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Argumentative Essay

AP Language
In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a
marathon, but a relay. Our families don't always cross the
finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation
passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. Julian Castro
I have spent my life judging the distance between American
reality and the American dream. Bruce Springsteen

For this assignment, you will write an


argumentative essay answering the question:

Is the American Dream still alive?


Essay Requirements
2-4 pages typed, double-spaced, TNR, 12 pt. font
Minimum of 3 sources USE CITATIONS!
MLA format

Works Cited Page


Follow the Outline

Avoid using pronouns or I believe, In my opinion this discredits the essay making it an opinion piece
You dont always have to agree with the position you take in your essay. Sometimes it is easier to argue the other side.

The Assignment: You are to research (at least 3 sources) and compose a 2-4 page argumentative essay on the
existence/attainability of the American Dream. Argumentative essays enlighten your readers to the rationale behind
your position on a debatable issue.

Outline
Introductory Paragraph
1. Define the issue and your purpose to your readers. Why are you writing about this? Why should your audience be
interested?
2. Getting the readers attention anecdote, startling statistic, interesting quote, significance of your concerns
3. The background/history of the issue (if significant)
4. Establish the appropriate tone for your subject and your audience
5. Determine your thesis statement state your claim. Your thesis statement should answer/address the question Is
the American Dream alive?

Body Paragraphs (2 minimum) to support your claim


1. Statement: reiterate what youre specifically arguing in each paragraph with a clear, concise opening statement.
2. Proof: incorporate sources/research (news articles, literary texts, etc.) to defend the argument you are making.
3. Explanation: justify how your proof supports the stance youve taken in the argument, illuminating why your
evidence is valid.
4. Synthesis: create 1-2 sentences at the end of your paragraph that fuse your statement, proof, and explanation
together in a creative way.

Body Paragraph(s) (1 minimum)

Addressing potential opposing arguments

You may either:


1. Concede the validity of an opposing argument by qualifying part or accepting all of it while explaining why your
position is stronger, or
2. Refute the opposing argument by stating why it is invalid or weak

Conclusion
1. Restate your claim/thesis
2. State the significance of your position. How does it affect the future?
3. Make a final emotional appeal (ethos, pathos, logos)

Rubric for Argumentative Essay

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement gives the


opinion/argument of the
author or lets the reader know
what the essay is going to be
about.

Score _____/25

Supporting Evidence

Supporting evidence is key in


any argumentative or opinion
paper/essay. Use examples or
proof from the text or outside
knowledge to make your
points clear and prove that
they are correct.
Students should make sure
that the paper is not mearly
quotes or paraphrase from the
novel or other sources, but
that his/her own words
dominate and evidece is used
to prove what he/she is saying.

Score _____/25

25-23

22-20

19--16

15

Thesis
statemen
t is
sophistic
ated and
clear. It
unequivo
cally and
succinctl
y
expresse
s the
authors
viewpoin
t.

Thesis
stateme
nt is
clear. It
unequivo
cally and
succinctl
y
expresse
s the
authors
viewpoin
t.
Sophistic
ation
may be
lacking.

Thesis
stateme
nt
expresse
s the
authors
viewpoin
t, but
may be
overly
verbose,
leaving
the
reader
confuse
d.

Thesis
statem
ent is
unclear
, or
may
use the
firstperson.

All ideas
are
solidly
supporte
d with
appropri
ate
evidence
from the
text. The
evidence
is
incorpora
ted
seamless
ly into
the
piece,
and is
thorough
ly
analyzed
.

All ideas
are
solidly
supporte
d using
appropri
ate
evidence
from the
text. The
evidence
is almost
always
incorpor
ated
seamless
ly into
the
piece,
and is
generally
well
analyzed
.

All ideas
are
solidly
supporte
d using
appropri
ate
evidence
from the
text. The
evidence
seems
tackedon to
the
piece,
and may
not be
thoroug
hly
analyzed
.

Some
ideas
are
solidly
support
ed
using
appropr
iate
evidenc
e from
the
text,
but
other
ideas
may
require
more
evidenc
e. The
evidenc
e
seems
tacked
-on
and is
not

analyze
d.

Clarity of Writing

Student communicates
effectively in his/her
writing. Thoughts are
clear, examples are
relevant, and ideas are
easy to understand.
Organization is
important for this type
of paper.

Writing
consisten
tly
connects
back to
thesis.
The
ideas are
arranged
logically
to
support
the
purpose
or
argumen
t. They
flow
smoothly
from one to
another and
are clearly
linked to
each other.
The reader
can easily
follow the
line of
reasoning.

Writing is
connected
back to
thesis
statement.
The ideas
are
arranged
logically to
support the
central
purpose or
argument.
They are
usually
clearly
linked to
each other.
For the
most part,
the reader
can follow
the line of
reasoning.

Writing
may not
be
connect
ed back
to thesis
stateme
nt
through
out the
piece. In
general,
the
writing
is
arrange
d
logically,
although
occasionall
y ideas fail
to make
sense
together.
The reader
is fairly
clear about
what
writer
intends.

All of the
requirem
ents
were
met. The
work is
neat,
entirely
free of
spelling
and
grammar
errors,
and is in
final
draft
format.

All of the
requirem
ents
were
met. The
work has
a few
spelling
and
grammar
errors,
but they
do not
interfere
with
meaning.
The work
is in final

Most of
the
requirem
ents
were
met. The
work
either
has
many
spelling
and
gramma
r errors,
or is not
neat and
in final
draft

Score _____/25

Requirements/Neatne
ss/Spelling/

Grammar/Final Draft
Format

Student communicates
effectively by making
sure that grammar and
spelling is correct. Also,
they have made sure
that the requirements
are met.

Score _____/25

Writing
is not
connect
ed to
the
thesis
statem
ent.
The
writing
is not
logicall
y
organiz
ed.
Frequen
tly,
ideas
fail to
make
sense
togethe
r. The
reader
cannot
identify
a line of
reasoni
ng and
loses

interest.
Some
of the
require
ments
were
met.
The
work
has
both
many
spelling
and
gramm
ar
errors,
and is
not in

draft
format.

format.

Total Score: ________ = ________

final
draft
format.