In the Academic Argumentative Essay you will take a stand on a topic and defend that stand using and incorporating evidence to support the claim and main points of the essay. Argument means “to make a claim about a debatable issue and to provide a reasoned defense of your claim.” The argumentative
essay is a genre of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, evaluate evidence;
and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Any professional field will require the ability to
make decisions based on evidence or data and present or defend those decisions with clear reasons.
This essay will include:
A thesis sentence that clearly states the purpose of the essay
Body paragraphs with topic sentences supporting the thesis
Evidence, details, and specifics in the body paragraphs to support the topic sentences
Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion
A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but reexamines it in light of the evidence
This essay must be a minimum of 750 words. Focus on a very specific aspect of the topic you select, and
carefully consider what you evidence will include. Remember to avoid generalities such as “thing,” “stuff,”
“society,” “as a whole,” and “people.” This essay should be written using a third-person objective point of
view (she/he); no second person (you/your) or first person plural (we, us, our). However, first person
singular (I, me, mine) may be used.
Select one of the topics below for your essay. Do not simply give your opinion or write an informative
essay—this must be an argument essay in which you state the point you will make in your thesis and
support it with powerful paragraphs. Remember to prove your thesis using textual evidence from three
sources from the Opposing Viewpoints database. Use MLA format including in-text citations and a Works
You may select from any of these categories, but remember to focus on a specific aspect of the
topic, rather than trying to cover all there is to say about any one topic. It is far better to write indepth about one aspect, than to gloss over the whole topic. Learn something new and share that
with your reader.
Business and Economics
Energy and Environmentalism
Health and Medicine
Law and Politics
NOTE: Please avoid topics that have been overworked unless you bring a fresh approach to
these topics. Here is a list of topics that we would prefer you avoid:
National Debate Topic
Science, Technology, and Ethics
Society and Culture
War and Diplomacy
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Step 3: Revising for Content
You will work on this paper in three steps:
1. In the first step is to evaluate the sources you will use to support your claim in an annotated
2. In the second step you will write a draft of your essay that incorporates the evidence you have
3. In the third step you will revise the content of your essay for clarity and cohesion.
Step 3: Revising for Content
In this assignment you will submit a one-page document of your essay with revisions to your content to
create cohesion. In order to better learn how to do this, you will use review a peer’s essay as well as your
select reputable and reliable academic data sources
evaluate sources to include in an essay
select quotes to incorporate into your essay
incorporate evidence from outside texts to support main points in an essay
cite outside texts using MLA formatting guidelines
Follow the steps below to ensure you have effectively evaluated your paper in order to revise it:
STEP ONE: Organization
• Is there a clear introduction and conclusion?
• Does the introduction provide sufficient background for the reader? Are the “who,” “where,” “why,”
“what,” “when,” and “how” questions addressed?
• Is the purpose of the essay clear? Is there a thesis sentence?
• Are there sufficient transitions between related ideas? Does the essay flow well?
• Is the overall organization murky or clean? In other words, does the writer avoid introducing new
material in the conclusion or switching subjects in the middle of a paragraph in the body?
• Does every paragraph have a topic sentence that supports the thesis in some way?
STEP TWO: Content and Style
• Does the essay show that the writer has knowledge of the subject?
• Does the essay show that the writer has knowledge of the audience?
• Is the length appropriate and adequate?
• Has the writer used sufficient examples and detail to make his or her points clearly?
• Has the assignment been addressed?
• Has the writer used the appeals? Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.
• Is the tone of the essay professional and appropriate?
• Is the language convincing, clear, and concise?
• Does the writer’s voice come through in the essay?
STEP THREE: Research and Sources
• Has the writer used evidence to support the thesis? Each topic? Is the evidence credible?
• Is the research accurate, unbiased, and complete?
• Has the writer fully interpreted the findings?
• Is the analysis free of faulty reasoning?
• Is the documentation in the Works Cited page and body of the essay correct? Are all the sources
on the Works Cited page cited in the body of the essay and vice versa?
• Are all quotations introduced? Has the author avoided “Plop and Drop” quotes?
• If material was paraphrased, are the sources still mentioned?
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STEP FOUR: Proofreading
• Has the writer checked grammar and punctuation?
• Has the writer spell checked the essay?
• Has the writer left out any words or word endings?
• Are proper nouns capitalized correctly?
• Has the writer checked for his or her particular pattern of error? (Comma splices, run-ons,
• Are the pages formatted and numbered correctly?
• Is the title capitalized correctly? Is the title interesting?
• Has the writer used the correct margin and font?
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