English 1101 MWF

Peer Response Date: TBA

Rough Draft Due Date: TBA

Final Draft Due Date: TBA

Total points: ______

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Major Assignment III – Argumentative Essay

Purpose: For this assignment, you will use your skills on rhetoric and the appeals to make your own claim and use reliable sources to support this claim. You will be focused on keeping your readers/audience’s attention in order to get them to consider what you’re saying. Therefore, remember how the rhetorical appeals worked for your last assignment and incorporate those in this essay. With this assignment, however, you will need to do thorough research in order to support the claim or claims that you are making. (Please note: Credible sources help build your argument, while also finding ways to connect and educate yourself on topics and discussions you are unfamiliar with or may not like too much.) Engage with the material presented to you and remember to find your natural narrative voice that best fits this assignment. 

Outcomes: You will have knowledge of what makes a source credible and reliable. You will learn how to argue with facts and sources, not to convince the other side, but to build education and foundation on a topic, while also getting the other side to consider your point. You will know how to better incorporate your evidence/sources to better connect with your audience/reader. 


Task: Much like our literacy narrative and rhetorical analysis, you will be arguing about something that relates to pop culture. (There will be an alternative to this posted below). However, for this argumentative essay you will research a meme, a podcast, TV show, movie, etc. and argue a claim about that specific medium. For instance, if I wanted to argue that Finding Nemo was about a father coping with the loss of his family, I will state that claim and use elements and scenes from the movie, as well as other sources that discuss fish habitats and life, in order to support my claim. (Please note: If your claim is being disproved as you research, you will need to rethink your claim). Ultimately, you will be arguing a claim that strikes you about the overall composition (what message does it leave you with?) and using examples and references from the movie and other sources to back your claim. 

Alternative Task: For the alternative, you will place two things on opposing sides. However, there’s a twist. Over the course of this semester, we have discussed things we liked and didn’t like. What you will be doing in this 3 -4 page essay is making a claim for the side you disagree with. The purpose of doing this is to learn more about something you may not be fond of. You will be doing something in your career field. For example, if I chose to write about food, I would then research the food from why it’s important to eat, the versatility (if any) and so on. In other words, the way you would convince your friend to try something you like that they don’t like or are unsure about is the same approach you will be using for this portion of the assignment. 

In the essay, make sure you: 

  1. Introduce your claim: What argument/claim are you making? What do you plan to discuss? What are your readers looking for/what will they be presented with in your essay?
  2. Discuss the history of the topic, if any history. In this section, you will talk about the background of the topic. Why is it important? Why is it relevant? Why do you feel the way you feel? Remember you want to keep your audience engaged enough to listen and contemplate what you’re arguing. 
  3. In your body paragraphs, you want to keep your audience/reader in mind. To do so, incorporate your sources in a way that feels natural to you and your reader. We want to know what you think and what you’ve learned. We want to see the connections you made with your sources and the topic you are arguing. 
  4. Make sure you conclude by highlighting the important take always from your essay. What do you want your reader to think about once they finish reading your essay? 

Criteria: To be successful with this assignment, you must have: 

  • A strong, clear introduction. You want to grab your reader’s attention from start to finish.
  • 3-5 sources that are relevant to your topic. For instance, if you’re talking about not liking country music, a source on dogs barking at squirrels won’t be the best source to use. 
  • Clear connection with the audience. You want to sound like yourself in this essay. Much like with your rhetorical analysis, you want to connect with your audience the way you would want when someone is trying to persuade you to consider what they’re saying.  
  • Clear claim with credible evidence backing up each point.  
  • A strong conclusion that leaves readers thinking about the points and connections you made.
  • Proper spelling,  grammar, and punctuation

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