Academic Argument: Adding Your Voice to the Conversation


Overview. Now that you have researched and explained your issue, you are ready to write an argument. The argument you write for this assignment will be an academic, source-based argument. You may use the sources you and your group members found, but you should continue to find new sources to support your argument. Furthermore, your argument should add something unique or new to the conversation, and not just repeat someone else's argument.

Purpose. To convince undecided readers to agree with your argument, or to make opposing readers less resistant to your argument, or to persuade readers who are in agreement with you to take action on your issue.

Audience. The audience for this argument is academic so it includes your instructor, yourself, your peers, and other members of the academic community. An academic audience expects a clear, logical argument that remains focused on proving a thesis.  Academic readers expect that an argument is well-researched and that the argument will be supported with evidence.  In addition, such readers require full citations for all sources you use. An academic audience also expects writing to be free from errors.  You’ll need to consider these expectations, along with your readers’ needs and interests, as you write your argument.

Subject. You should write your argument about the issue you just investigated or on an issue another group in this class just investigated.  If you choose your group’s issue, you may use your own sources, your group members’ sources, as well as sources you continue to find.  If you choose another group’s issue, you will need to read that group’s explanation to familiarize yourself with the issue.  You may use the sources that group found as well as sources you continue to find. Show your readers you have listened to many sides of the conversation on the issue and can effectively address viewpoints that differ from your own.

Author. Present yourself as knowledgeable, fair-minded, credible, and, as appropriate, empathetic person.  You do not need to be an expert on your issue to write an argument, but you do need to have confidence in what you do know and believe about it.

Strategies. To achieve your purpose with your audience, be sure to:


Grading Criteria.
[Note to GTAs: Develop criteria for grading this assignment and add it to your assignment sheet. Samples and options will be discussed in TART and E607.]