Essay Assignment

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GWRTC 103: Spring 2011
Erin Lambert-Hartman

Portfolio 2: The Classical Argument

Your Audience
Imagine you are writing to an audience of college-educated people who have a stake in opposing your views. You might also take a look at JMU’s online academic journal e- Vision: If it interests you, you could write with the e-Vision editorial board as part of your audience, and even submit your finished paper to them for consideration.

Argument Topics
In your first paper, you explored a complex question and demonstrated your thought process to arrive at educated answers. Complex questions are complicated because they have more than one answer, which makes them interesting for an educated audience. You may choose to return to the question(s) that began or concluded your exploratory essay, and formulate an arguable thesis. However, you may write about any topic that focuses on “the middle ground” with an eye toward progress or a viable solution. In other words, you’re not required to use the topic of your exploratory essay for this paper, but you are strongly encouraged to do so.

You are required to use a variety of credible sources that are appropriate for your topic and audience. The paper should be at least 6.5-7 pages in length, and use the citation style appropriate for the discipline in which you’re writing (MLA, APA, Chicago, or CSE). Follow this checklist for formatting your work:

___ Double-spaced
___ 1-inch margins
___ 12-point Times New Roman or similar font
___ Numbered pages
___ Stapled
___ Your name appears somewhere at the top of the first page

Materials to include in your portfolio:

  • Classical Argument followed by appropriate Works Cited/Bibliography
  • Rough draft of the essay
  • Copy of Research-log that includes double-entries (may be Xeroxed from notebook)
  • Copy of Planning Schema

I will evaluate your paper on the basis of: 1) how well you identify and explain the significance of your position and demonstrate your credibility (Why is your position/opinion meaningful? What makes your experience, in relation to your topic, credible?); 2) your consideration of the audience and effective employment of appropriate rhetorical strategies designed to make your argument persuasive and relevant to your reader; 3) your demonstrated understanding of a Classical Argument as discussed in class and presented in Chapter 14; and, 4) clear sentence-level rhetoric (grammar, punctuation, spelling) and responsible, smooth integration of evidence, quotations, and paraphrases.


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