Aristotelian or Claims Essay 1200 words minimum 3 sources minimum (4 sources maximum) DUE: October 23rd Introduction: A Claims Argument is otherwise known as an Aristotelian Argument, or a Classical Argument, and traces its formal academic history back to (not surprisingly) Aristotle (Greece, 4th century B.C.). The tenets, though, of this argumentative model are, I argue, innate to human argumentation; sometimes called the Adversarial Model, it’s a strategy of using evidence to explain clearly why one thesis is correct, and another wrong. Phrased most simply, it’s the “why I’m right” strategy of argumentation. Especially when making a claim regarding an important issue, one that is disputed in any capacity, this “why I’m right” is often accompanied by an explanation of “why the opposition is wrong.” We’ve been doing this since we were very young, when we argued with our friends over the debatable superiority of various athletes, musical groups, movies, or books. In a cultural context, these same methods of debate apply to numerous, supremely significant political and social issues: military conflict, the economy, women’s rights, immigration, gun control, education, and so on. For your Claims Essay, due October 23rd, you will need to offer your own claim: an argument supported by at least three academically viable sources. Here, however, is a wrinkle. You may choose almost any stance, any topic that you like, keeping in mind that said topic needs to be researchable and academically appropriate, but I’m asking you to give a lot of considerate thought to this choice. Perhaps it’s the political landscape of the current age, but candidly, my spirit won’t bear several dozen essays on gun control and health care. Now, we will absolutely need to maintain academic viability, here; this is not some blog post or Facebook entry, and the research will need to be similarly viable. But you’ll receive an extra point or two for original, especially thoughtful, or even lighthearted topics. I don’t want “cats are better than dogs,” or “Jordan is better than LeBron,” but I do believe we can successfully offer an academically rigorous essay that’s still a little bit of fun, or further off the beaten path. Organization: While I will be offering several resources for guidance throughout the project, it’s worth note, here, that a Claims essay often follows a proven and predictable template for organization. In fact, as the preeminent model for academic argumentation, this organization is likely the one with which we have been most familiar over the course of our own educational histories, i.e. the five paragraph essay. While your essay may or may not consist of five paragraphs, it should adhere to the following paragraph structure: Opening paragraph: Introduction of thesis/claim in broad terms, situating the argument within a larger context— this paragraph should culminate with a clear statement of overarching thesis/identification of problem Body paragraphs (3 or more): Considerations and support, incorporating research Refutation of opposition: Accounting for and negating at least one chief oppositional perspective Conclusion: Reiteration of thesis given the discussion of the essay Suggestions: Above all else, follow fundamental rules of syntax (punctuation, conjugation, etc.). Write with a close eye on clarity; every sentence must make fundamental sense, must be easily understood. Avoid clichés, e.g. “Agree to disagree,” “Everyone has their opinion, but…” etc. Do not objectify the essay, e.g. “In this essay…” or, “I’m writing this because…” or, “I had to think a long time about what to write…” Cite sources according to MLA format; use RW pg. 468 as an example. Write something you know, something you care about. Primary Goals: Apply rules of standard English and skills learned in ENG 112 Develop and elaborate upon a coherent, identifiable thesis from introduction through conclusion (using TSIS parts 1-4 for reference). Incorporate researched sources into text—understand how to choose academically viable sources Requirements: Length : 1200 words minimum (12 point, Times New Roman) Sources: 3 academically viable sources, 4 sources maximum Format: MLA (as discussed in class and RW) Due date: 10/23/2020 Assessment: The Claims Essay is worth 30% of your final grade in the course. Percentages reflect the approximate value of each element in relation to the final essay grade. Format– 20%: Written in proper MLA format, meeting length requirements. Notes three research sources in the works cited page, as well as in in-text citations. Basic language and essay writing skills– 50%: Evinces mastery of fundamental mechanics: punctuation, capitalization, organization, verb/noun agreement, accurate vocabulary, coherence. Contains sentences structured in a clear, readable fashion. Presents an identifiable thesis and conducts appropriate discussion. Critical thinking and analysis/ Insight and style– approx. 30%: Explores the topic/subject dynamically through language. Achieves linguistic complexity without sacrificing thematic clarity. Demonstrates strong analytical or critical thinking skills. Introduces meaningful new insights and innovative ideas through sophisticated language and management of tone. Fully meets the linguistic and philosophical expectations of English 112
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