In this paper, you will make an arguable claim that is supported by credible evidence. A sound argument is different from an opinion. An opinion is a belief that lacks a basis in logic or factual evidence. Instead, for this paper, you will use the writing process to form a position on your chosen topic, an argument that is based on logic and factual evidence found through research. So, instead of starting with an opinion and finding sources, you start with sources and use them to form a position.
An argumentative essay asks you to take a stand on an issue, support it with persuasion, reasons, and evidence, and to address the opposition’s position. To accomplish this goal, you will research and investigate your topic by building a source list that represents credible, scholarly, authoritative voices. You must responsibly integrate and discuss these perspectives into your writing, demonstrating how they either support or go against your own argument. All claims should be backed up by sources, whether quoted directly, summarized, or paraphrased.
Organization Tips: Begin with an introduction that builds readers’ interest in the topic and ends with a concise thesis statement that makes an arguable claim about a problem. This is the foundation on which you will build your argument.
The subsequent paragraphs should give evidence from scholarly sources that prove the claim. Those body paragraphs should include a topic sentence that encompasses a single aspect of your argument that you will write about in that paragraph only. Remember, paragraphs are like containers, and each container can only hold one subtopic. Each paragraph’s topic sentence needs to be backed up with evidence and be tied back to the thesis. You must also acknowledge oppositional points by incorporating and refuting counterarguments.
Don’t forget a conclusion that summarizes the argument, emphasizes its importance, makes a call to action, and/or looks to future implications. No new information should be introduced in the conclusion.
The approach to this can be in a style you find makes sense for your subject, such as an Introduction > Problem > Cause > Solution > Conclusion approach, or any other pattern that logically outlines your argument. There are handouts to guide your set-up here download.
IMPORTANT POINT: The topic you choose for this paper will be your topic for the entire class, meaning it will also be your topic for the qualitative research paper and the commentary article. Keep in mind, the qualitative research paper requires you to interview an expert (academic, professional, or someone closely related to the topic). As you choose your topic, be sure that you will be able to interview an expert in the field or with background experience related to the topic.
- Be a minimum of 1000 words, but no more than 1500 (not including the Reference page).
- Use at least 4-5 reputable (Links to an external site.) sources
- Be in APA format (Title Page, Paper, References)
- 1-inch margins
- Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font
- Indented paragraphs
- Third person POV (no I, you, we, us, our)
- No contractions