I. The purpose of an argument essay is to take a body of information and suggest a particular way of organizing, understanding and interpreting that information. You are expressing a judgment (position) backed up by evidence, not merely your opinion. Your paper should do the following:
A. Present your position clearly.
B. Persuade your reader that your position is correct through the use of evidence, logic and expert opinion.
II. Before you begin writing, you should do the following:
A. Sufficiently research your topic to gain a solid background. Your instructor may make specific suggestions for this background research, and the librarians can help, too.
B. Make sure that the expert testimony, facts and figures which you intend to use are realistic.
C. Think through your position on the subject, and consider possible objections to that position.
III. Your essay may be evaluated on some or all of the following points:
A. Clear presentation of your position. This includes a clear and concise statement of purpose, probably at the beginning of your paper.
B. Proper citation of quotations, summaries, paraphrases, arguments of another author; facts and figures.
C. Quality and accuracy of your research.
D. Effective use of quotations, figures and background material.
E. Clear and logical organization of the paper.
F. The quality and originality of your own arguments in support of your position.
A. Relying on a quotation or paraphrase to convey your meaning and therefore not commenting on the quotation or paraphrase in your own words.
B. Piling up facts in a list rather than organizing your material into a coherent essay.
C. Expressing an opinion without supporting it with facts and figures.
D. Writing superficially about many related topics rather than limiting the scope of your topic so you can deal with it thoroughly.