Lesson 6: Writing an Argument
Today is the day! You will spend today writing your argument.
Gather your notes, your outline, and any other prewriting materials you have and get ready.
Write an argument with an introduction that includes a strong thesis statement. Write an argument with a body that includes examples, evidence, and quotations as needed to support the thesis. Write an argument with a body that includes recognition of opposing views and concedes a point. Write an argument with a conclusion that restates the thesis or makes a call to action. Use an appropriate pattern of organization and transitions.
Keywords and Pronunciation
anecdote : a usually brief story
call to action : a passage urging readers to take a specific action in support of the views of the author
coherence : the sensible presentation of smoothly connected ideas in a paragraph or essay
conceding a point : acknowledging that an opposing point is reasonable
conclusion ( sound file ) : the final paragraph of an essay
connotation : a shade of meaning in a word or phrase that makes it different from other words or phrases with similar meanings
emotional appeal : an argument that tries to persuade by affecting people’s feelings
evidence : a specific detail, such as a fact or expert opinion, that supports a reason
example : a specific instance of something, used to illustrate an idea
extended quotation : use of quotations or partial quotations that are blended in with the writer's own words in a paragraph
fact ( sound file ) : a statement that can be proven true
introduction : the first paragraph of an essay, identifying the topic and stating the main idea
logical fallacy : false logic caused by an error in reasoning
paragraph outline : a list of paragraph topics in an essay
pattern of organization : the order in which details are arranged
quotation : a report of the exact words uttered or written by a person; usually placed within quotation marks
style : the words the writer chooses and the way the writer arranges the words into sentences
thesis statement : the sentence that states the main idea of an essay
tone : the writer´s attitude toward the topic or subject
transition : a word or phrase that connects ideas
unity : a trait of writing achieved when all sentences in a paragraph or all paragraphs in an essay support the main idea
voice : the way a piece of writing sounds
Activity 1. Write Your Argument (Offline)
As you begin writing a draft of your argument, keep your paragraph outline and your thesis statement at hand. Refer to them periodically as you write to make sure you stay on track, following your chosen pattern of organization. Many writers like to check off points on their outline as they finish writing about those points in their drafts.
Make sure to include detailed evidence to prove your point. Specific examples, facts, statistics, anecdotes, and quotations from experts are among the types of evidence that you may have recorded in your notes. Your draft does not have to include every piece of evidence you found in your research, however. Use your evidence selectively. Include evidence that is truly relevant and interesting. Ask yourself, "Is this an important piece of evidence?" and "Will this piece of evidence help persuade my readers?" If the answer is "No" to both questions, then leave out that particular piece of evidence.
Quotations from experts can make a memorable impression. The feeling that a knowledgeable, sincere person is speaking helps persuade readers. Make a special effort to include at least one extended quotation in your essay, as Joshua did. In the excerpt below, notice the underlined quotations in his argument. Joshua wove the words of Tomlinson into some of his own sentences so that the entire paragraph flows smoothly.
According to Tomlinson, "The late afternoon is the time that people will notice the...
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