Argument Essay Assignment: For this assignment, be sure to clearly state a position in the thesis and clear, logical reasons in topic sentences. A refutation is OPTIONAL and would be the 3rd or 4th body paragraph. Only a properly constructed refutation paragraph will receive FULL CREDIT. Students should be mindful of their organization and transitioning. Be sure to illustrate reasons with logic and evidence from Just Mercy and ONE source (article) from the school library.
Helpful resources on Bb in NOTES and VIDEOS:
The Notes on Argument
The Notes on Refutation
The Notes on the Dos and Don’ts of Researching
YouTube Argument Videos (Intro to the Argument Essay; Counterclaims or Refutations; How to Write an Argumentative Essay; How to Write an Essay: Evidence and Citations)
Write an outline, an essay and a Works Cited page on the following topic:
We have been delving into the criminal justice system reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson this semester. For your argumentative essay, choose any claim (be sure not to choose an inarguable fact!) from Stevenson’s book. Once you have chosen your claim, your task is to agree or disagree with the claim, show why you think it IS or is NOT true. For example, you may decide to focus on women in prison, and select “Poor women have also been criminalized for other kinds of ‘bad parenting’” (202). Or you may choose to focus on “We’ve given up on rehabilitation, education, and services for the imprisoned because providing assistance to the incarcerated is apparently too kind and compassionate” (15). You could also choose to focus your essay on Stevenson’s idea that juveniles sentenced to life in prison should have constitutional relief under the 8th Amendment (223) or his assertion that “the opposite of poverty is justice” (17). Whatever claim (be sure it is a claim, not a fact! you choose, explain why you think it’s true or not.
· – 850-950 words in length, typed – 5 full paragraphs (5 including the FULL CREDIT refutation)
· – Use Just Mercy and ONE relevant article from the school databases . No other sources may be used (except the 60 Minutes video or 15 to Life Kenneth’s Story documentary if you wish)
· – An outline, including ideas for support (text quotes included) is required.
· – An effective, organized refutation is optional and will receive FULL CREDIT ONLY if
· – Students are required to properly integrate and cite in-text (and include a works cited page that includes your two sources, the book and the library article)
Properly use the quotation process: provide context, introduce, cite, and explain/connect
quotation to the main idea.
· – Proper MLA conventions: margins, font, spacing, heading, etc.
· – Use all MLA stylistic conventions and to properly document the novel in-text as we have
studied in class.
· – Include an original title centered at the top of the essay.
As this is academic writing, please remember to use a certain level of formality in your writing. You may use “I” for this essay, but: avoid slang, clichés, texting language, contractions, “you,”: “we”; “This quote means”; “This proves”; Weak word choice like “things,” “stuff,” interesting,” “good,” “bad.”
· – Any evidence of plagiarism will result in earning a zero for the essay, which endangers failing the course. If your essay is plagiarized, it will receive a zero, without exception.
Sample outline to fill-in with your topic material Thesis: indicates a selected claim for the book and your position on it
Bp1 – ts. Reason – why you think the claim is true or untrue Gives ideas for support details Just Mercy novel? PG #
Bp2 – ts. Reason why you think the claim is true or untrue Gives ideas for support details Just Mercy novel? PG #
Bp 3 – refutation TS Some critics might point out . . . Give ideas for support details Just Mercy novel? PG #