Argumentative writing is one of the most crucial writing for students to grasp, as it provides them with the tools to be able to convey their point of view clearly to an audience.
Argumentative writing also provides an opportunity for students to understand different point of views when reading news articles, opinions and essays. By understanding the structure and logic of argumentative writing, students would soon be able to make a distinction between bias, subjectivity versus objectivity, and all the different logical fallacies that are often used in argumentative writing.
The cornerstone of each argumentative paragraph is a topic sentence. Topic sentence declares to the reader what your topic is. The key to a great topic sentence is to make it clear, concise, and contextual.
For example: Topic: Social Media
Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are powerful tools to raise awareness about social and political issues through digital protests using hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter & #ICantBreathe.
Analyze: It’s not enough to just plop a quote or a statistic to the reader, you need to convince the reader why this piece of evidence supports your main argument. Consider the following: Why is this important? What do you hope to prove to the reader? How does this piece of evidence strengthen your argument?
More explanation: Here is where you provide anymore explanation, logic, research to support your point of view. Did you miss anything? What else can you say that can help the reader understand, more importantly, be convinced of what you’re trying to say?
Counterargument: Many writers are afraid to produce a counter claim to their argument in fear of having their arguments falter right in front of the reader’s eyes. This might be true depending on how you produce the counterclaim. Providing a counterargument shows several things to the reader: That for one thing, you did your due diligence when it comes to research, and you’re aware of the literature on the topic. It also shows the reader that you’re not afraid to debate this issue, because you’ll have facts to support your claims.
The key to providing a strong counterclaim is if you can disprove it by more evidence that further supports your point of view.
For example: There are many sources that suggest digital protests have no real life impact and cannot change people’s mind about racism/prejudice etc. However, here are a few policies that have been changed as a result of these protests: xyz etc etc.
Concluding Sentence: the concluding sentence can be a summary, but to make it more interesting and engaging to the reader, provide your opinion of why you think this issue is important. In other words, answer the big “So What?” question, why should people care about what you’re saying? This doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, but it does need to be specific to be able to connect the readers to your topic.
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Write a paragraph that makes an argument about one of the issues that we have discussed in the class so far. Your paragraph can use evidence from the articles we read to support your idea, and can also use evidence from your personal experience. Feel free to adopt any point of view for this assignment.
- Gender and gaming industry
- Domestic Violence
- Social media to raise awareness about issues (digital protest using hashtags)
- Gender roles: domestic and public (home and workplace)
Your paragraph should include: topic sentence, supporting ideas, evidence, analysis of evidence and a conclusion sentence.