Writing
Grossmont College Should the Drinking Age be Lowered Argumentative Essay

Grossmont College

Question Description

I need support with this English question so I can learn better.


This outline is an example of a three-part essay model (as opposed to the five-paragraph essay model which you do not want to use). It details the three parts of the prompt, AND if you're having difficulty organizing your thoughts, it can be very helpful. You can also use it as a check list to make sure you have covered everything the prompt is asking for.

I: Introduction/Beginning

I’d like to see you use an epigram to present the topic and frame your essay. The points of your introduction should include the following:

  1. Present the general topic, including general information about the two sides and some of the

problems associated with this issue. This will take more than a sentence or two.

2. Establish context by presenting the author, the article “Title,” publication Title and full

date of publication.

3. State the author’s thesis (use the quote if you can or paraphrase).

4. State your thesis. This is also called signaling your project or focus. The following is

an example that you can use in your essay for your thesis. Feel free to use this in your essay.

An analysis of ___(author’s name)’s___ article will identify and detail his purpose,goal and audience, and his use of tone and evidence to evaluate the article’s effectiveness.

II: Body Paragraphs/Middle

All paragraphs should include a topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph and a transition at the end. Assume your audience may not be familiar with rhetorical analysis and is unfamiliar with the text; explain what the author is doing, but emphasize analysis. Be sure to identify and detail/analyze the following parts.

  1. Here’s where you will address Part 1 of the prompt and focus on the author’s purpose, goal, and audience.
  1. First you need a topic sentence to introduce the focus of this paragraph: purpose, goal and audience. Then detail the author’s purpose and goal (use the PACES half sheet). Be sure to clearly identify both in separate sentences. Then identify the author’s audience. Who is the intended audience for this publication? This will require a little research regarding age, gender, educational level, etc. You must include a parenthetical citation for where you got this info (article “Title” or “Homepage”– or the website Title but only if there is not Article “Title.” We will discuss this in class). The information about the audience should follow what you have identified as the author’s goal, since goal refers to what the author wants the audience to do having read his article; this will transition into who this audience is. This part will probably take one paragraph.
  1. Here’s where you will address Part 2 of the prompt and focus on the use of tone.
  1. First, you need a topic sentence to present this paragraph focus. Identify one example of tone in the introduction. Why does the author introduce this in his intro? What point is he trying to make? How effective is this example? Consider the persuasive appeal at work in this example (pathos, logos or ethos, but be SURE to identify what KIND of logos or emotion, etc). What kind of effect does it have on the audience in general AND on you?
  1. Then in a separate paragraph, detail how this example has prepared the reader for other examples of tone in the rest of the article. Be sure to first identify where in the body paragraphs this example occurs (toward the beginning, middle, toward the end) and the point the author is trying to make in that part of the article. What’s the connection between the example in the intro and this example? Consider the persuasive appeal the author’s tone is evoking in the audience, but be specific. If it’s pathos, then what kind of pathos? If it’s emotion, then what kind of emotion? Then detail its effect on you.

(For a C paper detail a total of one example from the intro and one from the rest of the article. For a a grade higher than a C detail a total of two examples from the intro and connect these these to references from the rest of the article.)


  1. Here’s where you will address Part 3 of the prompt: one example of evidence.
  1. In a separate paragraph, you’ll need a topic sentence to present the focus of this paragraph: analyzing one example of evidence. Clearly identify where this example occurs in the article and the point the author is making at this specific place. For example, is it evidence for a supporting claim or for a counter-argument? Analyze the effectiveness of this evidence. For example, what is the persuasive appeal this evidence evokes? Be sure to be specific. Include how this evidence has affected your response towards this author’s position. For example, how has it helped to change or reinforce your position about this issue?


(For a C paper, detailing one example of evidence is fine. For a B paper you need to analyze and evaluate a total of two examples of evidence. For an A paper, you will need to analyze and evaluate a total of three examples of evidence.)

III: Conclusion

∗ Since you are using an epigram in your introduction, signal your conclusion with a reference to

it, but do not repeat it. This is how to use a vignette or epigram as a framing device. This also

helps to bring your essay full circle and back to the beginning.

∗ Do not restate what you’ve already said in the essay. This is redundant. You could make a

general statement about the overall effectiveness of the article, but keep it brief.

∗ Wrap it up and end with a bang.

