Persuasive Argument Essay Assignment

The student will choose a topic that interests them and compose an argument advocating a course of
action to improve the situation or in response to a problem associated with the topic. The form of this
composition can be a letter to a public figure who could implement the suggestions presented therein or a
formal academic essay. Or you may write it as a formal, academic essay.
Your letter should be 4 page double-spaced with 12 point Times New Roman font and have 1 inch
margins all around. Your essay should include a strong thesis where you establish your position, preview the
organization of your essay, and list the main points that support your argument. It should contain an
introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The tone should be formal and respectable, as you are hoping to
convince your recipient to see things your way, but it will be acceptable to write in first person.
You will want to consider which form of organization will be appropriate for your argument. Your
reasons must be arranged in some logical order. They must also be fairly well constructed. If they are easily
dismissed or do not address any questions that may result from their mention, you will have to strengthen or
support such claims. Your paragraphs must also have good flow between them, which is facilitated by
transitions. Finally, be sure that the mechanics of your paper are correct. Punctuation, spelling, and grammar
will count.

Sources are not necessary, but if you look up outside information you must cite correctly in MLA
Unacceptable Topics*:
Generalized Discussions and Opinion Pieces On: Abortion, Bullying, Legalization of Marijuana, Obesity,
School Uniforms, Global Warming, Media Violence, Social Media, The Environment, Fast Food, Gun Control,
Nonspecific Technology, Texting While Driving, Sex Education, One-Sided Topics.
*-If you are willing to compose a quality essay with considerable depth and focus on current issues related to
these topics, you can choose them.

Annotated Bibliography – Students will compose a listing of their sources used in the research paper in MLA style with a brief 1-3 sentence summary of each source.

Argument Essay Rubric
Structure ___/ 2.5
2.5: Exceeds expectations – The essay’s thesis is clear and supported by the rest of the composition. There is a
strong introduction and conclusion as well as an appropriately lengthy body. Each paragraph has an appropriate
1.5: Acceptable – The thesis is discernible from the essay. The introduction, body, and conclusion are in order
and there is some flow between paragraphs. There is a discernible order to the essay.
.5: Below expectations – The essay lacks structure. The reader has a difficult time progressing as a result of
being unable to follow the composition.
Organization ___/ 2.5
2.5: Exceeds expectations – The chosen form of organization is followed consistently through the essay and is
appropriate for the assignment, as well as easily identifiable. There is understandable transition throughout the
1.5: Acceptable – The chosen form of organization is present and for the most part followed throughout the
essay. It is also identifiable to the reader.
.5: Below expectations – There is no form in the essay or it is not followed consistently. There is little
transition between paragraphs.
Depth of Argument ___/ 3.5
3.5: Exceeds expectations – The paper makes three or more arguments effectively considering each argument’s
contribution to the thesis.
2: Acceptable – The paper makes three arguments convincingly. The majority of the arguments are each
appropriately made although some may be more effective than others.
1: Below expectations – The paper makes fewer than two convincing arguments.
Spelling and Grammar ___/ 1.5
1.5: Exceeds expectations – There are very few spelling and grammatical errors.
1: Acceptable – There are several spelling and grammatical errors which do not detract too significantly from
the reader’s understanding.
.5: Below expectations – Poor spelling and grammar considerably inhibit the reader’s understanding

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