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ENGL 101 - Rooney Composition 1: Home

The Dreaded Academic Argument Essay

The Dreaded Academic Argument Essay

The goal of this assignment is for you to learn how to argue effectively, to use appeals to your advantage in a logically-based argument, and to pull introductions, conclusions, body paragraphs, and fantastic ideas together in a coherent, organized manner. 

For this assignment, I would like you to write an argument on a topic that is debatable– preferably, a topic you care about.  Your argument should have an enthymatic thesis (don’t worry – we’ll talk about that later!), should be based on logical claims, and should be fairly free of logical fallacies. You should have a fantastic introduction and an AMAZING conclusion. 

Your audience for this assignment is hostile – they very strongly disagree with your stance, and you must structure your argument with this audience in mind.  You must use at least three sources in this argument, one of which must be a TED video and one of which must be from the viewpoint of your hostile audience

Additionally, in order for this assignment to be complete, you need to take a draft to the Writing Center for feedback.  Request a verification slip for your visit, which you will turn in with your final draft. 


Your argument should be four to six pages. In other words, if it’s less than four FULL pages, it will fail, but please don’t go over six pages. Your paper must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides, in 12 point Times New Roman font. I expect perfect MLA or APA format, and if you have questions, please ask me before you turn in your papers. You will be held accountable for citing responsibly, making a Works Cited or References page, and formatting your paper properly.  

  • My paper has been PROOFREAD
  • My paper has been spell-checked
  • My paper is formatted in 12 point Times New Roman
  • My paper is double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides
  • MLA or APA format

And Don't Forget to Ask for Help - your reference Librarians are an excellent resource: for this assignment and for research long after you graduate.

Your Instructor

  Ariadne Rooney  arooney@olympic.edu 

Office: HSS 310  Office Hours: Tuesday only from 3:30 – 4:50 and by appointment


You will be graded on:

  • Your choice of a debatable topic
  • If your thesis statement is sufficiently narrowed for the scope of the paper
  • Organization of your logical claims
  • Your introduction
  • Conclusion
  • Body paragraphs
  • Your counter-argument
  • Your adherence to your chosen citation style

Due Dates

Tuesday, 11/26:         Argument Planning Sheet DUE at the beginning of class

Tuesday, 12/3:           Detailed Outline DUE at the beginning of class

Thursday, 12/5:         First Draft DUE at the beginning of class

Tuesday, 12/9:           Final draft DUE at the beginning of class (this is our schedule final time).  Please submit your final draft, all prewriting, the planning sheet, your outline, your source evaluations, your drafts, your peer reviews, and a two-page letter describing the revisions you’ve made and why you made them (and detailing your journey with this paper) in a folder.   Yay!