Patrick Johnson’s Amazing Guide to creating a Proposal for the Argumentative Essay
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to make sure that you’re selecting a topic that will suffice for your argumentative paper. This will potentially save you a lot of time and prevent circumstances that would cause you to rewrite your entire paper. It will also give you a head start on the largest assignment of this amazing wonderful fantastic class. 2-3 Pages
Step 1: Brief Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
Discuss your topic idea. This will be the start of your thesis. Discuss the things that you know about it and why you find it so interesting. There doesn’t have to be any sources or quotations in these paragraphs. This is just you gathering your own thoughts and ideas about the subjects. Maybe give a little background on the relation between you and the subject (if any.)
I’m considering the topic of how we should stop worrying about Pandas and just let nature run its course. I’ve done a lot of reading on the species and it seems to me that they’re trying to do us a favor and kill themselves off, but we insist on spending a lot of time and energy to ensure that they continue on. I know of a few instances of Pandas being overwhelmed when they have more than one cub and will leave both behind or they’ll sometimes accidentally sit on their cub and suffocate it. I’ve not been in physical contact with any pandas in my entire life, and I’m sure they’re not good conversationalists because they lack anything to talk about besides bamboo, sitting, sleeping, and suffocating their own young.
Step 2: Optional Personal Story (1-2 paragraphs)
Sometimes you are closely tied to the subject matter and this would be a good point to talk about that or tell your story/anecdote. It covers two points, the first being that you can write out the personal story and figure out what exactly you want to say before even starting the rough draft of the argumentative paper. The second point is that it allows you to curb the emotional investment. Let’s pretend that our wonderfully mysterious writer and hater of pandas did have a personal story. He/she could present it something like this.
It was a warm spring day and my family and I were attending the local zoo. My father and mother had thought to dress me in a panda costume to celebrate the birth of a baby panda. I was six at the time and thought it was a wonderful idea. So I skipped to the crowded exhibit ahead of my parents, fell over the rail and was face to face with a glassy eyed bear cat as it lazily chewed on bamboo. My parents tried to save me but they were murdered by the surprised panda when it tried to roll away from squealing six-year-old child in a horrible costume. I will never forgive that panda for killing my parents.
As stated before, this could cause some sympathy toward the speaker/writer. Here we see this wonderfully esteemed mystery writer has experienced a tragedy involving Pandas. The story is too close, though, and should be avoided or used with caution.
Step 3: The Three Appeals (1-3 Paragraphs)
Here is where you’re going to decide what kinds of evidence and information you plan to use in order to bolster your claim. For example, you could talk about using statistics to back up your claim (logos), or referring the studies of an esteemed person (ethos.) You could also apply emotion appeals as well, but with this one, be careful.
I plan on using statistics from sources that show how much money we spend on Pandas, this will include the money to house them in zoos as well as protecting them in the wild. I will then suggest what we could do with the money instead, like investing more money in the Patrick Johnson fund. As for experts I will refer to studies done by the Wolong Panda center to bolster my claim. Mostly because they have done extensive research. I will try to appeal to people’s emotions in the form of causing outrage in investing money and energy into an empty cause.
Step 4: Determining Audience (1-2 Paragraphs)
You simply need to talk about the audience that you’re trying to reach. Are you only trying to reach your age group? Or are you addressing the public? If so, what are you going to do to ensure that you’re going to reach your target audience? What obstacles do you think you’re going to face when breeching the topic and delivering your information?
My target audience will be the entire world’s population that are interested in the betterment of mankind. My main obstacle, of course, is convincing people that beyond the cute exterior, pandas are a major problem to society. People will be resistant to the violence and anger that I hold toward these deceivingly sweet and cute beasts. But I think that with enough evidence delivered with a clear and even handed tone, I may be able to state my case effectively.
Step 5: The Counter Arguments (1-2 Paragraphs)
One of the most important things is to be prepared to talk about the counter arguments and have an answer as to why your idea/answer is the better answer. So this is where you talk about what other people will say. Eventually you need to be able to come up with a counterargument for each of the strongest opposition in order to bolster your argument. Start broad and narrow it down.
Example: Why is this important? Why should the audience care? Who is this going to effect? Pandas aren’t hurting anyone, we should save them. We are the protectors of the earth, it is our responsibility to maintain the lives of all animals.
Step 6 The Sources:
Two sources that you MAY use in your argumentative paper with a statement of what you found useful for each of these sources.
Example of not what to do:
Buckle your seat-belts, because in eight short pages, I’m going to learn you something that I only learned two hours ago. So sit down, shut up and enjoy the experience of my 4 am red bull induced self-hatred fueled writing extravaganza.
Writing assignment: Pick an argument that has two distinct sides and spend a sentence explaining your point of view, then, make a small argument as if you were the opposing point of view.