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Writing Paper #4 (Argument)
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  1. Writing Paper #4 (Argument) Choose a position to support or oppose. (Invention) Find reasons & evidence to support AND to oppose the position (because you’ll need both). (Arrangement) Select the best material and put it in order. (Style) Express each idea clearly and effectively. Revise for “big-picture” issues (order, depth, clarity – might involve adding, deleting, or moving whole sentences or paragraphs). Edit for conventions and sentence-level issues (MLA format for in-text citations and “Works Cited” list, spelling, punctuation, and grammar). Turn in paper on time as a Word document.

  2. Choose a position to support or oppose. • ONE of these sentences should appear somewhere in your paper: • Large public high schools should provide day care for the children of students. • Large public high schools should not provide day care for the children of students. • To be eligible to participate in college sports, athletes should meet the same standards required to keep other students "in good academic standing" with the college. • To be eligible to participate in college sports, athletes should not have to meet the same standards required to keep other students "in good academic standing" with the college. • The legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 in the US. • The legal drinking age should not be lowered to 18 in the US. • The US should eliminate the Electoral College, and should instead elect the President based solely on the popular vote. • The US should not eliminate the Electoral College. • The fourth-class system at The Citadel should be shortened to a single semester. • The fourth-class system at The Citadel should not be shortened to a single semester.

  3. Find reasons & evidence to support & oppose the position. • Reasons (“to save money,” “to save lives,” “to be fair,” etc) • Statistics (“According to DOT, traffic fatalities went up X% the year after the drinking age was lowered to 18.” “According to [Source Y], daycare centers cost about $X/year to operate.”) • Quotes from experts (“MGEN Joe Cool, in an article published in X, says that troops “need the chance to unwind” after battle, and that alcohol is their major form of relaxation.” (“Senator Jane Cool argued in 2008 that the electoral college was ‘outdated’ and ‘of litte value today.’”) • Documented or personal stories (“When Jane Doe, a girl at my high school, got pregnant, she dropped out of school.” “My friends at college regularly drink in excess, mostly because they have so few opportunities to drink. If it were legal, they would be more responsible.”)

  4. Select the best material and put it in order. Introduction Reasons against Reason 1 for Reason 2 for Reason n for Conclusion Identify the issue THESIS

  5. Express each idea clearly and effectively. Are stories clear? Do quotes have signal phrases? Is each piece of evidence clearly connected to a claim? Do I have a variety of kinds of sentences? Do I have action verbs rather than “is,” “am,” and “have”?

  6. Edit for conventions and sentence-level issues (MLA format for in-text citations and “Works Cited” list, spelling, punctuation, and grammar). (See “sample MLA paper” on web site.)