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The Argument Essay! This assignment will require you to write your own argument on the subject of your choice.

The Argument Essay!

This assignment will require you to write your own argument on the subject of your choice. Do you have a strong opinion on something? (Exotic animals as pets? Universal healthcare? Gun laws? School lunches? Etc.) If so, that might be a good thing to write about! This is your chance to get on your soapbox and really preach about that subject you’re always thinking about and talking about. Your friends and family members might be annoyed that you won’t shut up about “that one thing”, but I won’t be. I promise. :-b

After you’ve decided on a subject, make sure you know exactly what side you’d like to take. (Are you for or against this thing? If you’re arguing that something is better than something else, why is that so? If you’re arguing that something should be different, how so? Etc.)

At this point, you’re probably wondering: How much outside research am I expected to do for this essay? That’s going to vary from student to student. It would be very difficult for you to argue a point successfully without incorporating any outside research. That being said… I’m not going to set a specific requirement for how many sources you need to use. However many sources you choose to use, make sure they are scholarly, i.e. not from shady sources like Wikipedia and Shmoop. And, be sure to properly credit your sources using MLA in-text citations and a Works Cited page. I will not be grading you on whether or not your citations are perfect, though, since the next section of our class (Section 5) will get into that in detail. For now, just use the sources you need to successfully make your points and do your best to credit them.

Your argument essay will be graded according to the following criteria:


Your paper should use MLA style (if you don’t know what this is, look it up! Or, you can see an example of MLA style in the Grammar Lecture slideshow.)
3-5 full pages in length (3 full pages minimum!)
Times New Roman font, 12 point
Numbered pages
Double-spaced throughout. (Please DO NOT include extra spacing between your title and introduction, between paragraphs, etc.)
First line of each paragraph should be indented 1 tab space
1″ margins (please don’t mess with the margins to make your essay appear longer… I wasn’t born yesterday!)
Include an original title (not just “Argument Essay.”)
Front page (only!) should have a full header, either at the top left or top right (doesn’t matter to me)
Your outside sources should be properly cited within the essay and referenced on a Works Cited page. If you include sources but don’t cite them, you’re accidentally plagiarizing!
Essay Structure:

An introduction (1 paragraph in length) that gives some context for your issue and includes your thesis statement. (Thesis should be the last sentence of the introduction.)
Body paragraphs that deal (one at a time!) with your main points. Ideally, your body paragraphs will address your main points in the same order in which your thesis statement lists these main points.
Please have AT LEAST 3 body paragraphs. (So, at the very least, this will be a 5-paragraph essay, including your introduction and conclusion.)
Make sure that your body paragraphs are clear and easy to follow. That means you need topic sentences, supporting sentences, and concluding/transitioning sentences. (If you’ve forgotten what these things mean, refer to the “Parts of an Essay” video lecture.)
You should also include a conclusion, where you summarize your main points and state the significance of the issue. (Why should we care?)
What else will I be looking for?

In addition to stating your own points, be sure to also refute opposing viewpoints! You can do this either within your body paragraphs (perhaps before or after stating your own points), or you can do this all at once, perhaps in your very last body paragraph (before your conclusion.)
However you choose to do it, it is vital that I see you acknowledging and addressing the fact that there are opposing views out there!
In your proposal, you told me what kind of audience you’ll be addressing. (Since your audience, in reality, is *me*, I’m asking you to make up an audience instead. You can pretend your audience is supportive, wavering, or hostile.)
The point of your being asked to choose an audience is so that you can decide on your rhetorical strategies accordingly! Is your audience supportive? Use pathos in your arguments! Is your audience hostile? Use mostly logos and a little bit of ethos! Please be sure to incorporate the appropriate types of rhetorical appeals into your argument, depending on your selected audience.
Before submitting this essay, please carefully revise it for spelling errors, grammar errors, punctuation errors, typos, formatting issues, etc. I’ve been pretty lenient in this regard in the past, but I’m expecting you to present your best work this time!
If you’re having trouble editing your own work (maybe you don’t know exactly what you’re doing wrong), please take the time to visit one of LSC’s writing centers! The writing tutors are very helpful, and tutoring is free with your tuition.

Please don’t plagiarize this assignment… I’ve attached software to the dropbox, so if you copy from somewhere (anywhere!), I’ll see it and I’ll have no choice but to give you a “0.”
You won’t be able to re-write this essay, so please don’t plan to get a “0” and then ask for another chance.
Be sure to turn in the Proposal assignment on time! It counts as a homework grade.
If you have questions/comments/concerns, please email me!

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