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Argumentative Argumentative Essays Essays Communication Skills Center

Argumentative Essay

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Page 1: Argumentative Essay

Argumentative EssaysArgumentative Essays

Communication Skills Center

Page 2: Argumentative Essay

sample essays

1. college lectures p.2772. let's put the excellence back in the A p.279

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When to UseWhen to Use

When you have an opinion When you have an opinion and try to and try to convince your listener or reader to accept convince your listener or reader to accept your opinion.your opinion.

When you are agreeing or disagreeing When you are agreeing or disagreeing with something or someone.with something or someone.

Types of argumentative compositions:Types of argumentative compositions:Advantages and disadvantagesAdvantages and disadvantagesExpressing opinions/ providing Expressing opinions/ providing solutions to solutions to

problemsproblemsExpressing arguments Expressing arguments for and againstfor and against a topic a topic

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Purpose of Argumentative Purpose of Argumentative EssaysEssays

An argument follows when An argument follows when two groups disagreetwo groups disagree about something.about something.

An argumentative essay is also one that An argumentative essay is also one that attempts/tries to attempts/tries to change the readers mind, to change the readers mind, to convince the reader to agree with the point of convince the reader to agree with the point of view of the writer.view of the writer.

Argumentative essays attempt to be Argumentative essays attempt to be highly highly persuasive and logical.persuasive and logical.

When writing an argumentative essay When writing an argumentative essay assume assume that your reader disagreesthat your reader disagrees with you, but with you, but remember your reader remember your reader is no lessis no less intelligent than intelligent than you.you.

Write Write objectively, logically, and respectfullyobjectively, logically, and respectfully..

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Thesis Statement in Thesis Statement in Argumentative EssaysArgumentative Essays

The argumentative thesis takes a The argumentative thesis takes a side of side of an issue;an issue;– An argument concerning the nuclear power An argument concerning the nuclear power

plant, the thesis for a paper on this topic might plant, the thesis for a paper on this topic might be:be:

““Governments Governments should ban further constructionshould ban further construction of of nuclear power plants.”nuclear power plants.”

Someone else might argueSomeone else might argue::

““The U.S. The U.S. should continue buildingshould continue building nuclear power nuclear power plants.”plants.”

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Planning/ Organizing the Planning/ Organizing the Argumentative EssayArgumentative Essay

• When you are planning the When you are planning the argumentative essay, be aware that the argumentative essay, be aware that the essay should contain the following essay should contain the following characteristics:characteristics:

1.1. The argumentative essay should The argumentative essay should introduce and introduce and explain the issue or caseexplain the issue or case.. The reader needs to The reader needs to understand what the issue is going to be.understand what the issue is going to be.

2.2. The essay should The essay should offer reasons and supportoffer reasons and support for for those reasons. The essay should prove its point.those reasons. The essay should prove its point.

3.3. The essay should The essay should refuterefute (prove wrong) (prove wrong) opposing opposing argumentsarguments. .

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Organization of an Organization of an Argumentative EssayArgumentative Essay

1.1. Introduction.Introduction. You can You can first introduce the first introduce the problemproblem and give background information and give background information necessary for the argument and the thesis.necessary for the argument and the thesis.

2.2. Reasons.Reasons. It is usually a good idea to spend It is usually a good idea to spend one paragraph for each reason.one paragraph for each reason.

3.3. Refutation.Refutation. Depending on the points the writer Depending on the points the writer wants to make, one or two paragraphs are wants to make, one or two paragraphs are typical.typical.

4.4. Conclusion.Conclusion. Restate your premise and Restate your premise and summarize the reasons your thesis makes summarize the reasons your thesis makes sense.sense.

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organizing the argumentative essay

p. 290.291

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TipsTips Avoid strong feelingsAvoid strong feelings (e.g. nobody does this, it is impossible to (e.g. nobody does this, it is impossible to

disagree with me)disagree with me) Use generalizationsUse generalizations (e.g. (e.g. peoplepeople say/believe/consider) say/believe/consider) Do not use generalizationDo not use generalization (e.g. (e.g. everybodyeverybody believes that…) believes that…) Do not use strong personal expressionsDo not use strong personal expressions (e.g. I think)(e.g. I think) Use linking wordsUse linking words (e.g. therefore, although, however etc.)(e.g. therefore, although, however etc.) Use sequencingUse sequencing (e.g. firstly, secondly, lastly)(e.g. firstly, secondly, lastly) Make reference to other sourcesMake reference to other sources (e.g. The government claims (e.g. The government claims

that…)that…) Give examples- not personal thoughtsGive examples- not personal thoughts (e.g. products such as (e.g. products such as

sprayer can destroy the environment)sprayer can destroy the environment) Give up banal Give up banal (unoriginal, boring)(unoriginal, boring) introductions. Write introductions. Write

something more originalsomething more original (Don’t write: This topic has been (Don’t write: This topic has been important since ancient times.)important since ancient times.)

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example:

topic: sharing of music files through

the Internet

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Make an assertion about the narrowed topic.

assertion: a statement that expresses an opinion, a point of view, etc.

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example: not an assertion (just a statement of fact):

Earlier this year a law went into effect that allows music publishing companies to track down and sue people who share files of copyrighted music through the Internet.

