Classical Argument Essay

In this essay you will choose a community you want to talk about. MINIMUMM 6 pages full and must follow the grading rubric and directions for the things required
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ENGL 101
In this writing assignment, you will argue about an issue that affects a community you belong to. Your thoughts
about this issue must be comprehensive. In other words, your thoughts must understand all the varying perspectives
and opinions that may surround your point of view. You should have a personal connection to your topic and an
interest in doing research in order to find out more about it. You will also support your point of view and reasons
with evidence to be convincing to your audience. This should be a closed-form research paper that is a minimum of
5 pages.
In this class so far, you’ve practiced detailed description, informative writing, and conducting research. You’ve
addressed various audiences, kept in mind your particular purpose as a writer, and applied appropriate rhetorical strategies
in your assignments. You’ve considered how to appeal to your reader’s interests while remaining credible, trustworthy,
and fair. The essay you will now tackle draws upon and further develops all these skills.
It is important to make your ideas clear and fully developed. This means that your opinions will not only be
supported by your values and beliefs, but also by factual evidence. Writing a position paper, therefore, is intellectually
challenging. It requires you to look critically at your own thinking and to understand others’ points of view. You must be
able to separate opinion from fact, to reason logically, to marshal supporting evidence, and to recognize the values and
beliefs underlying your own and others’ opinions.
The strongest arguments appeal to your readers in several ways. They appeal to logos by making sound, wellreasoned, well supported arguments. They appeal to pathos by making the reader share the writer’s concern about the
issue. They appeal to ethos by establishing the writer as fair, reasonable, and knowledgeable.
Off-Limits Topics: You will be required to write on an issue of a community or demographic which you are a
part of. Within these topics, please avoid issues that are too “morally hot.” That is, avoid issues that are based
primarily on the moral standards of people. Off-limits issues include topics like abortion, religion, euthanasia,
and the death penalty, due to the fact that they are often too personal or polemically charged. The purpose of
your paper could be to:
1. Motivate a change in the attitude of an audience that holds a different view.
2. Persuade an uninformed audience to adopt your view (requires more background info.)
3. Persuade an agreeing and informed audience to act (why is it urgent enough to act?)
Research: This is a research-based paper. You should provide no less than 3 sources in your References page.
Sources should be current, authoritative, and credible. At least 2 of these sources must be from non-website sources
(journal articles and library computer sources from databases are acceptable). Wikipedia and other online encyclopedic
sources are not acceptable sources of information for this assignment. If you have any questions about the reliability of a
website, contact me. You will cite your sources parenthetically throughout the body of your essay and include a
References page, formatted to APA style guidelines (please see your Everyday Writer).
In evaluating the effectiveness of a persuasive essay, I will be looking for the following:
1. Background information on the conversation you are joining.
2. A precise, clear thesis statement logically supported by evidence
3. Counterarguments and warrants (unstated assumptions) that are addressed
4. A clear and arguable claim that is the result of the writer’s own critical thinking.
5. Timely, relevant, impartial, and sufficient sources
6. Clear and logical organization
7. Appropriate style, word choice and tone for the target audience, including no major punctuation or grammatical
errors.
8. Proper documentation of sources in APA format, including a References page
9. Topic is current, controversial, and interesting to a specific audience
ENGL 101
GALEANO
SCORING GUIDE FOR CLASSICAL ARGUMENT ESSAY
Thesis/Topic selection
VERY EFFECTIVE
— Topic is timely, of interest, and has
clear stakeholders.
–Thesis invites more than one reasonable
answer (arguable)
— Thesis is clear, significant and focused
— Easily identified: written as claim with
reason.
— Scope is appropriate to length of
assignment
15……..14…….13
Development
VERY EFFECTIVE
— Ideas are clearly and fully developed
— Ideas are convincing and relevant
— Reasons are supported by appropriate
evidence and examples
–If necessary, you have successfully
supported the unstated assumption of
your argument
15…14…….13
Sources
VERY EFFECTIVE
— Sources have recency, relevance, and
sufficiency
— Sources are varied and authoritative
— All sources are revealed
–Three or more sources
15….14……13
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Thesis could have been narrowed
down further
— Thesis could be more clear or
concise
–Topic selection could be more
timely and/or have clearer stakeholders.
