Write an original argument of 1,500 words minimum (approximately six double-spaced pages). Your essay should deal with an aspect of the topic you’ve been narrowing in the pre-writing activities in our class and should be addressed to the target audience you’ve been refining in those same exercises. Note, your instructor is not your target audience for this assignment.
Your essay may include one or more argument types. Examples of argument types that may be incorporated into your essay include but are not limited to the following, though you are advised against using more than two or three in one paper.
Process Analysis argument
The essay should be formatted in MLA style in Times New Roman 12-point font with the following header:
Student Name (Always replace with YOUR name)
Instructor: Don Bapst
Due Date: 2 May 2018 (Always replace with the correct due date in this order: number, month spelled out, year)
For this essay, you will need to cite from at least five outside sources in MLA style, including a “Works Cited” page with all your cited sources listed in alphabetical order and parenthetical in-text citations matching your quoted and paraphrased citations to each source on the list. See the Purdue Owl (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) for complete MLA citation standards. The sources used in this paper must be in addition to sources used in Project Two.
Your essay should include the following:
An introduction that gets the target audience’s attention and ends with a thesis statement describing the main claim (or argument) of your essay in one sentence.
Supporting evidence for your claim including both:
Personal experience on your topic
Evidence from outside sources (each clearly introduced, cited, and tied back to your central argument): At least two of the three sources should be articles or studies taken from scholarly or academic journals.
A counter-argument that your target audience is likely to raise. It must be:
Given serious, realistic consideration
Rebutted with additional evidence
A conclusion that reinforces your main claim/argument in a fresh new way and drives home your point to the target audience with a call to action and/or next steps.
Additional requirements by argument type:
The word or words that you are defining in your essay must be conceptual words that are largely misused, generalized, and/or misunderstood. For example, if your topic has to do with the impact of music played in a work environment, examples of words you could explore in your definition essay include: harmony, music, and beauty. While there is a literal definition for each of these words, many qualities and characteristics influence how people perceive and describe each, justifying an exploration of all that goes into our interpretation of each word. Words that have a more consistently objective definition (e.g., refrain, volume, tone, pitch) are off-limits for this type of essay.
While you may consult a dictionary to learn what the precise published definition(s) of a word is, if your proposed definition of the word corresponds to the most common meaning of the word as defined in the dictionary, then you do not need an entire definition essay to justify your reading of the word and should choose another essay type for this assignment.
You may quote from a dictionary once in your definition essay, but this will not count towards the three minimum sources required for the assignment.
The instance or story you will describe in this essay comes from your own experience and illustrates something important about the related topic on which you are focusing your arguments for Project Two. If the story you wish to describe comes from a source, then this approach will not work.
Your narrative essay must focus on only one key instance or story, and the bulk of your writing will be on the specific details of the instance. This approach will only work if the instance or story being described lends major insight to your topic. For example, if you are writing to make a case for the impact of music in a work environment, perhaps you worked as a server at a bar where heavy metal music was routinely played. Let’s say that one day, someone at the bar started reacting to the music in an aggressive or violent manner, leading to a series of reactions involving the staff calling the police to have someone removed from the premises. This would justify telling the story of how that all played out. However, if there was no single stand-out instance like this, and if your experiences about people reacting to music in your workplace is confined to brief observations (e.g., people plug their ears when the volume goes up, people stay longer at the bar when the volume is lower, etc.) then the narrative approach will not be the best choice.
Though the bulk of this paper will concern your description of a personally observed instance, you must still include citations from three sources. The sources can provide facts, stats, and additional information on your topic. You could also find other testimonies that mirror your own experiences on the topic.
For this approach, you must have a topic that lends itself to a comparison/contrast essay. In the example of music’s impact on the workplace, you could compare the effect of different types of music in the workplace. However, you’d want to be sure not to make your comparison obvious (e.g., playing classical vs. heavy metal music in a bar). Rather, you will need to find an area of comparison that is useful to your topic and target audience (e.g., playing heavy metal at full volume vs. playing alternative rock at a moderate volume).
You are not being asked to conduct an experiment on your topic but rather to write an argument. Therefore, if you do not already have some experience with the different aspects of your topic that you wish to compare and contrast, this approach is not ideal.
A comparison/contrast essay is more specific than merely being “for or against” something. In other words, you cannot compare and contrast everything in favor of your position with everything against it. Rather, you need two specific aspects of your topic to compare and contrast. These two aspects must be similar enough to justify a comparison, yet different enough that the comparison sheds light on your topic. As with the other approaches, you will need to supplement your own experiences on the topic with evidence taken from a minimum of three sources.
For specifics on other argument types, be sure to refer to our textbook, Writing for Success. I leave it to you to find examples of the different essay/argument forms (in our textbook and through the ARC Library online databases) to understand which approaches best lend themselves to your topic and target audience.
Additional words of caution on other argument types:
Classification/Division – Works best with a subject that needs specific categorization by sub-topic.
Cause/Effect – Works best to uncover hidden or overlooked causes/effects related to your topic to better understand a problem. This approach should not be used to predict or speculate about future effects of a proposed solution. This is what the Problem/Solution approach is for.
Process Analysis – Works best when outlining a very specific, step-by-step process that needs full clarification. Do not use if the process you’re writing about is common knowledge or obvious.
Problem/Solution – Should only briefly explain the problem (in the intro and possibly one or two additional paragraphs). The bulk of your argument should focus on the specific plan for implementing your solution.