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PLANNING/ORGANIZING THE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY
When planning the argumentative essay, please be aware that the essay should contain the following characteristics:
- The essay should introduce and explain the issue or case. The reader needs to understand what the issue is going to be argued.
- The essay should offer reasons and support. In other words, the essay should prove its point.
- The essay should refute or prove wrong the opposing arguments.
When organizing the argumentative essay, be aware that the essay should consist of:
- Introduction - First introduce the problem and give background information necessary for the argument and thesis.
- Reasons - It is a good idea to spend one paragraph on each reason. Two to three reasons are typical.
- Refutation - Proving the opposing argument wrong can be completed in one to two paragraphs.
USEFUL TIPS for ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS
To write well developed paragraphs:
- Avoid strong feelings (don’t say: it is impossible to disagree with me, nobody believes)
- Use generalizations (e.g. people believe/consider)
- Do not use generalization (e.g. everyone believes that…..)
- Do not use strong personal expressions (e.g. I think)
- Use linking words (e.g. therefore, although, however etc.)
- Make reference to other sources (e.g. The university claims that…)
- Give examples – not personal thoughts (e.g. products such as sprayer can destroy the environment)
Document from the Academic Success Center explaining the argumentative essay.
- Sentence fragments - Incomplete sentence that you have punctuated as a complete sentence. Make sure each group of words contains a complete and independent thought that can stand alone.
- Comma splice - Occurs when you use a comma to separate two independent clauses instead of using the proper punctuation such as a semicolon.
- Run-on sentences - A fused sentence where you have put two complete thoughts or clauses together without the proper punctuation.
- Wrong word - Use your thesaurus and spell checker with care. If you select a word from the thesaurus without knowing its exact meaning or allow spell checker to correct spelling automatically, you may end up with wrong word errors.
- Incomplete or missing citations - It's a good idea to ALWAYS cite your sources: omitting citations can result in plagiarism.
- Vague pronoun reference - A pronoun should clearly refer to the noun it is replacing.
- Unnecessary/missing capitalization - Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives, first word of sentences, and important words in titles.
Preparing an Effective Presentation
- Organize your thoughts
- Have a strong opening and a purpose
- Define terms early
- Clearly explain the applicability of your research, tell a story, create meaning
- Know your content and be passionate
- Finish with a strong conclusion that summarizes how the world would be better off as a result of what you have done
- Create effective notes such as an outline or brief reminder
Key pointers to help presenters
- Make eye contact early and often.
- Face the audience and connect with them.
- If you are in a large group and are taking questions, rephrase the question just asked because most others in the audience will likely not have heard the question.
- Demonstrate your own level of passion, interest in your venture through your physical engagement and tone of voice.
- Speak with confidence, know and believe in your content.
- Pause to add audible structure to your presentation.
- Speak slowly enough that you can breathe deeply and be relaxed.