Final Exam: Argument Essay
For your Final Exam, you will write an Argument Essay. This is the culmination of the work you have done in ENGL 1301 this semester. This essay requires that you not only inform, but persuade a reasonable audience to agree with a specific claim that you are making about your issue and to motivate action. You are making an argument in this paper, but beyond that you are seeking to persuade an audience to act on the argument you make. This paper will be more challenging because, it requires that you “state your position unequivocally and make it appear reasonable – which requires that you offer evidence and defend against logical objections” (Behrens and Rosen 82).
Develop a comprehensive and detailed Argument that appeals to a reasonable audience and motivates action. Support your discussion by synthesizing evidence from different sources. Write a paper of 2-3 (double-spaced) pages. In addition to the essay, you will need to include a Works Cited page that indicates the sources you have used to complete your assignment. As you integrate direct textual evidence, your analysis should solely represent your own analytical thinking.
Consider the following questions when developing your Argument:
· Purpose: How can you establish a need for taking action? What is significant and current about this issue?
· Angle: Where can you add to this conversation? How can you best appeal to ethos, logos and pathos to motivate your audience to act?
· Tone: What attitude about the issue should be clear in your writing? What words will convey this tone?
· Evidence: What specific evidence from the texts should be provided to support your claim? What evidence will effectively to develop appeals as you articulate your reasons, your counterargument(s), and your call to action?
· Contribution: What have you said that goes beyond the current conversation? How is your argument different from the ones that you researched on your topic?
· Style: How clear is the language/style/expression in your argument?
· Conclusion: What meaningful and significant action should your audience take based on your argument? What practical steps have you provided for your audience to act upon? How will taking these steps benefit your audience and the larger community?
Note the possible ways to organize your essay on page 179 in The Norton Field Guide.
At a minimum, your Argument Essay should include the following elements:
But where does my thesis statement go? Persuasive arguments develop and support an arguable claim, but they also encourage action. When writing an argument, put your thesis in the introduction. Your thesis indicates what you will contribute to the conversation surrounding an issue. Avoid a thesis statement that has already been developed by one of your sources. Instead, you should strive for something that adds to the conversation. Your thesis statement should indicate your position (stance), who you are talking to (audience), and should logically lead to your call to action.
For this project, you’ll be writing for a specific audience (you decide) whose values and beliefs may be difficult to pin down and are different from your own. Arguments are not made to people who agree with you. You’ll need to make a good impression by ensuring that your argument is well-supported with strong evidence and explanation and that you avoid bias and fallacy that might otherwise undermine your credibility. Clear communication and critical thinking are also necessary for a successful project. Finally, don’t assume that just because someone will read your essay that he/she will automatically be interested in what you have to say. Generate reader interest by making clear what is at stake in your essay, and why the issue is important.
The essay should be written in a formal academic voice. This means that you should avoid first-person references (“I,” “me,” “my,” etc.). This also includes the plural first person references (“we,” “our,” etc.). You should not use phrases such as “I think that,” “I believe that,” or “in my opinion.” Readers will know that the ideas you present in your essay are your own because you are the author of the essay. Do not address your reader casually with the word “you.” Avoid casual language to communicate in a professional style. Avoid contractions like “can’t” or “don’t.” Remove words like “okay” or “lots” and avoid storytelling indicators like “then,” “next,” and “after that.”
FORMATTING AND WRITING CONVENTIONS
Papers should be typed in a legible (ex: Arial, Times New Roman), 12-point font and double-spaced (with space between paragraphs removed). All other formatting should adhere to MLA standards. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you proofread your paper carefully to avoid errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.
With your essay in hand, go through the checklist below. These are the areas that I’ll be evaluating; each area is worth ten points.
|10||I have written an Argument Essay that is 2 to 3 pages long, double-spaced, and in MLA formatting; I have submitted my essay to the appropriate dropbox before the due date and time. I have included a Works Cited page.|
|10||I have written a title and introduction that engage my audience. In my introductory paragraph, I establish why the issue needs to be considered, and I clearly indicate the purpose and significance of my argument. I have indicated who my audience is and why they have a stake in this issue.|
|10||I have written a specific thesis statement that 1) clearly identifies a significant issue, 2) clearly articulates a specific argument about the issue, and 3) indicates the direction and purpose of my essay.|
|10||I have included any necessary background information for the issue (so that the layperson can understand the context). My background is written clearly and objectively, avoiding assessment and bias.|
|10||I have clearly identified significant reasons and I have used evidence from multiple sources to develop the discussion of the reasons (to maintain my credibility and demonstrate my ability to synthesize sources).|
|10||I have included a counterargument (either to a single point or to the overall argument) in order to demonstrate my knowledge and credibility. I have either conceded any necessary points and/or provided a rebuttal that demonstrates why my perspective is a better choice.|
|10||I have integrated quotes and/or paraphrases and description effectively and explained their significance.|
|10||I have used attributions and in-text citations to give credit to my sources throughout my essay.|
|10||My conclusion also includes a detailed understanding of the benefits to the audience and larger community if they adopt my position and choose to take the action steps I have indicated. The benefits are reasonable based on the call to action and directly stem from the thesis statement.|
|10||I have written sentences that are complete, clear, and relatively error-free. My writing is coherent and well-organized.|
SUBMISSION OF YOUR FINAL DRAFT
Upload your essay to the appropriate dropbox in D2L before the assignment deadline.