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Argumentative Essay Writing

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by

Amy Nelson

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Argumentative Essay Writing

Drafting an Essay
How to Write a Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement is the...
Introduction Paragraph
Hook Strategies
How to write a body paragraph
Body paragraphs should:
Most important sentence of your essay.
Assertion, statement, or claim you spend your entire essay proving and supporting
Glue that holds the parts of your essay together and creates unity
*Important that your thesis statement is strong, look at your prompt again and spend time writing it.
What's in a thesis?
When writing about a text, include:
Title of the text
Author's full name
main assertion or claim
If you are writing a 5 paragraph essay, mention your three main points in your thesis. It gives a sense of what those three body paragraphs will be about.
Examples
In Harper Lee's novel
To Kill a Mockingbird
, Atticus, Scout and Mrs. Dubose demonstrate courage in the face of adversity
In Maya Angelou's early autobiography,
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
, her identity is shaped by constant movement between homes, sexual abuse, and teenage pregnancy.
Length and Placement
Your thesis statement should be:
one sentence.
the last line of your introduction paragraph
approximately 25 words or less
be clear, concise and powerful.
Purpose: grab the reader's attention and pique their interest
Length: 3-4 sentences long
You only get one chance to make a first impression!
3 strategies

Personal Story (Anecdote)
Tell a story from your own life
1st person "I" and "me" is okay
Shows personal connection to the essay topic
Example: Experience in wilderness, book you read, family trip to Alaska
All we did was drive, and each time we stopped it was to visit another site. That morning in Washington D.C. was different. We stepped out of our hotel and walked four or five blocks. Suddenly, I was amazed by all that surrounded me, the Capitol building off to the distance, the White House on my left, a vast field of grass and two ponds reflecting a towering white monument. "What's that?" I asked my dad, and he responded, "that is the Washington Monument of George Washington." My mind started to wander, "A monument, a city named in his honor, this must be someone who made a difference," as I began to learn more about his courage, his leadership and his patriotism, I realized he has indeed accomplished much.
Ex: Essay on George Washington
3 Questions Strategy
Begin with 3 related questions about this topic.
Begin with a general question and follow with 2 more specific questions or visa versa.
You do not need to answer all of these questions right away.
Purpose is to pique your reader's interest.
*Start with a general question and follow up with more specific
Ex: Box Stores Destroy Family Owned Businesses
Is it true that bigger is always better? Could it be that society's insatiable desire for more is in many ways giving people less? Once people have accepted the premise that more choice is better, is it possible to reverse that trend or has society set a course from which there is no turning back?
* Starts broad and gets more specific
*Try to keep it 3rd person- avoid "you"
Quote Strategy
Begin with a quote related to the topic then follow the quote with 2-3 sentences of explanation and analysis
Quote must clearly relate to essay topic.
Analysis must tie quote to topic.
Place quote in quotations and put author in parenthesis.
Ex: Women in Politics
"There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard" (Hillary Rodham Clinton). A democracy is a system of government that places the power in the hands of the people. If individuals are not granted equal access and representation, then that government cannot claim to be a "true democracy." The lack of female voices in the United States government creates an imbalance of power based on gender. Despite the small percentage of women currently involved in high level governmental positions, pioneers like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Condoleezza Rice are leading the way towards gender equality in politics.
Unusual or Bizarre Fact
Begin with an unusual fact (Google it!) related to the topic, then follow the unusual fact with 2-3 sentences of explanation and analysis.
Fact must clearly relate to essay topic
Analysis must tie fact to topic
Place fact in quotations and cite source in parenthesis
Ex: Choosing a Career
"Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, could spend one million dollars per day, every day, seven days a week and would not run out of money until he was 311 years old!" (Purdy). Most would agree that he has reached a point of financial security. In fact, it would be almost impossible to figure out how to spend one million dollars per day. For most Americans finding an occupation that is satisfying, earning enough money to live comfortably, and figuring out a realistic blend between work and leisure are three essential factors in beginning one's career.
Be 8-11 sentences depending on number of quotes
Begin with a topic sentence
Have at least 2 quote explications with 3 sentences of interpretation, analysis, and synthesis each
End with a conclusion sentence
Must be written in 3rd person (no 1st or 2nd person)
Not mention points you cannot support with evidence.
Format
Topic Sentence- main point of paragraph
Context: give background, introduce quote
Quote (evidence)
Analysis/interpretation
Synthesis
Context #2
Quote (evidence)
Analysis #2
Synthesis #2
Conclusion sentence - wrap up and transition
MLA Citation
Citation= (Author's last name #).
Use quotation marks around any line taken from the text.
"Although she [Burres] was concerned about McCandless, she assumed he'd come through in one piece" (Krakauer 16).
Use brackets to show you added something to a quote (i.e. name for clarity).
MLA Citation Cont.
Use single quotes inside double quotes to show people are talking.
" 'He eventually took it to shut me up,' she laughs" (Krakauer 46).
Only include end punctuation inside of a quote if it is a question mark (?) or exclamation point (!)
Example
In the middle of the book, Krakauer offers an overview of McCandless’s life. It is learned that McCandless is the product of an extramarital affair, yet had a “normal” childhood including a sibling rivalry with his sister, Carine.
“At the age of two, he got up in the middle of the night, found his way outside without waking his parents, and entered a house down the street to plunder a neighbor’s candy drawer” (106).
*Now draft your own thesis using the thesis generator!
In this passage, Krakauer foreshadows McCandless’s fierce independence. Without the help of his parents, he, at the young age of two is all ready to blaze out on his own.
With such behavior exhibited at such a young age, it is no wonder that he would strike out on his own after college. He instinctively doesn’t have a strong connection to his “birth” family. He is self reliable and determined to fulfill his own needs: including a craving for candy in the middle of the night. Another aspect of this passage is McCandless’s overconfidence and lack of boundaries. He…
How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph
It should...
be 4-6 sentences long
contain no new information (quotes)
not introduce new questions (or rhetorical)
maintain an objective 3rd person perspective
Conclusion Paragraph
Restate you main point (in different words). Do not copy your thesis verbatim.
Hint: use a thesaurus
Tie it back to the hook
Answer the "so what?" Why should the reader care?
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