An argument is a debatable claim supported by reasons and evidence that work together to convince or persuade a reader to think or do something different.
Synthesis is the process we use to combine information from two or more sources and show relationships among them. The primary aim of argumentative synthesis is to present a claim, demonstrate that multiple credible sources support that claim, and to convince readers that the claim is valid.
You will write an argumentative synthesis trying to persuade an audience of your peers about some aspect of one of the environmental challenges Beavan describes in No Impact Man. You will also refer to at least two other sources that comment on the same topic. You don’t have to agree with Beavan about what should be done to solve or address the problem you select, but you have to show how the topic was addressed by Beavan.
You will need to select a topic that Beavan raises in No Impact Man. You don’t have to agree with him or approve of his actions, but you must choose something that he selected as a point to make in the book. Once you have a topic, you will need to locate credible sources to support your argument about how we should respond to it. Some topics to consider include endocrine disruptors, recycling, low-impact living, pollution, disposable diapers, food quality and distribution, and the environmental impact of transportation.
Your claim is a debatable statement about your topic. If my topic is pet ownership, my claim might be that “people should never own more than three dogs at any one time.” I have to convince my audience that this is the best course of action, using credible sources and careful reasoning.
Audience and Purpose
Your audience is college educated. They are not already holding the belief or taking the action that you suggest, and that’s why you have to write it.
Your essay should compel your readers to change their minds or their actions. By presenting a claim and supporting it thoroughly, you are persuading the audience that your claim is considered to be a good idea by experts. By telling the audience what you discover in your research, you must persuade the audience to change beliefs or actions in response.
Your claim must be a debatable, supportable statement about the environmental issue you choose as a topic. Your call to action is what you will ask your audience to do or believe after they read your essay. Your evidence is a variety of sources your audience will find credible.
You may need to include counter-arguments, or predictions about objections to your claim. For example, some people may think that it’s their right to own as many pets as they want.
You may need to discuss warrants, or the assumptions behind your claim. For example, maybe my claim is that endocrine disruptors should be regulated and their presence in the environment should decrease. I’m assuming that the threats to healthy animal life justify these actions of regulation and control. However, not everyone puts the welfare of living beings above the profits of the producers and distributors of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. I might have to address the different value systems in order to make my point.
· Word processed
· Header with your name, my name, “English 20,” date, and automatic page number
· Name final, submitted file YourLastNameEssay4 (example: northcutEssay4)
· Allow word processor to designate the file extension (.doc or .docx)
· Standard American 8.5x11” pages with 1” margins, left justified, tabbed indentations if used
· Typeface: Arial, Verdana, or Calibri, 12 point
· 14 point bold subheads and bolder, centered title
· 1.15 spacing within paragraphs, 12 points between paragraphs
· 1,500 words +/- 10%
· Appropriate citation style used with only minor errors (APA, MLA, CSE, or Chicago) and references page as last page of essay (new page with hard page break, not new file)
· Elements such as cover/title page, table of contents, and other document features are not required and should not be included