Analyzing & Evaluating Conventions in Academic Texts___

The readings: “Amethyst Initiative’s Debate On Drinking a Welcome Alternative to Fanaticism”by Radley Balko FoxNews.com Aug. 25, 2008 “There’s No Benefit to Lowering the Drinking Age” by Robert Voas Christian Science Monitor Jan. 12, 2006

In Essay #1, you were asked to do a basic analysis of one essay. In that analysis you focused on one specific claim and evidence, and counter-arguments used by that author to support his thesis. In Essay #2 you will be asked to extend your analysis by identifying and analyzing conventions in academic texts. As defined by Webster’s College Dictionary, a convention refers to “a rule, method, or practice established by usage… a general custom or accepted usage.” For this essay, you’ll be asked to focus on the use of tone and evidence, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these conventions on readers like you.

You will need a Works Cited page, which means that you will also need to include the parenthetical citations after each reference to the author’s text (both direct quotes and paraphrases). Be SURE to use the Essay #2 Writing Strategy, at least as a checklist, to make sure you detail all parts of this prompt in your essay. You may also use it to organize and structure your essay. In the Writing Strategy, I have once again given you a sample thesis you can use in your essay, as well as provided more detailed information about how to develop your analysis and evaluation.

The prompt: Choose one of the above articles, and write an academic essay that:

  1. Identifies the author’s purpose, goal and audience (this will require a little research to identify who reads this publication);
  1. Identifies and analyzes at least one specific example of tone in the author’s introduction, detailing how that specific example tone is repeated or extended somewhere else in the body paragraphs of the article. You must also evaluate how this use of tone affected your initial response to that author’s argument.

For a C paper, one example is fine; for a grade higher than a C, you will need to analyze two examples;

  1. Identifies and analyzes at least one example of evidence on readers like you. Your analysis will need to include detailing the persuasive appeal(s) for that specific example. You must also evaluate the effectiveness of this example and how it helped you see the issue in a different light or helped to reinforce your position.

For a C paper, detailing one example will be fine. For a B paper, you’ll need to detail two examples of evidence. For an A paper you’ll need to detail three examples of evidence.

Regarding the effectiveness of the use of tone and evidence, be sure to detail how the author’s use of these conventions have changed or re-enforced your views on this topic. Remember, the point of the prompt is not to agree or disagree with the authors. Rather, how has the way the author presented and supported his argument effected your perception of, or attitude towards, this issue? You will be evaluated not only on how adequately you respond to the all parts of the prompt and develop your points but also on how you organize your response.

LENGTH: 4-7 pgs DUE: 3-19-20 TOTAL PTS: 40 (You must have 5 pgs of your essay on this date. One hard-copy - NO laptops.)

GENERAL POINT BREAKDOWN____________________________________________________________________ Content: Does the introduction present the general topic of the essay and include a thesis that addresses the prompt? 6 pts. Are all three parts of the prompt adequately detailed in the essay? Are purpose, goal & audience detailed with examples? Are the examples of tone and evidence analyzed and the effectiveness of each example detailed? 11 pts. Are there adequate references to the article in the body paragraphs to illustrate and support the writer’s points?4 pts. Form: Does the essay have a perceivable order: a beginning, middle and end?5 pts. Do the body paragraphs have topic sentences and transitions?5 pts. Are the quotes ‘sandwiched’ or dropped in with no commentary?3 pts. Do the in-text citations and Works Cited page follow MLA guidelines? 3 pts. Grammar/mechanical errors: Are these minimal or frequent enough to hinder clarity? 3 pts. Total 40 pts.

CONNECTION TO STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES Successful papers will demonstrate the following abilities: 1) develop an effective reading and writing process—including prewriting, drafting, revision, 2) analyze the conventions of an academic text, 3) articulate in writing key rhetorical concepts, 4) explore the significance of texts to oneself, 5) format simple manuscripts (page, margin, appropriate font style and size, paragraph indentation, block style, etc., & cite sources accurately using MLA guidelines, 6) edit their own writing for grammar, mechanics, and usage appropriate to academic writing, 7) critique their own and others’ texts to develop their abilities in academic writing.

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The article “There’s No Benefit in Lowering the Drinking Age,” written by Robert Voas
in January 2006, was published in the Christian science monitor. The article captured people’s
attention, who had an interest in the topic of whether the legal age should be changed. Voas tries
to persuade the readers of his article that the drinking age should remain at 21 instead of
lowering it down. He believes that lowering this age will not be beneficial to society. Voas uses
three elements to support his argument; Logos, Pathos, and Ethos.
He backs up his argument with credible facts and well-presented shreds of evidence. He
states, “underage drinking leads to increased teen pregnancy, violent crime, and sexual assaults.”
Voas uses the element of logos, where he refutes arguments in favor of lowering the age of
drinking by including credible facts and logic to back up his case. He states that “According to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 21 law has saved 23,733 lives since
states began raising drinking ages in 1975” (Voas 7). Voas can give his readers a reliable source
with credible facts by referring to the National Highway Traf...

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