Essay #2: Argumentative Essay
This essay is worth 30% of your final course grade.
Rough Draft Due: Sun, 4/26 by 11:59 p.m.
• Minimum of 4 pages & works cited
• Peer Review due: Tues, 4/28 by 11:59 p.m.
Final Draft Due: Tues, 5/5 by 11:59 p.m.
*NOTE: I will accept papers no later than 48 hours after the due date with a penalty of ten points per day.
• Length: 5-6 pages*
• MLA Format (8th edition)
• Minimum of 3 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources
• Minimum of four direct quotes
• Works Cited Page
• Formal Writing Voice
*NOTE: Ten points are deducted per missing page. Works Cited page is not included.
• Students will understand the conventions of a collegiate-level Toulmin Argument Essay.
• Students will analyze their chosen topic to make connections between cause and effect relationships (or a chain of causality).
• Students will apply the conventions of collegiate-level writing in terms of grammar, mechanics, and academic tone.
• Students will compose a collegiate-level Toulmin Argument Essay following the prescribed conventions and organizational method.
• Students will remember, understand, and apply the conventions of MLA format (8th edition) in their papers.
You can choose any topic for your argument, but I must approve it. The subject matter will need to be controversial (with varying stances one could take toward it) but not lewd or inappropriate for an academic context. (See below for a list of acceptable topics.)
Following the Toulmin Method of Argument (described below), your purpose is to make a claim about a certain subject that is open to debate and accurately use credible evidence to support your position. Using rhetorical strategies effectively is an essential aspect in writing a compelling argument; you will need to appeal to your audiences’ sense of rationality (logos), morality/ethics (ethos), and emotions/beliefs (pathos). In order to persuade your audience, you must concede to any discrepancies in your argument, and respond, respectfully, to opposing viewpoints. Be certain to avoid writing any fallacies!
What follows is a short list of possible topics to help you brainstorm. You are by no means bound to these suggestions. Additionally, these categories are purposefully broad; you will need to make your topic more specific:
• Weight loss methods
• Animal testing
• Vaccinating children
• Climate change
• Diversity in media
• Impacts of technology
• Value of collegiate education
• Gender/Racial-based wage gap
The New York Times published a list of 401 options divided by category if you are having trouble choosing a topic: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/learning/lesson-plans/401-prompts-for-argumentative-writing.html
Argumentative essays can be constructed utilizing various schemes. For this assignment, you will follow the Toulmin Method of Argumentation, which includes:
• An introduction with a claim and qualifiers,
• An opponents and refutation section, and
• A conclusion.
Please follow the outline provided in the Blackboard folder for this assignment under the title, “Toulmin Method Outline.” However, note that Data, Warrants, and Backing will appear in each body paragraph, rather than as separate ones. That is, each body paragraph will develop one supporting point from the thesis with data, warrants, and backing.
The Writing Center at Colorado State University devoted a portion of their website to detailing the Toulmin method, explaining each element of the model in depth. The site also includes a student sample and even analyzes the student’s argument: writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=58
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