Essay 4 – Argumentative Essay
(Refer to unit 4 in your text for more details about this type of essay.)
For this essay, you will argue your views about the topic. Your job is to convince or persuade that your opinion is correct. You may select the discussion points for the topic; however, you will ALL begin with the same starting point.
The events of this year have made it a very distinctive time for everyone on the planet. No matter where someone might live, the worries that plague our every day lives are nearly the same. Nevertheless, those worries might have different importance for each family or for each individual.
Your essay topic is to consider ALL of the many issues that cannot be ignored no matter where you live, what you do for a living, or how much money you have. Then, look at these issues and EXPLAIN why they are the MOST important issues currently.
Step 1 – brainstorm your list of concerns, i.e. virus, economy, unemployment, international relationships (between countries), immigration, climate change, drug use, healthcare, social values, etc. – any others you feel should be on the list.
Step 2 – select the three items you feel MOST convinced about – in other words, you have established your viewpoint and you feel could prove to someone else that you are right in your view.
Step 3 – imagine you are advising President-Elect Joe Biden about which items he should put at the top of his “to do” list. In fact, imagine your advice WILL BE what he tackles first once he is in the White House, so be prepared to do a good job convincing the President that your list should be his priorities. [Note: conditional sentences WILL be used for these essays since you are offering fact BUT also suggesting imaginary circumstances.]
Note: Make sure underline 2 adverb clause, 2 noun clause, 2 conditional sentences.
Step 4 – create an outline so that you deal with your argument points in order of importance. #1 – most important; #2 – next important; #3 – equally important but last on list
Each point in your research will be EXPLAINED IN DETAIL in a paragraph in the BODY of the essay. Paragraphs will be DEVELOPED one at a time because this essay will involve MORE RESEARCH than any essay so far. Please follow the schedule that follows:
Week 12 – Essay Outline and Body Paragraph 1 (most important point) – due on Tuesday, Nov. 17 for discussion and review
Week 13 – Body Paragraph 2 – due on Tuesday, Nov. 24 for discussion and review
Week 14 – Body Paragraph 3 – due on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for discussion and review (Please note the Wednesday due date)
Vocabulary – fill in the definitions of the following words as we proceed through this assignment. Use your own words to define the words – not the dictionary!
This essay gives you the opportunity to express your ideas and opinions about a topic that you are interested in or that you have strong feelings about, BUT this essay is NOT an opinion essay. As the writer, any words you put on paper are yours and you do not need to identify them as your ideas. Therefore, you will not use any personal pronouns – no I or you! If you are wondering how you can put your ideas into your writing without saying ‘I’, let me show you.
Example: (use pronouns) topic: COVID position: frightened
I think that the Corona-19 virus is the most threatening situation I have ever experienced and has most Americans feeling very frightened.
No pronouns: topic: COVID position: frightened
The Corona-19 virus is the most disruptive situation that the United States has experienced perhaps ever, and most Americans are very frightened by this health risk.
You will begin this essay by stating your position on a topic, but your opinion is not enough to make a good argument. You need to find support for that opinion by researching additional information about your topic. We will discuss types of good research sources. I will show you examples of the college databases that are available to you, so you will have plenty of options to help you create a solid argument.
Research is necessary for this essay because you must be familiar with both points of view on your topic in order to present a good argument. For instance, it would be difficult to argue for wearing a mask if you do not understand the reasons some people give against wearing a mask.
You can only defend your argument by considering the opposing views! However, you need to ONLY be informed. You DO NOT have to write both viewpoints. STICK to YOUR viewpoint to persuade.
Finally, the last element of this assignment is documentation. You need to use the MLA method. The MLA (Modern Language Association) style documentation is used to show the reader the source of any information you use. In theory, IF you present convincing information, for example, a reader should be able to READ MORE about your supporting evidence from the SOURCE that you cite. (Note: You also need in-text citation)
Consider checking the MLA.org website since your textbook does not have detailed information to offer. Nevertheless, there are examples of MLA citations and the Works Cited at the back of the textbook, pages 218-221.
One last comment – saying someone is ‘wrong ‘ or saying an idea is ‘bad’ does not offer a good argument. The ONLY way to make a STRONG argument is by using EXAMPLE and DETAIL.
Begin with your OPINION – stated simply, not using personal pronouns. Find INFORMATION that supports your viewpoint and offer it s EVIDENCE/PROOF that your view is correct. ADD DETAILS to make the evidence CLEAR to anyone – but in this case, President-Elect Biden.
Note: DO NOT address Biden as if you were ‘speaking’ to him. He is used only as an indicator of HOW you should offer your arguments – very important!