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English 102 Sample Essay

Write a newspaper column, op-ed piece, or article for a specified newsletter arguing a topic of interest to your interest.

Essay 2:

Write an argumentative essay about some aspect of the "media" (television, radio, print media, electronic media, etc.) which you find interesting.

Essay 3:

Write an argumentative essay about a topic of your choice. Use at least three sources, citing them parenthetically in the text, and include a list of "Works Cited" following MLA format. Length should be a minimum of three full pages (typed, double-spaced). Maximum length should be six pages.

Essay 4:

Write an argumentative essay about a topic of your choice. Your main claim (i.e., thesis) can be any of the three types (fact, value, policy), but you should incorporate appeals to needs and values somewhere in your essay. Use at least three sources, two of which should be current magazine, journal, or newspaper articles; cite uses of your sources parenthetically in the text, and include a list of "Works Cited." Include all of this with every draft, including the first. Failure to cite your sources in your first draft will result in your not receiving credit for that draft on the day it is due.

The minimum length of your text (not including your Works Cited page) is four typed, double-spaced pages, with an upper maximum of about six pages. The first draft is due in class on Tuesday, March 26 for peer critique; the second draft, along with three peer critiques and a typed first draft, will be due in class on Thursday, March 21. I will not accept any essays lacking any of these things. Any late papers (including those returned to students for failing to turn in all required materials) will be penalized on your daily work grade.

Remember, each successive draft of an essay should constitute a substantive change (i.e., REVISION) over the previous draft. Revision includes more than simply changing a few words and/or grammar errors. If your second draft is substantially the same essay as the first draft, I will return it to you for further revision and you will be penalized on your daily work grade accordingly.

Essay 5:

Write an argumentative essay similar to Essays 4 and 5, but this time your topic should pertain to some aspect of the future. While it is not necessary that you speculate or try to predict the future, the essay should somehow look toward the future.

The minimum length of your text (not including your Works Cited page) is four typed, double-spaced pages, with an upper maximum of about six pages. The first draft is due in class on Thursday, April 11, for peer critique; the second draft, along with three peer critiques and a typed first draft, will be due in class on Tuesday, April 16. I will not accept any essays lacking any of these things. Any late papers (including those returned to students for failing to turn in all required materials) will be penalized on your daily work grade.

Remember, each successive draft of an essay should constitute a substantive change (i.e., REVISION) over the previous draft. Revision includes more than simply changing a few words and/or grammar errors. If your second draft is substantially the same essay as the first draft, I will return it to you for further revision and you will be penalized on your daily work grade accordingly.

The argumentative essay is a specific type of writing in which a student chooses a topic (often a controversial topic), researches it extensively, and then uses the evidence gathered in their research process to establish their opinion or position on the topic in an essay designed to persuade others to share that opinion. The argumentative essay is typically composed of:

1.  A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.  Your thesis should be specific, accurate, and arguable.  A thesis statement that is not debatable (or that cannot be seen from at least two different and opposing perspectives) would make for a pretty pointless arugmentative essay. 

2.  Information that places your topic within a social and factual context.  You should provide background information geared toward your specific audience so that they can clearly understand your arguments and the importance of the issue you're exploring.  

3.  Your arguments, organized into body paragraphs that include evidential support.  These are the resons you offer to support and explain the position you take in your thesis statement.  Be sure to include clear and logical transistions between these paragraphs.

4.  Your opponents' arguments, or counter arguments and your response to them.  These are the objections that your opponents would raise against your arguments, and have to be addressed in order for your paper to be truly persuasive.  Responding to your opponents arguments and pointing out why they are invalid is as important as presenting your own!

5.  A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

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