CLASSICAL ARGUMENT ESSAY The purpose of this handout is to help you draft the final essay in the course: A Classical Argument. You may fill in the blanks. Remember the following: Audience Peers with an opposite or indifferent viewpoint than yours Purpose To convince and persuade with ethical/logical means Subject Issue that is debatable and arguable . INTRODUCTION • What is the issue/problem? Open with a quote, stat, or an interesting fact to catch reader’s attention and establish context of persuasion (this can wait until later on in the drafting process). • What is your claim on this issue? What is your position? • Why is this important? Why is your position important? • Why should the audience care? How does this issue impact this audience? BODY SECTIONS a) Narration or Background • What is the history of your topic/issue/claim? Give the audience some background information. Provide research sources. • Begin maybe 5-10 years ago with your topic. What are some key events, topics, ideas (or people) that have happened to make your issue debatable and something to argue? b) Definition of Position How can you define your claim so the audience will understand? What is . . . ? This is a type of . . .? Define key words in your position statement that will help convince your audience to believe the way you do. Think about defining at least two words in your claim/position statement. 1. What does a dictionary source state? 2. How can you redefine using your terms? EVIDENCE OR CONFIRMATION OF ARGUMENT • The discussion of warrants (principles/laws of society), assumptions (shared values/beliefs), should be in this portion. • What are the assumptions associated with your claim? You need to explain these because the audience needs to understand the kinds of values that make your claim creditable. This is where you should have sources to build your authority (ethos). You could create a story or testimony about the creditability of your claim. • What is the “goodness” of your position or the positives? What kinds of belief statements are associated with your claim? Are there some moral lessons? You should include sources. REFUTATION OR COUNTEREVIDENCE What are some major objections to my claim? What questions do you need to address for your audience to understand? Explain why your audience could be wrong, and how you are right? Objection 1: Explain why the objection is wrong Objection 2: Explain why the objection is wrong Objection 3: Explain why the objection is wrong. CONCLUSION What are your reasons for wanting this claim or reasons for your position (logos)? Are there some benefits or improvements to society if your claim is accepted? Possible call to action? 1. Benefit/advantage/solution? 2. Benefit/advantage/solution? 3. Benefit/advantage/solution? REFERENCES (MLA)
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