Arguing a Position
Your third essay of the semester is an essay (approximately 650-750 words) which is argumentative in nature. For this essay, you will be using chapter 10 of your text (Arguing a Position) as a springboard. As the text points out, “Everything we say or do presents some kind of argument, takes some kind of position. . . . this chapter provides guidelines for writing an essay that argues a position” (119).
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Key features of such an essay are as follows—
A clear and arguable position.
Good reasons that back the position up.
Convincing evidence for your reasons.
A trustworthy tone.
Careful consideration of other positions.
You will be writing an essay based on a current event topic that interests you. Current event means something currently in the news or in recent months (limit your topic to within the last two years). Your topic should be one that you have strong feelings about because you will be writing an argument paper expressing not only your opinion, but arguing both sides of an issue. To find a topic, go to the following websites or similar reputable websites (you are not limited to the following websites; however, the websites chosen MUST be credible). Your articles must be from reputable sources like the ones provided and must have an author or be from an organizational site if no author is listed. Sources like blogs, personal websites, or Wikipedia are not valid sources.
Read through some articles that interest you. When you have found an article, you need to save it and print it. You should choose a topic that is debatable and one that you believe carries the exigence needed to write with persuasion and passion. Avoid topics that are too broad such as being for or against the death penalty, abortion, immigration, prayer in schools, or gun control. Choose a specific topic that interests you instead of a broad topic with an abundance of information. You will enjoy the assignment more.
Preparation: As always, you are expected to have read all selections assigned for this paper. In addition, you will want to discuss your topic with your instructor to make certain the topic you have chosen is not too broad for the scope of this assignment.
Context: You are writing for an academic audience—someone who is educated, of course, but does not know the specifics of the material you are writing about. Your purpose in the paper is to inform and enlighten—as clearly, directly, and specifically as possible. Your writing should cover at least two sides of the argument.
1. How well do I provide specific examples to support the main points I make? Are the
examples convincing, considering the audience’s past knowledge and experiences?
2. Do I have a main point stated?
3. Do I have a clear organizational pattern?
4. Is my style clear and easy to read? Have I eliminated excess words?
5. Is my formality level appropriate? (no contractions or conversational language)
6. Are my grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation up to the standards needed for an
Rough Draft Workshop Dates: Thursday, 10/29 and Tuesday, 11/3
Please note: To participate in class on rough draft days, the rough draft must be complete. Please note that one letter grade (ten points) will be deducted from the final draft grade if you do not participate on this day.
FINAL DRAFT DUE DATE: Thursday, November 5
This assignment has multiple parts:
1) Evidence of prewriting
2) Rough draft #1 (with peer-review #1 comments)
3) Updated Rough Draft (with peer-review #2 comments)
4) Final Draft
5) Reflection Exercise
The Final Draft and Reflection Exercise (#4-5) are to be submitted as attachments through the Bb assignment link before class begins on 11/5. The prewriting exercise and two rough drafts are to be stapled together and turned in at the beginning of class on 10/13. All (5) components of this assignment are considered equal in writing importance and must be present for assessment.
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