sample essays 1. college lectures p.277 2. let's put the excellence back in the A p.279
When to Use
When you have an opinion and try to convince your listener or reader to accept your opinion.
When you are agreeing or disagreeing with something or someone.
Types of argumentative compositions:
Advantages and disadvantages
Expressing opinions/ providing solutions to problems
Expressing arguments for and against a topic
Purpose of Argumentative Essays
An argument follows when two groups disagree about something.
An argumentative essay is also one that attempts/tries to change the readers mind, to convince the reader to agree with the point of view of the writer.
Argumentative essays attempt to be highly persuasive and logical.
When writing an argumentative essay assume that your reader disagrees with you, but remember your reader is no less intelligent than you.
Write objectively, logically, and respectfully .
Thesis Statement in Argumentative Essays
The argumentative thesis takes a side of an issue;
An argument concerning the nuclear power plant, the thesis for a paper on this topic might be:
“ Governments should ban further construction of nuclear power plants.”
Someone else might argue :
“ The U.S. should continue building nuclear power plants.”
Planning/ Organizing the Argumentative Essay
When you are planning the argumentative essay, be aware that the essay should contain the following characteristics:
The argumentative essay should introduce and explain the issue or case . The reader needs to understand what the issue is going to be.
The essay should offer reasons and support for those reasons. The essay should prove its point.
The essay should refute (prove wrong) opposing arguments .
Organization of an Argumentative Essay
Introduction. You can first introduce the problem and give background information necessary for the argument and the thesis.
Reasons. It is usually a good idea to spend one paragraph for each reason.
Refutation. Depending on the points the writer wants to make, one or two paragraphs are typical.
Conclusion. Restate your premise and summarize the reasons your thesis makes sense.
organizing the argumentative essay
Avoid strong feelings (e.g. nobody does this, it is impossible to disagree with me)
Use generalizations (e.g. people say/believe/consider)
Do not use generalization (e.g. everybody believes that…)
Do not use strong personal expressions (e.g. I think)
Use linking words (e.g. therefore, although, however etc.)
Use sequencing (e.g. firstly, secondly, lastly)
Make reference to other sources (e.g. The government claims that…)
Give examples- not personal thoughts (e.g. products such as sprayer can destroy the environment)
Give up banal (unoriginal, boring) introductions. Write something more original (Don’t write: This topic has been important since ancient times.)
example: topic: sharing of music files through the Internet
Make an assertion about the narrowed topic. assertion : a statement that expresses an opinion, a point of view, etc.
example: not an assertion (just a statement of fact) : Earlier this year a law went into effect that allows music publishing companies to track down and sue people who share files of copyrighted music through the Internet.
assertion: It’s wrong for music companies to be able to access people’s personal computers and get them in trouble for files that happen to be there.
assertion: This law is good and needed because it protects the copyrighted material and thus the whole business of these companies.
4. Compose an argumentative thesis statement (you may also do this after you’ve planned or after you’ve drafted your entire essay)
argumentative thesis statement: Even though the U.S. electoral system has served our country well for more than 200 years, it is clearly in need of major reform . assertion (indicates that the essay will pay attention to the historical background of the issue and to contrary arguments)
argumentative thesis statement: The U.S. electoral system needs to be assertion reformed because it is antiquated, it doesn’t truly reflect the will of the voters, and it causes too much division in our country as shown in the last presidential election. (indicates that the first major part of the essay will discuss the obsolescence of the system, the second will argue how it is unrepresentative and the third will talk about the political and social conflicts caused by it)
argumentative thesis statement: The United States sometimes resembles a banana republic with the way our system for electing presidents has become so uncertain and strife-ridden. (assertion is implied)
Because of its cost, risk and alternatives, the building of nuclear reactors should not continue.
Topic Sentence 1:
The first problem with nuclear reactors is their cost.
Topic Sentence 2:
Another problem is the serious consequences of accidents.
Some people might claim that there is no real alternative to nuclear power.
In short, although nuclear power is an attractive option, it has too many disadvantages.
Example Introductory Paragraph
There has been much discussion about the use of nuclear power ever since the first reactor was built. People who support nuclear power think that it provides a cheap and effective means of supplying energy needs. However, in reality it is not cheap at all and the dangers are well-known after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The fact is that nuclear power is a tried, tested and failed technology. Because of its cost, risk and alternatives, the building of nuclear reactors should not continue.
Grab your readers attention General Topic Controlling Idea Thesis Narrow Topic The introduction
Social Networking Websites
Security on Facebook
We must put an end to Facebook because it compromises personal, emotional, and financial security.
Arguments for: The reasons “parts” of your thesis statement will be in your body paragraphs.
Give clear arguments for your claim with support (examples, statistics, explanations, etc.)
Use transition words as you move from paragraph to paragraph ( Firstly, secondly, furthermore, in addition, moreover, finally) .
You can also use any of the transitions from the other essay types as long as they are appropriate for your argument. ( You may want to compare/contrast things, give reasons/results, descriptions, definitions etc.)
Provide strong evidence for your main points
Authorities or experts in the field
Well chosen examples
DON’T Appeal to fear or make sweeping generalizations
Your conclusion should:
Restate the main claim
Present one or two general sentences which accurately summarise your arguments which support the main premise
Provide a general warning of the consequences of not following the premise that you put forward and/or a general statement of how the community will benefit from following that premise
This is also used to support your claim.
Use the counter arguments to show that your idea is the stronger one.
Do not focus only on the opposing ideas.
Useful words and phrases
When you can think of the opposing opinion but you have not seen it written anywhere:
could be claimed
It may be asserted that... However,
might be argued
Useful words and phrases contd.
When you have seen the opposing opinion written in another text:
It has been asserted that... However,
Some people might claim that there is no real alternative to a new generation of nuclear reactors. However, combined heat and power units, which generate electricity, are already economical for large houses or blocks of flats and smaller units will be on the market next year. Local generation of electricity eliminates the enormous losses of wasted heat in electricity generation by fossil fuels or nuclear reactors. Wind turbines and solar cells on the roof can also provide home solutions and will become more economical as costs come down with mass production.
Grab your readers attention
State a clear thesis
Identify your reasons for asserting your thesis
Provide strong evidence for your main points
Address your oppositions argument
Convince the reader that your position is valid
Make it easy for your reader to read
Cite your sources
12.4 p. 284
sample essay: who needs science p. 292
2. Argumentative Essay
We are becoming overwhelmingly dependent on computers.
Technology is making life easier in today's world.
Cigarettes smoking should be banned.
* Should drivers of automobiles be prohibited from using cellular phones?
* Shall we integrate from Marketing to E-Marketing?*
Should the death penalty be mandatory for people that kill other people?*
Should the "Right to Die" be Considered a Right?
* Should there still be colleges and schools just for men/boys and some just for women/girls?
* Forests are the lungs of the earth. Should the rain forests destruction be prohibited? How is it possible to protect forests?
Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat.
Advertising: Information or Manipulation?
Education is an indivisible part of the prosperity of the nation. The more educated and cultured people there are in the country the more flourishing and thrifty the country is.
The mass media, including TV, radio, newspapers have a great influence on people and especially on the younger generation. It plays an important role in shaping the opinions and positions of the younger generation.