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argument essay

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ARGUMENT ESSAYS*

Essential elements of an argument essay:
1. Written on a controversial topic 5. Uses sound logic
2. Expresses a clear stance 6. Anticipates and refutes opponents views
3. Provides convincing support 7. Organizes information in emphatic order
4. Uses a reasonable tone 8. Appeals to the reader’s emotions, ethics, logic

Reasonable tone: reasonable tone uses qualifying words: usually, seldom, some, few, many, most, often, frequently, perhaps, seldom, it seems likely unreasonable tone uses absolute words: all, always, never, every, none, nobody

Words to use to introduce and refute opponent’s views: some may say, on the other hand, even though, although, however. Be careful to not ridicule your opponent’s views.

Uses three appeals: to emotion—appeal to your readers personal biases or prejudices; write passionately, but not emotionally

Imagine a seven-year-old immigrant, non English-speaking girl on her first day of school. She knows no one; she can speak to no one. She is surrounded by a crowd of strangers, all seeming to belong together, all talking in an unknown, incomprehensible language. In the classroom, everyone seems to know what to do, where to sit, when to take out workbooks. The classroom is filled with the confusing, jumbled sound of a language the girl doesn’t understand. All directions and all instruction are given in this language. How is this girl to understand even the basics of what’s going on, let alone the content of the lesson? And yet we are now saying “no” to bilingual education.

to ethics—appeal to your readers sense of what is right and what is wrong—their morality

It is society’s responsibility to educate all students in the best possible way. Many non-English speaking children will fall by the wayside in their education if they are not given instruction in their own language. These children may never catch up if we don’t provide them with a way to learn the language skills they need for them to be successful in school.

to logic—appeal to your readers intelligence and reason; use facts, examples, and cite authorities. Proof persuades

Research has shown that students become literate in a second language far quicker when they are literate in their primary language. The strategies that students use to read and write in their first language are utilized again when learning to read and write a second language (Zamel 201). One of the primary goals of bilingual education is to teach non-English speakers how to speak, read, and write in English.

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