Length: 1200 words
Formatting requirements: MLA
Objective: To construct an argumentative essay that takes a side on an issue and persuades a particular audience to accept that side using persuasive evidence as support. To demonstrate knowledge of an audience and appeal to that audience using ethos, pathos and logos.
For the Argumentative Essay, students will pick a side on the following issue question: Should college be free?
Write an argumentative thesis that takes a side and uses persuasive evidence to support your side. Your evidence can come from the readings in They Say I Say and from the attached New York Times Preview the documentView in a new windowarticle. You should not do any outside research for this essay.
Your position must be reasonable, well-supported, and persuasive. You may want to qualify your position by considering the qualifications (what would a student have to do to make college free for them), if it should cover only certain types of school for a certain amount of time, and cost (how would this be paid for?). You may also want to address counter-arguments in order to be as persuasive as possible.
Like your Expository Essay, your Argumentative Essay should have an easy-to-understand structure (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion) and begin with a clear and narrow thesis; remember that a narrow thesis often includes the word “because.” Your body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that tells your reader what the paragraph will argue and should continue with evidence that support that topic sentence. This evidence can come from personal experience, facts and data, statistics, hypothetical examples, and reasoned sequence of ideas. You should have a blend of different types of evidence in order to be persuasive.
Your essay will be graded using the following criteria:
Thesis picks a side, is narrow and clearly states what the essay will discuss
Writer considers audience and appeals to ethos, pathos and logos
The essay’s argument is persuasive
Essay is well-planned and well-organized
Topic sentences are clear and introduce what the essay will discuss
Topic sentences are supported with a variety of evidence
Paragraphs stay on topic
Summaries are used sparingly and appropriately
Signal phrases are used appropriately
Quotes and paraphrases are used appropriately. Quotes do not stand alone but are introduced and analyzed.
The essay is easy to understand and grammar/spelling/punctuation errors are minimal
Essay adheres to assignment guidelines
This essay must be at least 1200 words. A significant grade reduction (and possible failure of the assignment) will occur if the word count is below 1200 words. This assignment is worth 150 points. Please see the syllabus for formatting and submission requirements.