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This is the big one! The 5-7 page Argumentative Essay is the largest assignment in the course and the largest sum of points on the gradebook.
In this essay, you are to take a firm, clear stance on a debatable topic and attempt to convince your reader of that stance. You should assume that your reader is passingly familiar with the subject (but only passingly!) and is currently neutral, but only because he or she hasnt encountered a sufficiently persuasive argument. You will want to carefully consider your representation in terms of the pillars of rhetoric (logos, pathos, and ethos), and to skillfully employ a logical method that makes a solid case for your point of view. You will also want to avoid alienating your audience on divisive matters. Some of our readings will cover these skills. Finally, you will need a mountain of evidence to prove that you are correct in your assertions and that experts in the field hold similar views to yours. This essay will require 5-7 sources and a Works Cited page, as well as matching in-text citations. Be sure to read my writeup on using evidence!
This essay will require a clear thesis statement at the end of the introduction which clearly and firmly states your stance on the topic and does one of the following: a) includes three criteria for your decision, which, being satisfied, should convince your reader that your position is the best position or b) demonstrates a clear cause/effect relationship that demonstrates the validity of your position or c) names a policy (course of action or rule/law) which should be implemented and which will embody your position.