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Argumentative Essay

TOPIC: college completion rate: Black or African American student college graduation remains low.
Please note this is an argumentative essay, with a clear argument, counter argument, refutation and a conclusion

Write a 5-6 page essay that helps readers see how complicated an issue truly is, present a claim about your position (this must be arguable – something that readers might initially dismiss or disagree with), and carefully build an argument that supports your claim and, of course, appeals to your readers as a credible messenger with a logical position (ethos and logos). You may consider pathos – but this should be in service to the larger argument.

Your Rhetorical Situation:
Purpose: to convince readers that your topic matters and that it deserves careful consideration; to convince readers to reevaluate their assumptions
Audience: future researchers, teachers, peers
Genre: an “academic” argument

To be successful, an academic essay carefully walks readers through the complexities of an issue or topic. All key ideas are defined. Facts are meticulously presented. Background and context are established. Support for all claims is clear and credible.

NOTE: Every topic requires different amounts or degrees of these elements, but once presented, the author goes on to support their claim and address readers’ likely skepticism. Since your essay will have multiple parts, you may want to think of writing it that way – in sections.

To format, you can use section headers or you may write in regular paragraphs. But it is important that you have strong, focused paragraphs that clearly serve the thesis in some way.

I recommend that you use topic sentences to help you focus those paragraphs and to help readers follow you.

Remember—it’s your job to guide your reader through your argument. HERE’s a good lesson on transitions with a great list of transitions.

A Passing Essay Will Include/Meet These Requirements:
● a unique and interesting title
● an introduction section that informs and engages readers
● a clearly stated thesis that indicates your position (claim/argument)
● distinct paragraphs that support your thesis by developing relevant main points with evidence
● 7+ sources that support your claim and build your argument
○ Synthesis of research – your argument grows out of all your sources
○ All sources must be credible—be careful if you cite content from websites
○ You may reuse sources from Unit 2
● a formal, balanced tone
● appropriate transitional words and phrases linking the ideas expressed in your sentences and paragraphs
● a suitable conclusion
● properly-formatted, parenthetical citations and/or signal phrases with source material
○ a blend of paraphrases and quotes
○ clear link between source material and Works Cited page
● MLA: properly-formatted essay and Works Cited page
● 5+ pages

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