This essay is your major project this semester. It is called a Position Paper. Others might call it a Convincing or Persuasive Argument.
In your argument, to be written in third-person exclusively, you will try to convince a hesitating, doubtful but well-informed audience of your thesis. It will be your task to write an argument that combines the three different appeals:
- Build a case structure (=appeal to logos). You should have at least three (possibly more) reasons to support your thesis. Each reason needs to be supported with evidence. Remember the different types of evidence we have discussed. You will need to use research to find the best evidence (facts, statistics, studies, expert testimony, examples, etc.).
- In addition to this appeal to logos, make sure you have established your own credibility (=appeal to ethos) by coming across as knowledgeable about your subject, which includes anticipating and refuting (or occasionally conceding to) possible objections. Anticipate why your audience might disagree with you and try to convince them otherwise. Establish a proper tone.
- Finally, include appeals to pathos if possible, maybe in the intro and the conclusion. If possible, appeal to common ground or use sensory details.
Begin with a brief creative hook that raises the reader’s interest. In other words, don’t start with the thesis. You might want to establish common ground with your audience or give brief background information that explains the origin or background of your chosen subject, its relevance, popularity, etc. Maybe refer to a current event that relates to it or a recent discussion the news. Then lead up to your thesis, which should be at the end of the Intro.
Try to refute a few opposing thoughts first. Include evidence to support your refutation. I recommend at least one or two developed paragraphs. Make concessions as appropriate.
Then, discuss the reasons for your argument in a coherent essay, with nice transitions between its different parts. In general, develop each reason in a separate paragraph; it is possible, though, to spend more than one paragraph on a really important reason.
Sum up your argument by restating or paraphrasing your thesis and main reason. Try to finish with a last appeal to leave a lasting impression for your audience. Consider appealing to common ground again.
Annotated Bibliography: See separate page for guidelines. A Works Cited is not necessary.
Length: Your final essay (not including Ann. Bib.) must be between 1200 and 1500 words (no more, no less) in font size 12 or 13.
Sources: You must use a minimum of five different sources, at least one of which must come from a TCC database. However, your essay must not contain more than three quotations. Paraphrasing is preferable to excessive quoting. Block quotations are not allowed. All use of sources must be properly documented.
General Topic: See topic List
The thesis should follow this formula:
Concession, claim + support.
The flu shot may be useful for people with a weak immune system (=concession); however, the majority of healthy adults should not get the flu shot (=claim) because of its ineffectiveness (one reason), the poisonous ingredients it contains (=second reason), and its potential long-term side effects (major reason).
ENC 1102 ESSAY EVALUATION—Persuasive Argument Essay
- The student has arrived at a specific and innovative/creative perspective in response to the assignment.
- The introduction begins with an attention-getter and ends in a specific, debatable thesis.
- The focus of the writing is clear and maintained throughout the essay.
- Development of Student’s Ideas and Engagement with Texts:
- The ideas are developed with specific information, including use of outside sources as required (minimum of five secondary sources, including TCC database).
- The evidence used to support the thesis is credible, convincing, and strategically arranged.
- The student is able to maintain a credible persona through appropriate use of tone as well as awareness of the complexity of the issue. The student successfully refutes/weakens the other side, while occasionally making concessions.
- Paragraphs are developed and show progression from a general idea to specific details.
- Each part of the essay flows logically from the preceding point.
- Coherence between and within paragraphs is distinctive and further supports the writer’s goal to provide clear understanding and engaged reading throughout the essay.
- Presentation and Style:
- Presentation of the essay, including MLA format and documentation of sources, is appropriate to the writing context. The Annotated Bibliography page follows MLA requirements and the guidelines discussed in class. Quotations in the essay are limited (three maximum) and properly introduced and integrated.
- The essay demonstrates excellent control of diction and sentence style, as well as appropriate point of view and tone (no first or second person), further contributing to the reader’s ability to understand and remain engaged in the essay.
5. Grammar, Spelling, and Mechanics:
- Minimal errors in spelling, grammar, or mechanics appear so that the reader is never distracted by errors.
- The writing meets the standards of college-level English (no errors with subject-verb agreement, comma splices, run-ons, fragments).
For your third essay, you will include an Annotated Bibliography instead of a Works Cited. In order to write a successful Position Argument, it is crucial to be fully informed about the issue. To accomplish this goal, you will be doing your research first and demonstrate knowledge about the issue by writing an Annotated Bibliography. This Ann. Bib. will take the place of a Works Cited.
The Annotated Bibliography should follow all the rules for listing sources that are outlined in the MLA Guide. In that sense, it resembles a Works Cited. In addition to that, though, an Annotated Bibliography does the following:
- It summarizes in 3-4 sentences the content of each source (its main stance and supporting ideas).
- It explains in one or two sentences why you chose this source and how it is used in the essay (does it provide an example, statistics, a rebuttal, etc.?)
- Your Annotated Bibliography should list a minimum of five different secondary sources.
- At least one source must be from TCC’s library databases: CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, Facts on File, SIRS, NewsBank, Academic Search Complete, OmniFile, JSTOR.
- You may not include unreliable and unverified sources such as Wikipedia, private websites, or blogs. Reliable websites, of course, are a good choice (government websites, university websites, organizations, etc.)
- In addition to databases and websites, you can also consider printed sources (books, magazines) or audio-visual sources (songs, radio, news shows, documentaries, etc.)
- The annotations should be written in third person and not contain quotations from the source.
After you have finished the Annotated Bibliography, you should be in good shape to work on your outline and first draft.