Classical Argument Essay

For this assignment, you will be expected to write a classical argument; your textbook and Blackboard materials/handouts will help you complete this assignment. This essay should use MLA formatting and documentation style.

I suggest that you follow the general outline below when writing your argument:

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• Brainstorm possible topics, explore each of them, and choose one.

• Outline your argument frame.

• Anticipate objections / counterarguments to your reason.

• Conduct appropriate research.

• Write a draft.

• Proofread and edit your draft.

• Revise your draft.

The argument will be graded with the following in mind:

Appropriate use of closed-form structure
Appropriate use of the argument’s elements
Appropriate use of logical paragraph construction and argument structure
Appropriate use of 5 outside sources
Appropriate use of quote introduction, paraphrases, citations, and a Works Cited
Correct use of MLA format and documentation
Appropriate use of correct grammar / punctuation / mechanics / spelling

This paper is worth 15%, and the Works Cited is worth an additional 5%. Because this assignment is so weighty, please take time working through the assignment and revising your work.

This is the usual order of paragraphs for a classical argument essay.

Paragraph 1

Introduction – a general discussion to the issue (a story, a scenario, general statistics, or something else to attract the reader’s interest and to introduce the topic) concluded by the thesis statement (the claim and reason).

Paragraphs 2-4

Your points, or grounds – the support for your position. Each point should support the thesis statement (claim with reason). Each paragraph should contain one point and the particulars that support it.

Paragraph 5

The key arguments against your position – an acknowledgement of other perspectives. This paragraph shows the reader the complexity of the issue and establishes you as a fair-minded, ethical writer. It also shows the reader the other perspectives.

Paragraph 6

Response to objections – your answer to the opposing arguments. Point out weaknesses in those arguments or explain the strengths and merits of those arguments. THIS MAY REQUIRE MORE THAN 1 PARAGRAPH.

Conclusion Paragraph

Place your argument in a larger context, perhaps by summarizing the main points and showing why the issue is important or by calling the reader to some form of action.

The essay should be at least 7 paragraphs long.

If it will strengthen your argument, you may place your grounds to follow the key arguments against your position and the response to those objections. (In other words, paragraphs 2-4 would follow paragraphs 5-6.) This places your strongest argument immediately before your conclusion.

Sample Paragraph Outline

Intro Paragraph. Story, statistics, or some other interesting information to catch the reader’s attention. Make sure the paragraph sets the stage for the topic of your argument. Think toward having 6-12 sentences for the intro. End with the thesis statement, which is your claim and a broad reason.

One reason the claim is true is that blah blah blah. Remember to make your statements first; then provide quotes or paraphrases to support or prove the statements. Remember to cite your sources in the sentence or in a parenthetical reference. Again, aim toward a paragraph length of 6-10 sentences.

Another reason for the claim is blah blah blah. Follow the same structure as you did for paragraph 2. Use sources wisely, providing support for your own points. Your sources do not make the points. You make the points, and your sources support or prove them.

Another reason for the claim is blah blah blah. Follow the same general instructions as listed above for the first 3 points. Aim toward 6-10 sentences to provide good, solid info.

Not everyone agrees with this perspective. Some people think X, while others think Y. Other people feel that Z is a better approach to the topic.

The problem with X perspective is that blah blah blah. Provide proof through a source if possible. You can even quote or paraphrase from someone supporting this perspective if that would work, but explain the shortcomings of the perspective. Include all of the opposing arguments here, or add another paragraph or two if necessary to fully dispute the opposing perspectives.

Your final paragraph is the conclusion. Here you might summarize your main points to remind the reader what you said in paragraphs 2-4. Or you might return to the story you told in the introduction. Or you might tell the reader why this topic is so important. Or you might tell the reader how to take action on the topic if he/she is interested. For more information on Classical Argument Essay see this:

Classical Argument Essay

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