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assertion:

It’s wrong for music companies to be able to access people’s personal computers and get them in trouble for files that happen to be there.

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assertion:

This law is good and needed because it protects the copyrighted material and thus the whole business of these companies.

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4. Compose an argumentative thesis statement

(you may also do this after you’ve planned or after you’ve drafted your entire essay)

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argumentative thesis statement:

Even though the U.S. electoral system has served our country well for more than 200 years, it is clearly in need of major reform.

assertion

(indicates that the essay will pay attention to the historical background of the issue and to contrary arguments)

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argumentative thesis statement:

The U.S. electoral system needs to be assertion

reformed because it is antiquated, it doesn’t truly reflect the will of the voters, and it causes too much division in our country as shown in the last presidential election.

(indicates that the first major part of the essay will discuss the obsolescence of the system, the second will argue how it is unrepresentative and the third will talk about the political and social conflicts caused by it)

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argumentative thesis statement:

The United States sometimes resembles a banana republic with the way our system for electing presidents has become so uncertain and strife-ridden.

(assertion is implied)

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Example Outline

Thesis Statement: Because of its cost, risk and alternatives, the building of

nuclear reactors should not continue.Topic Sentence 1: The first problem with nuclear reactors is their cost. Topic Sentence 2: Another problem is the serious consequences of

accidents. Refutation: Some people might claim that there is no real alternative

to nuclear power. Concluding Statement: In short, although nuclear power is an attractive option, it

has too many disadvantages.

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Example Introductory Paragraph

There has been much discussion about the use of nuclear power ever since the first reactor was built. People who support nuclear power think that it provides a cheap and effective means of supplying energy needs. However, in reality it is not cheap at all and the dangers are well-known after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The fact is that nuclear power is a tried, tested and failed technology. Because of its cost, risk and alternatives, the building of nuclear reactors should not continue.

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Grab your readers attention

General Topic

Controlling Idea

Thesis

Narrow Topic

The introduction

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Ex.

General Topic: Social Networking Websites

Narrowed Topic: Facebook

Controlling Idea:Security on Facebook

Thesis:We must put an end to Facebook because it compromises personal, emotional, and financial security.

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Body Paragraphs

Arguments for: The reasons “parts” of your thesis statement will be in your body paragraphs.

Give clear arguments for your claim with support (examples, statistics, explanations, etc.)

Use transition words as you move from paragraph to paragraph (Firstly, secondly, furthermore, in addition, moreover, finally).

You can also use any of the transitions from the other essay types as long as they are appropriate for your argument. (You may want to compare/contrast things, give reasons/results, descriptions, definitions etc.)

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Provide strong evidence for your main points

Scholarly journals Authorities or experts in the field Well chosen examples

DON’T

Appeal to fear or make sweeping generalizations

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Concluding paragraph

Your conclusion should: Restate the main claim Present one or two general sentences which

accurately summarise your arguments which support the main premise

Provide a general warning of the consequences of not following the premise that you put forward and/or a general statement of how the community will benefit from following that premise

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Refutation Paragraph

This is also used to support your claim. Use the counter arguments to show that

your idea is the stronger one. Do not focus only on the opposing ideas.

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Useful words and phrases

When you can think of the opposing opinion but you have not seen it written anywhere:

could be claimed

It may be asserted that... However,

might be argued

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Useful words and phrases contd.

When you have seen the opposing opinion written in another text:

claimed

It has been asserted that... However,

argued

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Example Refutation

Some people might claim that there is no real alternative to a new generation of nuclear reactors. However, combined heat and power units, which generate electricity, are already economical for large houses or blocks of flats and smaller units will be on the market next year. Local generation of electricity eliminates the enormous losses of wasted heat in electricity generation by fossil fuels or nuclear reactors. Wind turbines and solar cells on the roof can also provide home solutions and will become more economical as costs come down with mass production.

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Revision Checklist

Grab your readers attention State a clear thesis Identify your reasons for asserting your thesis Provide strong evidence for your main points Address your oppositions argument Convince the reader that your position is valid Make it easy for your reader to read Cite your sources Prevent plagiarism

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exercises

12.3 p.282 12.4 p. 284reading p.285reading p.287reading p.287sample essay: who needs science p. 292

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2. Argumentative Essay Topics• We are becoming overwhelmingly dependent on computers.

• Technology is making life easier in today's world.

• Cigarettes smoking should be banned.

• * Should drivers of automobiles be prohibited from using cellular phones?

• * Shall we integrate from Marketing to E-Marketing?*

• Should the death penalty be mandatory for people that kill other people?*

• Should the "Right to Die" be Considered a Right?

• * Should there still be colleges and schools just for men/boys and some just for women/girls?

• * Forests are the lungs of the earth. Should the rain forests destruction be prohibited? How is it possible to protect forests?

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essay topics• Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health

because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat.

• Advertising: Information or Manipulation?

• Education is an indivisible part of the prosperity of the nation. The more educated and cultured people there are in the country the more flourishing and thrifty the country is.

• The mass media, including TV, radio, newspapers have a great influence on people and especially on the younger generation. It plays an important role in shaping the opinions and positions of the younger generation.

• or a topic of your choice