Comp 1301: Argumentation-Persuasion Prompt:

Instructions: In a group of two or three, co-write a unified composition (which must be a minimum of 500 words) on a chosen topic from the options below. Your writing will be judged on focus, organization, mechanics, standard conventions, word choice (specifically your use of connotative language), usage, and sentence structure, including MLA format, and the cohesive voice, style, and tone that your group creates. In addition to these elements, your use of an effective explicit thesis statement and the persuasive appeals, including the use of inductive and deductive reasoning, counter-argument and common ground will also be judged. Finally, we will also consider your use of effective, fully explained, well-organized evidence, as well as your utilization of argumentation tenets (the Rogerian strategy, and the absence of logical fallacies). Additionally, though this essay is written by multiple authors, your voice in the essay must be consistent, such that it reads as if written by one author. Give yourself lots of time to revise, edit, and perfect this essay. Keep in mind also that this is your third essay, thus it will be graded more rigorously than was your first two essays. The essay is generally due in Week 13 or Week 14 (see updates as per semester). 

Additional Parameters

· ALL group members are required to agree on the final product of the essay that is submitted and will submit a sign-off for the final product in Blackboard. Remember that the grade for the submitted essay will be given to each pertaining group member. 

· do not use religious examples or arguments, unless individually approved*

· in your essay, you must directly address the counter-argument to your main point

· in your essay, you must show your development of common ground

· your essay must be in MLA format as is explained in the LBH

· if you use secondary sources, then you must use MLA works cited models as are explained in your LBH, chapter 46

· your essay must show the comprehensive scope of your argument and must employ critical thinking in its development

*to receive approval, you must email your specific reference by no later than Wednesday, 11-15-17. 

—-Essays that do not comply with the stated instructions and parameters will receive a grade of zero—

Tips for co-authoring:

  • before you choose the      topic and begin to write, have an honest conversation with your group      about your writing strengths and weaknesses. 
  • work together (by this, I      mean that each member should write a list of pros and cons on the topic      options, instead of dividing the work) to work through the best two or      three topic options. choose it based on the group dynamic, rather than on      the one you personally like best. 
  • once you have chosen a      topic, work together to create an outline (by this, I mean that each      member should create an outline to share with the group, instead of      dividing the outline into two or three parts). 
  • once you have an outline,      work together to divide the work such that it is maximally effective for      your group (not just for you personally). each group member should be      responsible for an equal amount of work. if you have problems doing this,      then email us.  
  • make and agree on a plan      for completing the essay; include parameters and dates (as in “I will      email you (or the group) my draft of body paragraph 1 by 11-12-17”).      remember that the more specific you are, the easier keeping up with the      plan will be. keep track of the plan and all agreements by asking all      group members to email the pertinent information–in fact, email is a      great way to keep a permanent record of your correspondence. if you have      any problems with your group members, email is also a great way to prove      your perspective and experience with the problem, instead of the problem      becoming a “he/she said,” situation. you can also utilize the “group” tool      in blackboard (these groups will be set up for you) to help you      collaborate.
  • be assertive and be honest–remember      that you are getting a grade for the essay, so you must approve of all      choices that the group makes. 
  • be timely–don’t expect      your group mates to work at the last minute–you may get kicked out of the      group for this type of issue. 

Any student whose group proves that he/she is not complying with the instructions, parameters, or the group plan will be removed from the group and may receive a zero for the essay grade. 

Topic options

1. Considering the Swift essay, propose a solution for a social or economical issue (such as, cults, homelessness, the national debt, violence, oil dependence, nature/animal conservation, unemployment, poverty) through preposterous means. In essence, for this option, you are creating your own “modest proposal.” Your goal will be to utilize the same type of satirical tone that Swift utilized. 

2. Write an essay in which you attempt to persuade your audience to adopt a specific behavior/specific belief. Here is a list of ideas to help you get started:

  • to make meditation a daily      practice
  • to become bi-lingual 
  • to play an unusual sport      (such as air racing–as in model planes, arm wrestling, or balloon      volleyball) 
  • to read a book series by      an author. 
  • to propose the best way to      do something (as in gain an office or commit a crime) 

3. Considering the Twain essay, refute a popularly accepted idea (such as gravity, or basics math equations, an so on). Work with your partner to create a list of ideas that you wish to consider. You need not be serious about the idea you are refuting. 

In general, I will not approve topics on gun control, abortion, or religion. To get approval, ONE of your team members must create a group email that comes to each member, to your IA, and to me. Email by no later than Thursday, November 9th, 2017 for approval. 

For each of these prompts, remember that persuasion is achieved through offering a call to action. For this reason you must use specific concrete language to describe what you expect the reader to do/believe. Additionally, you must use connotative language. Finally, note that the complexity of the essay will be covered more in how you say what you say than in what you are saying, thus your sentences must be crafted carefully. 

Ultimately, I hope that you have fun with this last essay prompt. Be creative! No idea is too weird, as long as it can be explained in real world terms. 

Suggestions for getting started:

Use reference books to assist you:

• Course books

• Dictionaries

• Thesauruses

Use one or more of the following prewriting techniques:

• Freewriting

• Brainstorming

• Mapping

• Diagramming

• Outlining

Don’t forget that your thesis must assert a clearly arguable point.

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