ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION— The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the learner to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise (short and to the point) manner. Keep in mind: while we are looking at argumentation as a rhetorical mode, in fact, ALL writing is an argument – you are always trying to convince the readers that you are right. So pay attention to these explanations – and review/remember them! HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY BEFORE WRITING 1. Choose a specific issue to discuss. 2. Research BOTH sides of the topic thoroughly. 3. Develop a working thesis. INTRODUCTION 1. The hook: take notes on the following video 2. Provide background on the topic Summarize the topic’s basic knowledge Acknowledge both sides of the argument Thesis Statement: Claim 3. MUST answer the prompt Should take a position – challenge defend or qualify Take notes on how to construct a good thesis based on video HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY BODY PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE 1. Begin with a clear topic sentence A topic sentence is like a thesis statement for a paragraph It tells the reader what you will talk about in that paragraph It needs to be an argument/reason that supports your thesis statement 2. Use strong evidence to back up your argument 3. Expand evidence to clarify its importance for your argument 4. Should end with a closing transition phrase HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY BODY PARAGRAPHS SENTENCE STRUCTURE 1. Use sentence patterns for effect 2. Use transition phrases (further instruction at end of powerpoint) 3. Use “snippets” of quotations blended into your own analysis 4. Be sure to cite all evidence according to MLA HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY BODY PARAGRAPHS PARAGRAPH CONTENT Provide Select various sources of support the strongest evidence from you research Explain one or two opposing side’s points to show how readers might object to your argument Show how others’ arguments are unreasonable, not logical, or not effective HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY CONCLUSION Revisit your strongest reasons for your position Restate End your main points with a call to action or recommendation for how to respond HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY FINAL STEPS: REVISE AND EDIT Review your essay as one of your readers Pretend that your readers are skeptical experts or jurors. Convince them by using plenty of evidence types—facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, or even personal experience. Cite your sources! Know the other side’s strongest arguments to defend against those who disagree with you NOTE ON TRANSITIONS TRANSITIONS guide the reader through your essay from one idea to another They allow your reader to understand the connection between your ideas – to understand your thought process You can transition from one idea to the next using transition words (list on following slide, and available as handout in class supplies section of classroom) Later, you will complete the PowerPoint activity for transitions to show you understand how to use transitions (you may do so now if you like) . You will be required in your writing to highlight transitions – so pay attention.