Published on October 20, 2007
Argument Essays: Argument Essays Persuading your audience What a Scholarly Argument Does: What a Scholarly Argument Does It convinces a person, or group of people of a point of view. It recognizes, and never ignores, the opposite point of view. It uses solid research as its method of persuasion. It is specific—not vague, or general. And, it STILL doesn’t use the first person point of view (i.e. 'I') Convincing Your Audience: Convincing Your Audience You can go about convincing your audience in several ways. You can appeal to their emotions, logic or sense of character/morality. Possible thesis statements on the topic of repealing the abortion ruling (Roe vs. Wade): Emotion: Abortion should be illegal because tiny, innocent babies are losing their lives—especially considering how many couples are suffering from infertility and would love to have the aborted baby. Logic: Abortion should be illegal because it is a risky surgery that leaves the mother prone to life-altering symptoms and diseases. Character/Morality: Abortion should be illegal because it takes a life, and taking a life is murder, and thus immoral. Recognize the Opposition: Recognize the Opposition You should always include at least a paragraph that recognizes the opposite point of view, and then shows how that point of view is inferior to the one you are presenting. So, in the emotional thesis from the last slide (aborted babies are innocent lives that could find nice homes with infertile couples), we would think about what someone SUPPORTING abortion would argue. In this case, they might argue that there are many, many children already in foster homes and orphanages that need good homes, and bringing more children into the world would be irresponsible. Thus, you would write a paragraph that says something like: 'Those that support abortion argue that there are many children sitting in foster homes and orphanages waiting for homes, and that infertile couples should adopt a child that is already here. These people believe that having legal abortion keeps the number of unwanted children in these situations to a minimum. However, research shows that in countries where abortion is illegal, there are far fewer children in orphanages and foster homes (Research 222). Thus, illegalizing abortion is not likely to have a dramatic effect on the foster home/orphanage system.' Use Research to Support the Argument: Use Research to Support the Argument An argument is not just your opinion. You need to find credible evidence to support your opinions. Credible evidence can be statistics, research studies, news stories or any other unbiased source. See pgs 106-107 for more things to consider with using sources. An Argument is Specific: An Argument is Specific Bad argument: Abortion is wrong and should be illegal. Better argument: Abortion can be considered murder and should be illegal. Best argument: Due to strong research regarding the long term health risks to mothers that have abortions, the procedure should be deemed illegal. An Argument Does not use “I”: An Argument Does not use 'I' There is an article in Redbook this month about how we use speech that is weak and inferior rather than asserting ourselves and claiming what we know to be true. Well, when you use 'I think,' 'I believe,' 'It is my opinion,' 'as I have shown' you weaken your argument. Be bold, and trust that your words convey your point without using 'I.' Topic: School (again): Topic: School (again) Homework and Failing Schools, specifically. Yes, you have written about this topic previously—and that is the point. This essay is much different than the response essay you wrote at the beginning of class. Instead of responding to one person’s point of view, you will be devising your own point of view and supporting it with research. What to do first?: What to do first? Read. Writing in the Disciplines: Ch. 4 pgs. 103-111 do this first, pay attention to the boxes, they have great tips. 'Challenging our Assumptions' pgs. 500-509; 'Homework' pgs. 510-513 'Manufacturing a Crisis in Education' pgs. 522-528 And then??: And then?? Discuss. Go to the discussion board and answer the questions posed there (they are taken from your book on pages 111-112). The purpose of this assignment is to help you narrow down your topic—remember, we want to be specific. 'Schools are failing' is not a good thesis. Finally:: Finally: Your writing assignment this week is to find three potential sources to support your point of view regarding homework and failing schools. You need to use the library to find at least one of these sources. I know that you are having issues with the library, but it is a required element of all ENGL 1010 courses—so you will have to take the initiative to overcome your issues. Either go to the library and find something, or call the librarians and ask for help. Again, the topic of your argument paper is going to be: Homework and Failing Schools. Post your sources in the Argument Essay Dropbox. Yes, This is the same place you will submit your papers. It is all part of the same grade. Don’t forget about Sharpshooter!!!: Don’t forget about Sharpshooter!!! By the end of this week, you should have read through page 110. And, for those that are unsatisfied with their grades, don’t forget that you have many, many extra credit opportunities related to this book. Go take your picture at sites related to the book! Reminder: For those that are truly disgusted with their grades (or this class in general), the final Withdraw date is coming quickly. I hate to see you go, but I also know that online classes are not for everyone!