What is an argumentative essay? Can you guess? 2.

H‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍andout 1-4: Writing an Argumentative Essay A. Discuss these questions before you read the explanation. 1. What is an argumentative essay? Can you guess? 2. In this style of essay, do you just show one point of view or both? 3. Why would someone write this sort of essay? B. Read the following overview of the paragraph structure of an argumentative essay. Introduction Give an overview of the topic / summary of the controversial situation = 2-3 sentences including a summary of the other side’s arguments Thesis Statement (TS): This sentence clearly states the writer’s point of view. The thesis must make a claim of some sort that is debatable. For example: TS = In Canada, the government should put health warnings on junk food. Body Paragraph 1: State the other side’s first argument in the topic sentence for this paragraph. Acknowledge that parts of the opposition are valid (Admittedly, Certainly, Of course, One cannot deny that.., At the same time…) Refute with your own counter-argument showing that the opposition’s claims are incorrect or inconsequential—not a real problem. (Nevertheless, However, On the other hand, But..) Develop this argument with good supporting details, evidence, facts, statistics, research, etc..(5-6 sentences). Body Paragraph 2: State the other side’s first argument in the topic sentence for this paragraph. Acknowledge that parts of the opposition are valid (Admittedly, Certainly, Of course, One cannot deny that.., At the same time…) Refute with your own counter-argument showing that the opposition’s claims are incorrect or inconsequential—not a real problem. (Nevertheless, However, On the other hand, But..) Develop this argument with good supporting details, evidence, facts, statistics, research, etc..(5-6 sentences). Make sure that Argument #1 is distinct from Arguments #2 and #3. Body Paragraph 3: State the other side’s first argument in the topic sentence for this paragraph. Acknowledge that parts of the opposition are valid (Admittedly, Certainly, Of course, One cannot deny that.., At the same time…) Refute with your own counter-argument showing that the opposition’s claims are incorrect or inconsequential—not a real problem. (Nevertheless, However, On the other hand, But..) Develop this argument with good supporting details, evidence, facts, statistics, research, etc..(5-6 sentences). Conclusion The conclusion should summarize why the counter argument is not a sufficient solution. (Thus, therefore, As a result, ) End with a brief restatement of your TS. Don’t repeat all your arguments. Look to the future of the controversy or situation. What will happen (or not happen) if changes are made or not made? Pose a provocative question for yo‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍ur readers to consider. (1-2 sentences) Adapted from: Oshima, A. & Hogue, A. (2006).Writing Academic English, Level 4. (4th ed.). White Plains: Pearson. C. Read the following explanation to understand how to develop a solid argument. To write an argument essay, you’ll need to gather evidence and present a well-reasoned argument on a debatable issue. You have to come up with a good solid point of view or CENTRAL ARGUMENT, a foundation on which you base your entire essay. While you give reasons to support your point of view, you must also discuss the other side’s reasons and then rebut them (use information to argue against) by proving that they are not good reasons. The topic: If you think it will be hard to come up with arguments against your topic, your opinion might not be controversial enough to use in an argumentative essay. On the other hand, if there are too many arguments against your opinion that will be hard to refute, you might want to choose a topic that is easier to argue for. The Introduction Many people believe that your introduction is the most important part of the essay, because it either grabs or loses the reader’s attention. A good introduction will tell the reader just enough about your essay to draw them in and make them want to continue. Start with an amazing hook. Your hook is a first sentence that draws the reader in. Your hook can be a question or a quotation, a fact or an anecdote or a definition. As long as it makes the reader want to continue reading, or sets the stage, you’ve done your job. The Thesis Statement Your thesis statement (TS) is a short summary of what you’re arguing for. It’s usually one sentence, and it’s near the end of your introductory paragraph. Make your thesis a combination of your most persuasive arguments (A, B + C), or a single powerful argument, for the best effect. The Body Write a minimum of three paragraphs for the body of the essay. Each paragraph should cover a main point that relates back to a part of your argument. These body paragraphs are where you justify your opinions and lay out your evidence. Remember that you should consider your opponents’ arguments and then refute them. For example: “According to some people, strong punishment is the only solution to crime. They insist that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for murder. However, studies have shown that such punishment does not actually reduce crime. Instead, programs that provide counselling, education and social assistance to the poor are actually much more helpful in reducing rates of crime.” Here, the transition “however” moves the reader from the opponents’ argument to the writer’s counter-argument. Their argument(s) should always be refute‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍d by my counterargument(s). Counter-arguments are

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