Argumentative Essay—Focus: Descriptive Arguments
The Argumentative Essay
è The writing strategy classified as argument involves persuading an audience to agree with you on a controversial issue.
Guideliness for writing an argument essay:
- Choose a controversial subject (Facts, Preferences, Beliefs, Impossibilities, Opinions)
- Asses your audience
- Focus subject with a reasonable claim
- Use a variety of reliable, current, audience-appropriate evidence
- Order of argument:
- Claim à Opposition à Evidence
- Premise à Opposition à Claim
- Use Cue words to advance arguments:
v Phrases that signal that the writer is acknowledging the other side:
è my opponents, the opposition believes, while many people think, there are some who say, it is often thought that, in all fairness
v Phrases that signal that the writer is being fair or attempting to put some limits on the claims made:
è apparently, frequently, appears, most of the time, may, might, on several occassions.
- Include appropriate, fair-minded appeals:
- Logical appeals
- Emotional appeals
- Ethical appeals
- Avoid logical fallacies
- Anderson, Marilyn. Keys to Successful Writing – Unlocking the Writer Within. New York; Longman, 2001.
Example of an Argumentative Essay
Lets’ Mix It Up
Written by: Brian Villapudua
Immigration is a touchy subject today and few people of this country are willing to stick their neeks out and take a stand on one side or the other. Either way they look at this muffled debate is bound to raise many questions. Let’s take, for example, those who side with the anti-immigrationists. They argue that immigration puts a greater stress on the taxpayers to support immigrants. Anti-immigrationists say immigrants are taking jobs away from U.S. nationals and raising rents, and that too many immigrants are entering too fast to assimilate into “American” culture. However, these people appear to have made rash judgments about the issues when making such arguments, which seem to stem from xenophobic prejudices. Some of us don’t like to deal with things that are unfamiliar to us, but immigrants are an invaluable resource to this great nation, which was created by immigrants. Thus, we should strive to increase the number of legal immigrants allowed into our country.
One argument anti-immigrationists make is that the taxpayers are burdened by the extra expenses for health, welfare, and other noneducational services that are placed on the system by immigrants. But are immigrants really burdening this country? George Borjas, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego, dicovered that even though immigrants receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes, they actually produce a net gain for the U.S. economy of about four billion dollars a year.
What about immigrants taking away our jobs? This is another question asked by anti-immigrationists. In actuality, the jobs that immigrants accept are usually low-paying ones in restaurants, households, agriculture, and in the manufacturing industry, Dr. Lerry Bedard, a hospital board member in a wealthy community, explains, “We want them [the immigrants] to clean our houses, rake our leaves, take care of our children, do the scut work of life.
Although some argue that immigrants, both illegal or legal, are destroying the prosperity of this country, they cannot totally blame immigrants for the problems that the U.S. is now facing. Part of the problem is the poor service provided by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalisation Services, known as the INS. Currently, the individual offices of the INS do not have a standardized operation; instead each office operates as it deems best. In addition, some INS employees have been exerting their prejudies on certain ethnic groups, obviously making it more difficult for some to get through the system than for others. Overhauling the INS to provide better, more efficient service for all immigrants would help stop the influx of illegals by increasing the number of legal immigrants into the country. Also, since immigrants get tired of complicated red tape, getting rid of unnecessary forms could lessen the bureucratic resistance that affects many immigrants.
We as U.S. citizens should remember that immigrants provide this country with an invaluable source of labor as well as help the economy through the consumption of goods. If the U.S. is to stop legal immigrants from entering, we are going to lose a part of our country’s heritage—the open arms we once stretched out to welcome foreigners during the formative years of our nation.
The above writing is taken from Anderson, 2001: 280-281.