english week 3

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Choose one of the following sample argumentative essays from Elements of Argument:

  • Stephanie Fairyington, “The Gay Option” (pages 58-60)
  • James W. Ingram III, “Electoral College is Best Way to Choose US President” (pages 139-141)
  • Kiara Ventura, “Your Toxic Beauty Regime” (pages 182-185)
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee, “I’m Sorry, Steve Jobs: We Could Have Saved You” (pages 211-213)
  • Jeremy Markel, “Marketing to ‘Tweens’ Objectifies Women” (pages 222-224)

Using some of the strategies from the chapter, analyze the essay you chose in your own short essay that answers the following questions:

  • Who is the author, and why is this important?
  • When was the essay written, and why is this important?
  • What claim is the author making?
  • What kind of claim is the author making (fact, value, or policy)? How does the author support this claim?
  • What is the warrant that connects the claim and the support?
  • Overall, do you find the essay to be an effective argument?

Follow these instructions carefully:

Your paper should address the above questions in a unified and logically organized essay. You may answer the questions in any logical order. Whatever order you choose, your essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

The introductory paragraph should identify the author, essay, and general topic to be discussed. In addition, it should state the purpose of the essay, which is to analyze a specific reading.

The body paragraphs of your paper should answer the required questions. Focus on transitioning from paragraph to paragraph smoothly to create the sense that all of the questions you are answering are working towards the same purpose—to better understand an argumentative essay. For guidance with transitions between paragraphs, you may wish to view this topic on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL); there is a link under the online learning resources for Week 3.

You are expected to quote from the essay you choose to support your analysis.


Avoid self-referential (first person) pronouns such as I, me, my, our, we, etc. If you are going to argue that the essay is an effective argument, simply state “The essay is an effective argument” without using phrases such as “I think,” “I believe,” or “In my opinion.”

Review Chapters 1 & 2 in Elements of Argument for more information on concepts such as claim, support, and warrant.

Essay #1 should be at least 750 words (roughly three double-spaced pages) and should be in MLA Format including an MLA heading, MLA pagination, a title, and an MLA Works Cited page with corresponding in-text citations (as appropriate). Review the Purdue OWL for details regarding MLA Format.

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