Saturday, June 16, 2012

Writing - How to Write an Argument Essay

Here is my prezi on how to write an argumentative essay for ESL learners.

Here's the breakdown of an argument:

Introduction: Hook (Attention Grabber), Background Information, Main Idea (Thesis with points(optional))

Body: Main Points Paragraphs (topic sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence in each one).

Counterargument/Refutation: One paragraph stating the opposing viewpoint, then reproving your main point.

Conclusion: Summarizing your points and finally stating why your position is the most reasonable. Can end with a quote, anecdote, story, suggestion, or prediction.

Hints for arguments -

  • Use strong modals for your arguments (should, must, have to, supposed to). 
  • Use weak modals for your opponent's arguments (may, might, could, etc.).
  • Don't make a point without evidence. Just because you think something is true doesn't make it so. 
  • Don't tear down another's argument without using logic and stating why they are logically incorrect.
  • Avoid Logical Fallacies.  
  • Don't get personal - "Anyone who believes that is stupid."
  • Avoid "I" unless you're giving a story, example, etc. in the introduction or conclusion. 
  • We already know what you think because of your modals. "People should" is just as good as "I think people should."  
  • Check your sources, make sure that they are reliable. Web sources that include a .org or .edu are usually more reliable than a .com.
  • Instead of using as a source check the footnotes at the bottom and find the sources of the wikipedia article. In this way, you get the info closer to the original source.

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