Debate & Argument Essay Expectations
Essay Purpose
Rhetorically speaking, we’re writing to inform as opposed to persuade or entertain. Checkout chapter 5 (Links to an external site.) in Let’s Get Writing. You’ll find that, depending on the purpose for writing, there follows a paragraph pattern. Our essay will most closely resemble the “Definition” style of paragraph formatting because the goal of our essay, generally speaking, will be to summarize, explain, and provide background information on a debate taking place in our society. We will imagine our audience is aware that such a debate is taking place, but knows very little about it and would like an unbiased summary of the debate.
In addition to understanding how to write with a specific purpose & style, you really have to understand the structure of an argument and to be able to identify these structures by name. Chapter 3.2 (Links to an external site.) in our Let’s Get Writing text is going to be the most useful to you on this endeavor. What we’re aiming to do in this essay is to identify a single “standard form argument” and it’s “counterargument”. That means, as you conduct research and read, you have to be able to clearly identify each arguments conclusion and premises. In addition, you will have to explain to your reader how each side of the argument warrants their support. That is, you’re not only “listing” the premises of each argument, but explaining how the premises are supported; i.e., how would someone making the argument explain the significance of the evidence used to support the argument.
Research & Citation
Any and all research conducted for this essay MUST 100% absolutely be obtained by accessing the Opposing Viewpoints (Links to an external site.) database. You will need your MEID and password to access the database and you can find the database via the library’s website (Links to an external site.)—just search under “o”. No google searching or larger database searches for this essay, and if the debate you’re interested has little to no resources available in the opposing viewpoints database, you should pick a debate for which there are plentiful resources. Here is a short video (Links to an external site.) about accessing & navigating the database from the Estrella Mountain campus.
An MLA “Works Cited (Links to an external site.)” page will be required and the essay should MLA styled & contain MLA in-text citations (Links to an external site.). You can easily copy & paste auto-generated works cited citations from opposing viewpoints which is really convenient, however, getting the essay’s formatting & the in-text citations will require a little more attention to detail. I’d suggest opening up the MLA 9th ed. sample paper (Links to an external site.) so that all the settings for formatting are at least prepared for you.
You’re required to integrate a minimal of six and a maximum of eight sources into your essay. These will obviously be on your works cited page and must also be referenced (quoted) within your essay and be accompanied by a proper MLA in-text citation.
Important Essay Parameters
3-4 written pages + Works Cited Page
12 size Font, Times New Roman Font
MLA Formatted
Works Cited: 4-6 referred sources (all from opposing viewpoints)
All Works Cited sources must be integrated/quoted into the essay
Must be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document (no exceptions)
Essay is worth 300 points—open the “Debate & Argument Final Draft” assignment and view the rubric for more grading information.

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