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This writing assignment will give you the opportunity to write about a topic that you feel strongly about. You will choose a subject that interests you or relates to your own experience. Since you will be writing about a topic that you feel strongly about, there are a few things to keep in mind: Don't approach the argument with such strong attitudes that you ignore evidence that contradicts your thinking. Maintain an open mind as you research your issue. Knowing all the positions will help you avoid a shifting position or a weak argument. The more you know and understand your opposition's strengths, the better you will be able to counter and neutralize their claims. With argument, as with any essay, purpose and audience are closely linked. Even though you may not ever convince anyone of your argument, it is best to adopt the attitude that most readers are willing to be convinced if your approach is appealing and your evidence is sound.
NOTE: There are an unlimited number of possible topics for this essay, but there are seven topics that will be taboo, which means you may not write on these topics: abortion, drinking age, euthanasia, legalizing drugs, gay rights, gun control, death penalty. If you are having difficulty coming up with a topic, here are a few ideas that might help: Review the essays in the text or look over the editorials and commentaries in your local newspaper. Check the library. The librarians have a list of good research topics. One of those might work well for your argument essay. Answer the following questions: It is unfair that ______. It makes me angry that_______. I disagree with people who believe that_____. This argument is your personal viewpoint. It’s okay to use the first-person pronoun “I,” especially if you are using personal examples as support for your thesis. But do remember what I call the “Rule of Resumes” – while you are writing from your point of view, your audience should be your focus. Using “I” abundantly can make the author look self-centered. Also, if you do use “I,” own it! Don’t go overboard with hedges like “I believe,” “I think,” “I feel” – repetition of hedges like this ultimately make an author seem weak or as if he or she isn’t 100% sure of the stance.
Keep in mind also that your essay must have: an introduction, a thesis statement, a body of main ideas, and a conclusion. In-text citations and works cited page (If you are unsure of how to do this, consult your Writer’s Reference text or your college’s tutoring services). Sufficient and appropriate data from reliable authorities, facts and sound reasoning for your argument (must use a minimum of two credible sources).
The essay should be at least 2 pages in length, must be 12pt font, typed and double-spaced in MLA format. Please save as a .rtf (Rich Text Format).
This writing assignment will give you the opportunity to write about a topic that you feel strongly about. You will choose a subject that interests you or relates to your own experience.