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ENC 1101 - Prof. Forbes

ENC 1101: Argumentative Essay Assignment

Is an academic argument a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish? Is it an emotional rant? No! Rather academic argument is more like a debate. It is sensible and rational. Therein, authors advance their topics with a point and support.

Text authors Kirszner and Mandell define argumentation as, “a process of reasoning that asserts the soundness of a debatable position, belief, or conclusion” (523). Thus, the writer must know where he or she stands and provide sufficient, supporting evidence in order to win the opposition. Author of "Writing Situations," Sidney Dobrin, indicates that when one argues in writing, on “take[s] a position and justifies] it” (291). Some form of argument is all around us, Dobrin states. We make a case for (explain and justify) what we buy or wear, programs we watch, who we will vote for in upcoming elections, and the like.

Your task is to read and understand chapter 14, Argumentation. Annotate carefully. Then select from one (1) of the following topics for your argumentative essay:

  1. The conflict between (name two countries here)
  2. Mandatory testing of prison inmates for HIV
  3. Acquaintance rape
  4. The increasing cost of college and its effect on realizing the American dream
  5. A college ban on fraternities and sororities
  6. Should schools offer cash bonuses for good test scores?
  7. How important is arts education?
  8. Does Facebook ever make you feel bad about yourself?
  9. Ghosting (when you break up with someone, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a complete disappearing act rather than a proper goodbye. As The New York Times reports, “[I]t’s a verb that refers to ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out. The term has already entered the polling lexicon: In October 2014, a YouGov/Huffington Post poll of 1,000 adults showed that 11 percent of Americans had ‘ghosted’ someone.” Do any of you fall within that 11 percent?)

Additional topics can be found at: http://www.midway.edu/library/topics. Note: Any topic not listed above MUST be cleared with your instructor before you proceed.

Guidelines: The essay should be five (5) to nine (9) paragraphs in length, contain a developed thesis, proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure. You will select a topic and argue your point for OR against, and provide explanations of support. You must have at least three aspects of explanation, so think carefully about your chosen topic. Where do you stand? Why do you believe of disbelieve? What is the evidence? What does research say? You must provide an outline in class prior to the due date for review. Note that this is a research paper. You must use MLA format. Submit your essay via D2L to the ASSIGNMENTS folder by the stated due date.

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