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Response Essay Type: General Argument. General Argument. “It is designed as a contemporary issues question, but it is really a values question.” What are your values? What do you think our society should value?

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general argument
General Argument
  • “It is designed as a contemporary issues question, but it is really a values question.”
    • What are your values?
    • What do you think our society should value?
    • What should a moral, thoughtful, reflective society consider its most important strengths?

The Riverside Reader

the basics
The Basics
  • Read the prompt carefully.
  • Identify the claim.
  • Create a sample list.
read the prompt carefully
Read the Prompt Carefully
  • A brief passage from fiction, poetry, nonfiction (2 lines-1/2 page
  • An opinion-based piece (features a spokesperson)
  • Determine whether you agree, disagree, or wish to qualify your opinion [ADQ]
  • How do blogs and radio talk shows encourage or discourage the democratic process?
  • How can the United States’ wealth be better used to foster development in emerging countries?
identify the claim
Identify the Claim
  • Understand the claim.
  • Perceive the larger social content and ask questions about it.
  • Make your argument using examples from your own experience.

“Through tatter’d clothes small vices do appear;

Robes and furr’d gowns hid all. Plate sin with gold,

And the strong lance of justice hurtles breaks.

Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.”

Wm. Shakespeare

planning process
Planning Process
  • Critically read the passage and underline anything that clearly defines the author’s claim.
  • Are you for it, against it, or ambivalent?
  • Make a list of examples.
creating a sample list
Creating a Sample List
  • Evidence for the argument – the familiar:
    • Books
    • Movies
    • Televisions
    • Current events
    • History lessons
    • Personal experiences
list examples
List Examples
  • Movies
    • “The Color of Money”
    • “Wall Street”
  • Books
    • The Jungle
    • The Great Gatsby
  • Current events
    • Tsunami in Japan
    • The end of the recession
general argument essay process
General Argument Essay Process
  • Identify and restate the fundamental claim.
  • Agree, disagree, or qualify.
  • Give examples to support your argument.
  • Close with a summarizing statement.