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Argument Without a Research Component

This assignment asks you to create an argument of your own, without research. Your argument
must be related to our city theme, but from this starting point your thinking can go in infinite
directions. Choose a topic you feel you can write about without help from sources. Your task
will be to change the thinking of your audience or, better yet, to move them to action.

Argument demonstrates the credibility of a position; persuasion moves readers to accept or act
on that position through the use of logos (logic), pathos (emotion), and/or ethos (character). In
an argumentative paper, particularly one that relies entirely on your own ideas, your ability to
persuade is especially important. Use appropriate rhetorical devices to craft your argument.

Grab the reader’s attention in your introduction, inspiring him or her to read further. You
might, for example, identify a problem and propose or hint at a solution; you might
acknowledge the opposition’s perspective or discuss the topic generally before narrowing down
to your thesis statement, the idea you will support in the following paragraphs of your essay.

The body of your essay will provide support for your thesis claim, developing the reasons
behind your argument. These reasons will likely be the topic sentences of your paragraphs.

Use the conclusion to reinforce your main points, to make the topic important, and to leave
readers something worthwhile to remember. Be creative.

Remember that an essay is a group of paragraphs organized by a single, controlling idea, the
thesis. Each paragraph should develop that claim beginning with a strong topic sentence that is
further detailed using the rhetorical modes. Thoughts must progress logically and be linked by
transitions when necessary. Clarify your meaning; don’t leave out important reasons or
information that make the reader guess why one sentence or idea follows another.

Your essay will include Stephen Toulmin’s six parts of all good arguments: the claim (thesis), the
underlying claim (layers of foundational claims: what is right?), the grounds (supporting evidence) , the
backing (reasons, your own thinking and explanation), the qualifier (words like often, probably, possibly,
most always; modals like may, might, can could), and the rebuttal (anticipate counterarguments and
rebut them, one by one). As you write, consult WfR, “The Elements of Argument,” pgs. 180-89.

Avoid accidental repetition of words and phrases. Vary your sentence structures, edit and
correct incorrect subject/verb agreement, inconsistent point-of-view and verb tense, sentence
fragments or run-ons, and punctuation errors.

This essay should be a minimum of 1.1/2 typed, single-spaced pages 800 to 1000. Follow MLA
format. There will be no Works Cited page because you are not citing sources.