Raft of Research-Supported Argumentative Essay: Argument

Draft of Research-Supported Argumentative Essay: Argument
WHAT: Find a newspaperas or magazineas op-ed page from the last few weeks (the more recent the better), and choose an opinion piece that interests you. For this paper, donat choose a blog or a web resource as your source. Use a piece of print media. An editorial, a letter, or an opinion piece would be appropriate. Then, write an interesting argumentative piece using research in which you offer a diverging opinion from your source. You will consider the best arguments of your source, present a contrasting thesis, back up your thesis with evidence, and argue strongly against the antithesis.

Purpose: Your goal is to persuade your reader that, even considering the other possible ways of addressing the issue at hand, your vision of the problem, and your proposed vision or solution is superior, and that you have both facts and logic on your side. This argument will be a 4 page essay.

For this assignment, you are going to use argumentative structure. Specifically, you are going to have 1) a hook and frame; 2) a thesis and enthymeme; 3) evidence and development of that thesis; 4) an antithesis; 5) counterargument.

You will use at least three external sources, including the op-ed to which you are responding, within your essay to bolster your argument.

WHY: To learn to research usefully and then integrate that material to support arguments; to keep critical distance when evaluating written materials; to employ rhetorical and logical structures; to learn formal argument structures.


Explore: Read around and discover an opinion piece in a piece of print media. Opinions on world or national news is all right, but local news will often create a much more specific and interesting paper. Be sure that you donat use an opinion piece that you fully agree witha that wonat give you any room to diverge and argue.

Read Critically: Read the opinion, and write notes as you read. Identify the main point, and the arguments and pieces of evidence the writer uses in order to support that point. Identify the antithesis (what is the opposite of the writeras point) and identify what arguments the writer attributes to that antithesis. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the writeras argument.

Find your position: Decide what your own thesis will be, clearly noting how it differs from the original writeras thesis.

Locate sources: In addition to the original source, you will need to back your thesis up with facts. Decide what facts you need in order to back up your thesis (or to disprove your sourceas thesis) and then gather those sources. Read them, and select the quotations that will help you make your points.

Devise your enthymeme: Think about where the argument needs to begin in order create the strongest possible argument. Then write a sentence or two that begins from that place of strength. Be sure to check the lecture this week to make sure you understand how to use an enthymeme.

Outline: Construct the skeleton of your own argument. Write your own developed thesis and enthymeme. Write the major points of evidence you want to hit over the course of your argument. Support your points using the pieces of research you discovered. Address the antithesis (the thesis of the original piece) and argue strongly against the antithesisa major points. You should seek to avoid a a?straw mana? argument, always addressing the strongest arguments of the alternate point of view. Be willing to concede ground where necessary.

Create a hook and frame: Write an evocative opening and closing for the essay that is sensory and narrative, as weave done in past weeks.

Get feedback: Show your work to your writing fellow, and to someone else. Using their feedback, consider how your draft will need to be revised to create the effect you are hoping for.