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ENC 1101: Composition - Professor Miranda: Argumentative Essay

This guide was created to support Professor Miranda's ENC 1101 course

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The Assignment

  • In-text / Parenthetical Citations needed (at least 1 for each outside source and recommended at least 1 per body paragraph).

  • Originality Report -- no more than 20% similarity with outside sources.

  • 8-10 pages total (Outline, Essay, Works Cited) including at least 5 full and formatted essay pages.

Conventions of Writing

  • Do not use first person or second person (I, we, you, us). Unless stating an opinion, the paper should be fact-based and objective

  • No contractions

  • Do not use fragments or run-on sentences

  • A full paragraph is at least 3-5 sentences 

  • Paragraphs should not be more than about 3/4 of a page.  A one-page or one-and-a-half page paragraph is too long

  • Do not use abbreviations

  • Do not use slang

  • Be specific; do not use words such as thing, a lot, get, so, like

  • Spell out numbers that can be written as one or two words (Ex: "three" or "thirty-three")

Argumentative Essays

A successful argumentative essay requires a subject in which you can take a position, or side. Your topic must have another side that others could argue. Select a topic that is interesting to you, but not too broad or too narrow. Your thesis, therefore, is your argument.

You need to support your argument with evidence. This evidence could be facts, statistics, or scenarios. When using this evidence, make sure you are explaining why it is important to your argument. Remember to cite your evidence using in-text citations!

Adapted from the Berkeley Student Learning Center

Content of an Argumentative Essay

Paragraph 1: This is where you introduce your topic, explain why it is important, and present your thesis. Remember, your thesis is an argument -- what do you feel about the topic?

Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph should represent one idea that supports the thesis. This is where you use evidence to support your claim. You can also include counter-claims in your essay. Either in the body paragraphs themselves or as one to two paragraphs, address the arguments against your thesis and why those arguments are not supported by evidence.

Conclusion: The conclusion to your paper is your opportunity to restate your thesis and summarize the major points that supported your claim.

Adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab: Argumentative Essays