Assignment Guide: Researched Argument Assignment Overview What is an argument?

Assignment Guide: Researched Argument
Assignment Overview
What is an argument?
In academic writing, an argument is a claim, or a debatable stance, backed up with evidence. An argument is always debatable. This means that whatever your claim is, someone, somewhere will not agree with you. An argument is a closed form of writing, and it follows a somewhat predictable pattern. The originality within an argument stems from the evidence you gather and the appeals you wield to make your point. As one might imagine, choosing your evidence or sources, as well as which appeals to consider, is greatly influenced by the audience. Without question, to whom you are addressing your claim will help determine the writing choices you make.What spearheads my argument?
Ultimately, what guides your argument is one very important question: What’s the point for drafting and presenting this argument? In other words, what am I trying to prove? The thesis statement, or claim, is the point of the essay. It is the debatable point you are trying to make.
Where do I state my claim?
The thesis statement (which will likely be more than one sentence) usually appears at the end of your introduction and presents your specific argument or claim to the reader. Your claim or thesis statement should include the reasons that will support the claim.This will help you determine how the argument will flow. To put it another way: the thesis should only cover what you will discuss in your essay (Claim + Reasons 1, 2, 3 etc.)
A claim serves many purposes, including the following:
To prepare your readers for the purpose of your paper and the content
To set the focus for your paper
To state your side on an issue
To preview the “reasons” you will address
How do I support the claim I’m making?Strong and thorough evidence supports an argument or “claim,” providing explanation in the form of indirect and direct quotes and statistics, to name a couple. Yet, just including a statistic or quote is not enough: To build a sound argument, it is important to “warrant” or explain the reasons why your claim should be considered.What are the components of an argument?ItemDescription
Thesis or Main Claim
The main claim is your thesis–the point you’re trying to make. The main claim is debatable, should be complex, and must be paired with ideas and evidence to support it. Essentially, it is both your main point and what you want your audience to believe.
The reasons, in many ways, are the second part of your claim. Developing and clearly articulating the “reasons” for your position is key to developing your argument. As you can imagine a well-articulated claim + reasons will drive your argument.
(the Bridge)
A sentence or two (per reason or point made) that explains each reason or point you’re making. This explains why you think your evidence is relevant to your claim.
The evidence (data or grounds) is information you’ve collected to support your claim and reasons.
This is where you illustrate that you’re familiar with what the opposition claims. (Be sure to explore each counterpoint, gathering source information to fully understand why people hold that position and to more fully evaluate the counterargument.)
While you will always consider the opposition’s point of view, do not hesitate to reiterate the points that support your claim. The rebuttal functions as a reiteration of your evidence in support of your claim. Be sure to always make a clear connection between the rebuttal, your claimand the evidence that points in your direction.
What can weaken my argument?Logical fallacies weaken arguments. Logical fallacies can look or sound like a hasty generalization, a missed point, assumptions, weak correlations or analogies, just to name a handful. Writers/speakers should always review their own work for fallacies that might inappropriately sway their audience.
Assignment Prompt: Researched Argument
OverviewThe researched argument is the final step in the writing process. For this assignment, you will pull on all of the course work you have completed thus far, bringing the pieces together into a final, polished project: a well-analyzed, well-supported, claim-driven essay. Also, you will need to locate and read at least one more source to help you build your argument. Thus, this argument will be supported by 6 sources. (Note: previous assignments needed only 5 sources.)ExpectationsThe researched argument is your chance to showcase all of your hard work, as you demonstrate:The ability to take a position in a persuasive, logic-driven manner.
The art of crafting a debatable claim and supporting it with logic-driven evidence
The skill of building a solid structure and foundation in support of the debatable claim
Consideration of the counterclaim, and a well-informed rebuttal
The skill of source support via valid points and credible evidence
RequirementsLength: a minimum of 1500 words are required for this assignment. *If the minimum word count is not met, your assignment will be returned with no grade and a resubmission will be required. Sources: An MLA formatted Works Cited page and in-text (parenthetical) citations are required for this assignment. The Works Cited page should include at least 6 cited sources. As a reminder, sources cited on your “Works Cited” page must also be cited within your essay as in-text citations. You may use all, some or none of the sources you originally read to prepare for all of the other assignments in this course; however you must include evidence from 6 read and reviewed scholarly sources for this assignment. *If the minimum source count (6) is not met, your assignment will be returned with no grade and a resubmission will be required.
OrganizationThe researched argument should include the following four components: Topic Introduction, Body, Conclusion, and Works Cited Page with at least 6 sources. Check out the table below for more information about the required content and conditions of each component:ComponentContentConditions
Topic IntroductionIn drafting the introduction, consider including the following elements:Start with an attention grabber or hook: an extremely poignant but simple-to-the-point story, an example, statistic, or historical context that introduces the essay’s topic. Then, give an overview of any issues involved with the subject. Define any key terminology needed to understand the topic. Quote or paraphrase sources revealing the controversial nature of the subject. Highlight background information on the topic needed to understand the direction of the paperYour main claim, and in brief, the reasons supporting the claim. (1-2 sentences)Top Tip: Aim for at least six to eight sentences here, to allow for full forecasting of the rest of the essay. The thesis / main claim should be underlined. Top Tip: The thesis is the main claim!
BodyClearly present the reasons in the order as listed with the main claim in paragraph 1.Provide warrants to connect each reason; then, explore the reason with evidence.You will want to bring up a counterargument and rebuttal with each noted reason.Top Tip: Make sure to use strong transitions to help readers move more easily with you, from one idea (and one paragraph) to the next.
ConclusionRestate your claim. Attempt to not copy verbatim from the introduction.Briefly summarize each “reason” found in the body of the paper.End with a strong clincher statement: an appropriate, meaningful final sentence that ties the whole point of the essay together (you may want to refer back to the attention grabber or hook noted in paragraph 1)Top Tip: You should plan to really grab the readers’ attention one last time here–to leave them with some final food for thought.
Works CitedPlan to include 6 sources here (and each source should also be cited directly in the essay, as in-text citations).Top Tip: As a reminder, sources cited on your “Works Cited” page should also be cited within your essay. You may use all, some or none of the sources you originally read to prepare for all of the other assignments in this course. Use sources that best help you to prove your thesis; this may mean choosing new, or some new, articles. Note: 6 sources minimum.
Document Format: MLA formatting: Heading (name, assignment name, course name, date), original title, header (page numbers), line-spacing (double-spaced), 1” margins, 12-point font size, and Times New Roman or other sans-serif font. Includes properly formatting in-text citations and the Works Cited page. (6 sources minimum.) The thesis should be underlined. Genre/Style: Formal, academic essay. Underline the thesis/main claim.





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