an increase in violence in youth? Some say that violent video games such as Mortal Kombat, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto cause teens to become aggressive bullies or commit crimes. Do violent video games fuel behavioral aggression and societal violence among youth? What is your position? Support your position with research, reasons, and examples.

  • Does access to guns lead to school shootings? School shootings are far more frequent in America than in other countries, although terrible massacres have occurred in Russia, Israel, and several European nations. In the opinion section of a CNN article, the author opines “Access to guns is a significant factor in American school shootings. If kids could not and did not bring guns to school, we wouldn't have Columbine, Virginia Tech or Chardon, Ohio.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Support your position with research, reasons and examples.

  • Should medical marijuana be legal? Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. On the other hand, there is evidence that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. What is your position on this issue? Support your position with research, reasons, and examples.

Name: ____________________



Persuasive Outline Brainstorming Sheet

This must be completed and turned in with your Final Draft

Introduction

Attention Catcher:


______________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Position (Thesis):

Main Point #1:


Main Point #2:


Main Point #3:





Body Paragraph #1

Position + Main Point #1: (notes)

Sources:


Body Paragraph #2

Position + Main Point #2:

Sources:



Body Paragraph #3

Position + Main Point #3:

Sources:




Opposing Viewpoint

Imagine you are speaking with someone who disagrees with your position on this issue.


List the top three points this person would make to disagree with you. (For example, your position is smoking should be banned. What are three main points a person disagreeing with you would make to say that smoking should NOT be banned?)

1.

2.



3.

Sources: (You should have at least two for the opposing viewpoint)

Sources:




Conclusion

Restate position: In conclusion,____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Main Point #1: ________________________________________________________________________

Main Point #2: ________________________________________________________________________

Main Point #3: ________________________________________________________________________

Clinching Statement: ___________________________________________________________________


Works Cited



List all of the sources you cite here. Put them in alphabetical order.

Peer Review and Final Rubric - Develop a Persuasive Argument


Description

Yes

No

Formatting

Final essay is 1500-1750 words, Times Roman 12, double spaced








Essay includes:

  • Creative Title

  • Your Name

  • Professor’s Name

  • Date

  • Type of Draft (Rough or Final)










Brainstorming Sheet is completed and attached to paper







Peer Review Rubric is Completed and attached to final paper (For Final)







A summary of SPECIFIC changes made to the paper, based on peer review is attached. (For Final)







Introduction







Essay provides an interesting attention-grabbing opening (with a story, question, interesting fact or humor?)







Does the student provide a strong thesis statement clearly establishing his or her position?







Body

Does the student provide facts in each supporting paragraph to substantiate the initial argument?







Does the student provide research with cite at least three different sources based on research?







Opposing Viewpoint

Does the student clearly state the main arguments of the opposing viewpoint?







Does the student cite at least two sources that document the opposing position?







Does the student include arguments to negate the opposing viewpoints?







Does the student devise a clear solution to the problem?







Conclusion

Is there a strong concluding paragraph?







Citations

Does the essay include proper in-text citations of a minimum of sources using MLA formatting?







Does the student have a Works Cited Page at the end of the paper?











Yes

No

Is the Works Cited Page in alphabetical order?







  • Do all in-text citations have corresponding entries on the Works Cited Page?







  • Does the essay have proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
















Strengths of Paper:


Suggestions for Improvement:



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