Writing in First-Year Seminars

Integrating Writing

Assigning Writing

Assigning Research

Peer Review

Responding to Writing


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Authors & Contributors

Arguing Essay Worksheet 1

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Writer's Name:
Editor's Name and Phone Number:

The primary purpose of this worksheet is to insure that the writer has developed a convincing argument. Imagine, then, that you are the writer's opponent (and so be sure to identify the target audience). Try your best to spot the weaknesses in the essay you are reading. In effect, you will be helping the writer to make sure that s/he has a convincing argument BEFORE it is submitted in the portfolio.

  1. Read the essay and record your first impressions
  2. (Hard copy of worksheet provides space for responses solicited throughout.)

  3. If there is a thesis or claim, what is it?
  4. Any suggestions for improving the thesis or claim?
  5. What are the writer's main supporting arguments?

  6. a.
    b.
    c.
    d.
  7. What counter-arguments does the writer refute?

  8. a.
    b.
    c.
  9. What counter-arguments can you think of in addition to those above? (Remember, you are the writer's opponent.)

  10. a.
    b.
    c.
  11. What can you suggest about reordering or beefing up arguments? Would a mediating/negotiating approach be more successful for the target audience?
  12. Any last advice before the writer goes on to the next draft?

View Arguing Essay Worksheet 2