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— Thesis seems absent, is unarguable, or
based on personal taste
— Scope of thesis is too broad
— Thesis is too confusing
— Thesis is a claim with missing reason
— Thesis appears only in conclusion
–Topic inappropriate for a universitylevel classical argument essay
12….11….10..
9….…8….…7….…6…..…5……..1
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Ideas could be more fully
developed
— Support not as convincing as it
could be
— Ideas don’t always seem relevant
to the thesis
— Unstated assumption addressed
but could be developed further
12…..11……10
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— Ideas and/or support is weak, absent,
confusing, or irrelevant
— Unstated assumption is never
addressed and should be (the assumption
is made that your audience will agree
with your unstated assumption)
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Sources not as varied or recent as
they should be
— Some sources do not seem
relevant to information conveyed
— Some sources are not revealed
— Some sources lack authority
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— Sources not varied or recent enough
— Many sources not revealed
— Many sources do not seem relevant to
information conveyed
–Fewer than 3 sources
12…..11……10
9….8…..7…..6……5….…………..1
APA style documentation and incorporating quotes effectively
VERY EFFECTIVE
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— In-text citations nearly perfect
— Two to three errors for in-text
— References page perfect
citations
— Quotes incorporated into your own
— One to three errors on the
sentences smoothly and effectively
References page
— Appropriate use of paraphrasing
— Quotes could be integrated into
sentences more smoothly effectively
10……9…….
8………7……….6…………5
9….8…..7…..6……5….…………..1
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— Four or more errors for in-text citations
or citations missing all together
— Missing citations
— Four or more errors on the References
page
— Quotes not integrated or no quotes
used at all
4……3……….2……….1
Counterarguments
VERY EFFECTIVE
— Writer shows knowledge of opposing
views and fairly and effectively addresses
them.
— If necessary, rebuttal to opposing
views of the unstated assumption is also
addressed.
15….14…..13..
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Opposing views are addressed but
not with enough detail
— Missing some counterarguments
–Rebuttal not always fair-minded
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— Opposing views are addressed but
handled unfairly
— Missing major counterarguments
12……11……10
9….8………7……..6…….5……1
Rhetorical Appeals
VERY EFFECTIVE
–The writer appeals effectively to the
emotions/values of the audience (pathos)
— Writer presents a logical argument
(logos)
— Writer is fair-minded, knowledgeable,
and uses appropriate tone (ethos)
10…..9…..
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Pathos could be stronger
— Logos not used as effectively as it
could be
— Ethos is uneven at times or writer
doesn’t come across as
knowledgeable as they should
8………7……….6…………5
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— No attempt is made to appeal to the
audience’s values/emotions
— Arguments don’t seem to follow any
discernable logic
— Writer’s tone is inappropriate or they
don’t seem to be fair-minded
4……….3…….2….…….1
Organization
VERY EFFECTIVE
— The organization is logical with thesis,
reasons and evidence ordered to
effectively appeal to readers.
— Paragraphs and transitions are clear
and appropriate.
— Introductions and conclusions
effective.
10……9
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
— Organization works most of the
time but could be improved
— Paragraphs and transitions work
most of the time but could be
improved
— Introductions and conclusion
could be improved
8…..7………6………….5
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
— No discernable logic to the ordering of
paragraphs
— Missing transitions
— Missing introduction or conclusion
PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
–Some of the impact of the writing
is lost through unclear or convoluted
–Problems with word choice,
tenses, spelling detract from the
reader’s experience
NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL WORK
–So many grammatical errors make the
essay almost unreadable, completely
obscuring the writer’s ideas
–Quotation marks are incorrectly
punctuated throughout
8………7……….6…………5
4……….3…….2….…….1
Mechanics and Style
VERY EFFECTIVE
— Essay has no major errors in word
selection and use, sentence structure,
spelling, and punctuation.
–Attention is paid to prose style,
evidenced by varied sentence structures
and careful word choices.
10…..9…..
4………3……..2…………1

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