University of Houston Single Parent Issues Essay


Pick any subject to argue that you find honestly interesting, helpful, enraging, etc. as long as it is something that you can argue successfully!  Please avoid topics that are not really argumentative (the “puppy dog argument”) and try to avoid simple opinion comparisons between technologies (World of Warcraft is better than Grand Theft Auto).  

Rather, please pick something that is truly polemical and would influence the way we live.

We live in a world faced with all sorts of conflict, misinformation, and confusion.  It is important that we learn to think about things.

Part of this exercise is to follow the instructions exactly as they are stated below.  Learning to follow instructions is often a major key to academic success.

Step #1: Thesis paragraph:

  • Begin with a “Hook” into your paper.
    • This is a fact, figure, anecdote, or observation from your subject matter that will get your reader’s attention and get her or him interested in reading your paper.
  • Do a “Forecasting Statement.”
    • This is usually 2-3 sentences that gives a broad overview of the problem you are arguing or an extended example of a specific instance of your problem.
  • State your thesis in the last sentence of your first paragraph.
    • In a single cogent sentence tell us specifically what you are arguing and what you want done. 
    • If you can’t get your main idea into a single sentence, redefine / narrow your subject.

Step #2: Give Your Side of the Argument:

This step is generally between three to five paragraphs long.

Here you will state the reasons why you believe what you do.  

Step #3: Give Your Opponents’ Side of the Argument:

Here you will state—with the same weight & respect you give to your own ideas—the reasons that your opponents believe what they do.

You will need to make concessions when necessary.

Step #4: Rebut Your Opponents’ Side of the Argument:

Use reason, examples, syllogistic thought, or (best of all) facts to counter your opposition’s ideas

Again, however, you may need to make concessions if you cannot refute a particular argument.

Step #5: Finish With a Rhetorical Flourish: