Essay 1: Classical Argument

Essay 1: Classical Argument
Draft Due:
Final Due:
800-1000 words
MLA Format, 1” margins, 12 font
For this first essay you will write a classical argument on a topic of your choice
(excluding the commonplace topics mentioned in class). Remember the structure of
classical argument:
Introduction: Identifies your claim (or argument) along with the supporting reasons.
For example, TV talk shows should be banned from television because they promote
violence, expose children to inappropriate behavior/experiences, and cater to the lowest
common denominator of the public.
o Background: Provides information your reader needs to know to understand the topic
as well as your position and argument.
o Lines of Argument: The heart of your paper and where you make your case and provide
support to prove your point. Each of your supporting reasons should have support.
o Refutation: Provides the opposing viewpoint, which must be stated objectively, and
then shows how/why this position is wrong although some concessions can be made.
o Conclusion: Your last pitch to sway audience and should touch on your basic argument
(thesis) again.
1. Be very careful selecting your topic. Make sure that it:
*is an issue that can be debated (not a fact). More than one point of view exists about this issue.
*is manageable in its scope (can be covered in three and a half pages).
*concerns something that you have some knowledge about and experience with and does not
require library research for material.
*interests you, something that you believe to be important.
*demonstrates your understanding of how to use appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos in your
2. Be sure to give readers any background/contextual information they may need to fully
understand the issue and your arguments.
3. You must present a clear and specific thesis (your position on the issue).
4. You must develop a convincing argument to prove your thesis. This should include a
clear explanation, development of claims, solid evidence to back up your claims such as
narratives from personal experience, and, most important, a section devoted to discussing
the opposing arguments.
5. Make sure that you employ a reasonable tone in order to gain the reader's confidence.
You want to sound fair, informed, and credible. Find common ground between you and
your audience.