Writing an Argumentative Essay Joanne Gittens, Ph.D. Science Education Lecturer Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre CSC300 October 5, 2007
Writing Goals for an Argumentative Essay • Grab your readers attention • State a clear thesis • Identify your reasons for asserting your thesis • Provide strong evidence for your main points • Address your oppositions argument • Convince the reader that your position is valid • Make it easy for your reader to read • Cite your sources using APA • Prevent plagiarism
The introduction Grab your readers attention General Topic Narrow Topic Controlling Idea Thesis
Ex. General Topic: Social Networking Websites Narrowed Topic: Facebook Controlling Idea: Security on Facebook Thesis: We must put an end to Facebook because it compromises personal, emotional, and financial security.
State a Clear Thesis • State your opinion to a controversial issue • Use words such as must, ought, or should • Include the main points you will discuss • Use a consistent style to present your main points DON’T “Announce” your subject Ex. In this essay, I will discuss ….. I am going to prove ….. By the end of this essay you will agree …..
Identify your reasons for asserting your thesis • Each reason becomes a main point for a paragraph • Research the literature and brainstorm to gather information to support your main points • Order your main points and organize your supporting material.
Provide strong evidence for your main points • Scholarly journals • Authorities or experts in the field • Well chosen examples DON’T Appeal to fear or make sweeping generalizations
Address your oppositions argument • Point out the counter argument and answer the objections in advance • Expose flaws in your opposition’s reasoning of their own evidence. • Present the counter argument tactfully and fairly and then present your argument.
Make it easy for your reader to read • Communicate your message as concisely as possible. • Contents of a paragraph must relate to a single main idea and support the thesis. • Provide logical transitions between sentences within a paragraph. • The last sentence of the paragraph brings the discussion to a close and provides a logical transition to the next paragraph. • The concluding paragraph summarizes or reinforces the main points of the thesis and ends with an appropriate memorable statement or a prediction.
Quiz • If I summarize an article and write the information in my own words, I don’t need to cite the information. (True/False) • It’s ok to copy and paste text from another source as long as I cite where I got it from. (True/False) • If I thought something before I read it in another source, I don’t need to reference the thought. (True/False) • I must insert a citation after every controversial point I make that is not my own. (True/False) • Copying an author’s method of presenting facts is not plagiarism. (True/False) • Every word I write is presumed to be my own unless I indicate otherwise. (True/False) • The reference list should include all the articles, books, etc., that I have read. (True/False) • I don’t need to reference tables, figures, pictures, audio, or videos taken from another source. (True/False) • I must ensure that the information I presented came from the source I chose to cite. • If I append a reference list, I still need to cite sources throughout my essay. True/False
Cite your sources using APA(Author, Date) • Whenever you incorporate any type of information that is not your own. • Cite the Author and Date of your sources in-text, and append a complete list of your cited sources to your document. http://www.apastyle.org/faqs.html#8
Prevent plagiarism • Split-page note-taking • Key points relevant to your topic • Questions or comments to those points • Make a complete record of the citation • File your notes for easy retrieval
Academic Skills Centre October Workshops Essay Writing Workshops Held Every Monday Afternoon Check the Academics Skills Centre Calendar for Details!