another world cup soccer team W r i t i n g
Our argumentative essay
Additional pointers on organizing your argumentative essay
- There should be no quotations in the introductory paragraph. Those too often congest the intro. Instead, save them for the body paragraphs. Your intro should provide the big picture, an overview with the background of the subject you’re arguing for/against.
- Body paragraphs must be organized per the usual pattern: transition phrase, topic sentence arguing a specific aspect of your thesis, major and minor supporting details such as one or two well-chosen quotations with citations, your analysis and commentary, and a conclusion sentence wrapping up the paragraph.
- We always follow this same pattern. Nothing fancy needed!
- Paragraphs should always be six to ten sentences long in this class.
- This must be an argumentative essay, meaning you are advocating for a specific side. This is not an expository or exploratory essay. Again, your thesis sentence and each topic sentence must argue for a particular side, not just explore the topic.
- Quotations should be brief (one sentence long), forceful, and well-chosen. Do not drop giant quotation chunks into your paragraphs. Also, we do not need to use block quotations when writing such short essays.
- To avoid congestion, no more than two quotations should appear in each body paragraph.
- A signal phrase must lead into each quotation. After the quotation, you must provide an APA citation: (author, year, page #). Ex:
- Psychology Today relays that intelligence is not specific to math or English, but is more general: “We find that G, or general intelligence, crosses all skills and competencies” (Lindenburger, 2012, p. 3).
- Note that the citation includes author, year, and page number. Always include this info whenever you use APA format.
- Note that the period always goes after the citation.
- Note that the title of the journal goes in italics.
- Names of articles, on the other hand, go in ” “s.
- Ellipses (. . .) go in the middle of a quotation when you remove unnecessary text. You do not need ellipses at the start or end of a quotation.
- Grammar and punctuation are always in vogue and should improve with each essay.
- Do contact Smarthinking tutor to review your first draft! It’s a terrific, free service that is almost guaranteed to help you improve your writing (and grade).
- Keep in mind that this is a research-based argumentative essay rather than a personal essay. Even if you feel passionately about a topic, aim for an objective tone.
- You are encouraged to acknowledge the merits of the “other side,” even if you then refute the other side’s points.
- This acknowledgement (think of it as “showing respect”) is known as concession and is a powerful persuasive tool showcasing your fairness and trustworthy ethos.
- Still, from the introduction onward, you must advocate and argue for one side over the other.
- You’ll of course include evidence (research, stats, data) to substantiate your claim.
Choose one topic below.You may also devise your own topic. Have at it!
- Argue for or against whatever interests you, per the argumentative mode instructions on the previous page.
- There are some clichéd, stale topics about which you may not write: abortion, marijuana, drinking age, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, and vaccines.
- Think of something specific and meaningful, whether serious or light-hearted, that you like to debate or about which you are conflicted.
- Don’t be afraid to tackle a controversial topic. Just handle the subject matter respectfully.
If you can’t think of anything original that you want to write about, then choose one from among the topics below.
- Amazon.com is good / bad for book culture.
- An employer should / should not be able to fire an employee for expressing beliefs and opinions, however abhorrent, in his or her private life.
- The Game of Thrones TV series is better / worse than the books (titled A Song of Ice and Fire, btw).
- Profanity does / does not deleteriously affect children.
- Social Security is / is not doomed.
- So-called “hate groups” should / should not have the right “peaceably to assemble” in public, per the First Amendment.
- American tourists abroad do / do not deserve their reputations as loud and uninformed.
- Cinemas are / are not going extinct.
- Marriage is / is not an obsolete institution.
- Confederate statues should be removed from public parks / should be left up as historical reminders.
- Couples should / should not live together as a compatibility test before getting married.
- The US should / should not preemptively strike North Korea.
- High schools should develop a vocational track for students uninterested in college / should prepare all students for college.
- Contemporary country music is quality / sounds manufactured.
- Tax rates should go up / down for the upper class.
- _____ is the best band or musician of this generation, and here’s why.
- _____ is the best novelist / poet of this generation, and here’s why.
- California community colleges should raise / lower tuition.
- White nationalists are / are not rebranded white supremacists.
- CSUs are better for community college transfers than are UCs, or vice versa. (It’s a competition between the two CA public uni systems, in other words.)
- Non-human mammals (e.g. dogs, pigs, chimps, cattle) do / do not have consciousness.
- The US should / should not merge with Canada and/or Mexico.
- Age gap does / does not matter in romantic relationships.
- Humans did / did not create God.
- The Democratic and Republican parties are fundamentally the same / different.
- California, with English as its official state language, should / should not add Spanish as a second official language.
- Parents should / should not be able to engineer their children genetically.
- Sexual orientation is a choice / is biologically determined. OR Sexual orientation is fixed / fluid.
- Polygyny and/or polyandry should / should not be legal.
- Adolescents should / should not be prescribed medication for hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders.
- The state should / should not intervene to reduce the number of liquor stores and fast food restaurants in impoverished areas.
- Senior citizens over a certain age should / should not be prohibited from driving in urban areas.
- Music education should / should not be funded at the level of athletics.
- Youths of a certain age should / should not be required to do a period of community service.
- High school should / should not increase from 12th grade to 14th grade, after which students would attend college for only two years to receive a bachelor’s degree.
- The homeless should be provided basic food and shelter / should endure the consequences of their life choices.
- Parents should / should not spank their children.
- Food stamp and welfare programs should / should not be reformed.
- It is / isn’t desirable for someone to know when he or she will die.
- Voting does / does not impact modern American society.
- Women should / should not be allowed in combat.
- The government should / should not intervene on behalf of a terminally ill child when the parents’ religion dictates that they use alternative healing methods.
- The 2028 LA Olympics will / won’t be worthwhile for SoCal.
- Hormone tests should / should not be used to separate athletes into male and female categories.
- Girls should / should not be allowed to play on boys’ sports teams.
- Affirmative action in university admissions should be based on economic class / on race.
- Transgendered persons should / should not be able to serve in the military.
- Affirmative action in university admissions does / does not unintentionally discriminate against Asian and Asian-American students.
- The depiction of Jesus as Nordic is / is not historically accurate.
- An actor should / should not be cast to portray a historical figure of a different race.
- Meritocracy in the US is / is not a myth.
- Most US politicians do / do not choose party over country.
- The US should keep / should abolish the Electoral College.
- The US would function better / worse as a parliamentary government than as a republic.
- Couples should / should not sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
- Clear affirmative consent should / should not be required of unmarried adults before they have sex.
- Colleges / police departments should conduct investigations into felonies purportedly committed by students.
- Americans who cheer for another World Cup soccer team against the US team are / are not unpatriotic.
- California should / should not secede from the union.
- It is wiser to attend the 10th-ranked university and graduate in the bottom 10% / to attend the 100th-ranked university and graduate in the top 10%.
- Asian students are justifiably / unfairly labeled “the model minority.”
- Adults should / should not be given a test of basic civic awareness before being allowed to vote.
- Prospective parents should / should not get a license before they procreate.
- “War crimes” is / is not an arbitrary label imposed by victors to punish further the vanquished.
- Machines have largely replaced factory workers; advanced computers will / will not soon replace college-educated, service-sector workers, too.
- People do / do not segregate themselves into neighborhoods based on their racial identification.
- Passive resistance does / does not bring about change more effectively than violence.
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