Argumentative Essay Prompt

Debra Bronstein
English 100
Argumentative Essay
Essay due: Wednesday 5/30 at the beginning of class
Please write a 4 page essay on one of the following topics. The paper should be
typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced, with one inch margins.
Please choose one of the following groupings of texts:
1. Schwartz, “Genetically Modified Food Is Safe” and Smith, “Genetically
Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies”
2. Smith, “Of Ice and Men” and Herald-Sun “Bears Feel Global Heat: Polar Icon
Faces Wipeout”
Write an argumentative essay in which you take a stand on the issue of whether or
not genetically modified food is safe or if polar bears should be placed on the
endangered species list. Your essay must take a stand and should incorporate both
texts to show both the counterargument and the argument.
Structure: (for ex. Genetically modified food)
Thesis paragraph
 Argue your position about the problem. What is the argument you’re
making? (If you are arguing genetically modified food is not safe, you need to
articulate that and provide the reasons why.
 Address the counterargument using the text. Using a sentence, Although
some may argue that genetically modified food is harmful to the body, Mark
Schwartz suggest that it is safe (develop his argument for a couple
 Then show how Schwartz is wrong by turning to Smith’s text. Develop
Smith’s argument and then reiterate your main point.
 Finally state what the purpose of your essay is without using I: Since
genetically modified food is considered unsafe, the purpose of this essay is to
convince readers to eat organic (or whatever your purpose is): this will
become the conclusion of your paper.
Structure of the body paragraphs:
 1st Body Paragraph: Present the counterargument. You must show that this is
not your argument.
o Use phrases such as: While some may argue that eating genetically
modified food may make an individual ill, others suggest that certain
types of modification actually improve the quality of the food and
maintain the health of the individual.
o Then introduce the text: In this case it would be Schwartz. Go one of
Schwartz’s major points. Develop it for several sentences
o . Introduce a quote using a signal phrase. Provide the quote using
MLA parenthetical citations at the end of the quote
o Analyze the quote
Body Paragraph 2: Repeat structure for Body Paragraph 1, using Schwartz’s
second main point
Body Paragraph 3: Transition to the real argument for your paper. Explain
why Schwartz’s argument is wrong.
o Introduce Smith’s main point #1
o Develop that for a few sentences
o Introduce a quote using a signal phrase. Provide the quote using MLA
parenthetical citations at the end of the quote
o Analyze the quote
Body Paragraph 4: Same as 3. Develop Smith’s 2nd main point
Body Paragraph 5: Same as 4: Develop Smith’s 3rd main point
Conclusion. Reiterate why genetically modified food is unhealthy (recapping
Smith’s major points, but this time you just need to recap the points, rather
than linking them with Smith). Then show what the purpose of this essay is:
is it to make you more aware of what you eat? To inspire you to eat organic
If you are writing on Global Warming and whether or not the polar bears should be
declared an endangered species, you need to take a stand on that: that they should
be declared endangered or not.
Then follow the same structure as outlined above: provide the thesis paragraph, the
counter argument (using the text) for 2 paragraphs, then real argument for 3
paragraphs (using the text), then conclude the paper by rearticulating the main
points and showing what the purpose of your essay is: is it to make the reader more
aware of the effects of global warming on the eco-system? Is it to make the reader
more aware of other culture’s connection to the animal population? Is it to inspire
us to do more to help the environment: recycle/reduce our carbon footprint?