Write an essay whose primary rhetorical mode is argument.

THE ARGUMENT ESSAY
For this assignment, you will write an essay whose primary rhetorical mode is argument. After considering and brainstorming both the topics from the options below, you will choose ONE topic for your essay.
TOPICS
The American Dream. Write an argument essay in which you put forward your own thoughts on what this concept entails, and/or whether it is relevant or meaningful in the present-day USA. You may choose to focus on its relevance for a particular sub-group of US society. Support your thesis with information from your own experiences and/or observations; you might also refer to points made by one or more of the writers we’ve read on this topic.

A “US Culture”? In this diverse and often divisive country, what holds us together? Is there a distinctly “American” culture that transcends all the cultural differences? If so, what are its key characteristics? Do you think this American culture is changing? In what ways? (In this case, “American” means located in the USA, not in the broader sense of the word.) Support your thesis with information from your own experiences and/or observations; you might also refer to points made by one or more of the writers we’ve read on this topic.
In all cases “argument” means that
you have a clearly stated, arguable thesis
you explain and defend your position using reasons and examples
you consider the positions held by people on the other side (counter-arguments) and explain why those positions are not as persuasive as yours
To repeat: Use specific, concrete examples – specific cases, situations, events that you have experienced personally, or observed, or read about, or seen on TV or in movies, etc. – to illustrate and support your points.
SCHEDULE
Fri 5/12: Bring TWO outlines for essays. They can both be on the same topic, and can be closely related; you should just do two for practice and to explore possibilities. Each must include a tentative thesis statement. Type these up. Be specific about your main points and supporting points. I will look at them in class on Friday.
We will also talk about the final exam and look at the practice in-class essay you did
5/15 or 5/17: Final exam, in which (surprise!) you will write an essay. Also, bring your ROUGH DRAFT for the argument essay. I’ll look at these while you do the exam and give you some feedback.
Essay 5 will be DUE Thursday May 18 at 11:59pm.
ARGUMENT ESSAY: THE PROCESS
Steps involved:
Brainstorm. Explore the issue. What do you know about it? What is your experience with it? Why is it important? Who is affected by it? How are these people affected by it? Currently, what is your thinking on this issue? Why do you feel this way?
List as many reasons as you can think of for why you think as you do. Analyze your reasons to decide which ones are most likely to persuade your readers to think as you do. What kinds of evidence or examples can you think of to support your reasons?
Anticipate readers’ objections and opposing positions. Assume your reader might not share your opinion. Try to understand what your opponents believe and why they believe it. Can you concede that some of their objections make sense? (You do not have to completely reject all opposing points, but you need to explain why your position is preferable.)
Draft a tentative thesis statement. (Review the information you have received about what makes an arguable thesis.)
Plan out a tentative outline for the essay. Common patterns include:
Introduction with thesis statement
Acknowledgement and refutation of opposing positions
Reasons and support for your own position
Conclusion

Introduction with thesis statement
Reasons and support for your own position
Acknowledgement and refutation of opposing positions
Conclusion

Introduction with thesis statement
Acknowledgement of one opposing position
Your refutation of that opposing position
Acknowledgement of another opposing position
Your refutation of that other opposing position
And so on…
Additional reasons and support for your own position
Conclusion
NOTE: In some cases, a writer may choose not to state her thesis until the end of the essay. If you make this choice, you should have a reason for it.
6. Begin drafting your essay.

Related posts

Latest posts

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.