Argument Essay Guidelines:
You will write a 8-10-page argument on a social issue. We will follow the rules of formal argument:
I. You must not have a thesis that is a statement of belief (sometimes called “emotional opinion”). It must be a rational opinion based on fact. Hint: beliefs cannot be proved or disproved. Both argument and counterargument must be fact based.
Gun Control (if solely based in cultural beliefs)
B. Any topic that will lead to belief-based argument on either side will not work.
II. Belief or ethics based assumptions can sometimes appear in an argumentative writing (though not as the thesis).
You must be very careful to watch assumptions and avoid logical fallacies. Please look at your Praxis text for details. This textbook will be of great help to you as we explore the many facets of formal argument.
Here is an example of an assertion that would not work as a thesis, but could be a statement within an essay: “Child abuse is wrong.” The reason this will not work for a thesis is that no reasonable person will argue about this.
We can, however, assume that if you use this as a statement leading to a solid argument that offers solutions, a reasonable audience will accept this assumption.
III. You may not include statements of prejudice. Hint: statements of prejudice (unlike belief) can be disproven. Watch out for absolute statements (using or implying “all,” “every,” “always,” etc.). It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between belief and prejudice since the same influences (family values, religious values, and cultural values) often create both. Be very careful here.
IV. You must include counterarguments in the following way:
A. Admit to them
B. Treat them with respect. Admit that they have validity. They must also be backed by fact.
C. Support how your argument somehow “outweighs” the counterargument
V. A good way to think of your thesis is to offer solutions to a problem. For example, if you choose poverty in America as your social issue, you must come up with solutions and support them as workable. Counterarguments will then be reasonable ones presenting doubt that your solution will be effective. Handle any social issue you choose in this way.
VI. You must have at least ten sources, each of them credible. You may not use sources found through a general Internet search engine unless you can proof the validity of the facts presented. Always use the primary source when available. You are looking for sources that are studies conducted in the area you have chosen or very credible reports on studies. As with your other essays, you are using our Electronic Library or Google Scholar (even though you will still have to access credibility). These stand a greater chance of being credible. You may also use government sites if applicable (some of these are reached through the Electronic Library).
VII. This is a formal essay like the others, so you will make very precise and formal, standard English language choices.
VIII. You may use one of the following to organize your essay:
A. You may use block organization
1. In this pattern, you detail all of your arguments first. You then transition to addressing the counterarguments. (a variation of this is to begin with the counterarguments first).
B. You may choose the alternating pattern:
1. In this pattern, you begin with your main point and support. You then directly address the counterargument that links to your main point. You then follow this pattern for the rest of your essay.
IX. Your topic sentences/points of support should be used to guide your paragraphs.
X. Please include, as part of your discussion, how media could be used to solve the problems.
Type of service:Academic paper writing
Type of assignment:Essay
Pages / words:8 / 2200
Number of sources:10
Academic level:Freshman (College 1st year)
Language style:US English