Aphorism: The next writing project for this class is an argumentative essay. It will count as an essay grade

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The next writing project for this class is an argumentative essay. It will count as an essay grade. Consider the aphorisms of Benjamin Franklin from his Poor Richard’s Almanac. We will also be reading Patrick Henry's persuasive speech entitled "Speech in the Virginia Convention" found on page 226-230 in your American Literature textbook. You must model your writing after Patrick Henry by including the following persuasive techniques: rhetorical questioning, restatement, repetition, parallel syntax, appeal to logic and appeal to emotion. Your assignment is as follows:

Choose one of Franklin’s aphorisms that you either agree or disagree with. Locate reputable sources from Galenet, EpscoHOST, Sirs, or major newspapers and magazines. Find two to three articles that prove the argument you want to make about the aphorism. You will incorporate one article to show an opposing viewpoint proving reason is a necessary part of an argument. Using these articles as support for your argument, write a 3 page essay. Be sure to model a part of your sentence structure after Patrick Henry by using rhetorical questions, repetition, parallel syntax, restatement, and logical and emotional appeal.
The essay should use the following guidelines: 1) a minimum of 3 pages typed and double-spaced; 2) 12 pt. Times New Roman typeface; 3) 1 inch margins on all sides including top of paper; 4) use MLA format for paper (see page 29-35 in your MLA handbook).
Your essay should contain the basic parts of essay writing.

Attention grabber: Think of images (sight, sound, taste, feel, touch). The attention grabber can be a word, a phrase, or a complete sentence that creatively captures the reader’s attention.

Background information: Give valuable details about your subject matter that will lead the reader into the main point of your essay: the thesis sentence.

Thesis sentence: One sentence that captures what you will be addressing in the essay.

Body Paragraphs:

Body paragraphs must prove your thesis statement. Use good transitions at the beginning of each new paragraph. Also, for this essay, you must use the following persuasive devices in your paper (see rubric on back side for grading scale):

  1. 2 rhetorical questions (highlight in green)

  2. 3 restatements (highlight in pink)

  3. 1 repetition (highlight in yellow)

  4. 1 paragraph of parallelism (highlight in orange)

  5. appeal to logic

  6. appeal to emotion


You must restate each point you have made in your essay. Each point should be its own separate sentence. End your paper with a final thought. For this essay, you must end with a strong statement like Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Works Cited:

You must provide a works cited page which shows the three sources you have cited in your essay.

English III – Argumentative Essay Rubric

Criterion for Selection



Attention grabber; background

information and Thesis 10 pts. __________


Body Paragraphs

2-3 articles supporting your

Viewpoint 15 pts. ___________

1 article showing opposing

Viewpoint 5 pts. __________

Transitions used 5 pts. __________

2 rhetorical questions 3 pts. __________

3 restatements 15 pts. __________

1 repetition 2 pts. __________

Parallel syntax 5 pts. __________

Appeal to logic 5 pts. __________

Appeal to emotion 5 pts. __________


Restates main ideas 5 pts. __________

Strong ending statement 5 pts.


Grammatical Content 10 pts. ___________

Check essay for commas,

spelling, capitalization,

subject/verb usage, pronoun/

antecedent agreement, etc.


Works Cited Page and Citations 10 pts. ___________

Must use MLA format

Correct citations in essay


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