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ENC 1101- Prof. Marilyn Daniels: Argumentative Essay

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Argumentative Research Paper

Purpose: Prove a viewpoint. The argument essay is a way to express an opinion using calculated evidence, clear details, and thorough research using books and articles.

The key to an argument is anticipating the opposing view and providing support that will refute their counter-arguments and strengthen your thesis. 

Topics to Choose From

  • Should high school students be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day?
  • Should college students be required to do community service?
  • Should public school teachers be required to pass periodic competency tests?
  • Should the legal drinking age be raised (or lowered)?
  • Should the children of undocumented immigrants qualify for in-state tuition rates at public colleges?
  • Should sugary drinks be banned in all public schools and government workplaces?
  • Do Facebook and other social networking sites do more than good?


Consider probing questions: What are the problems that are faced? How are the problems overcome? What are the motives of the sides involved? What is the purpose of the action being argued? What are the effects and who are the affected? Who is responsible? What groups or individuals are affected? Who benefits?

  • Remember to verify your sources, make certain they can pass the CRAAP test -  can you identify the Currency, Relevancy, Accuracy, Authority and Purpose of your resource? If not, consider finding a more reliable/authoritative source.


Make a claim, one that is disputed, in doubt or controversial. Do not state a fact. Provide evidence to support your claim using credible (library) resources. Synthesize your ideas, going beyond summary and fact, creating a new idea or argument for the topic you chose.