Essay 6: Argument
Draft Due: 7.22
Revision Due: 7.28
In a paper of three to four pages (1200 words minimum), create an argumentative
response to the following statement--you may agree with the statement or disagree with
the statement, but in either case, detail and support your decision. You may do research
into American higher education, but it isn’t completely necessary.
Here’s the statement: Agree or Disagree with logical supporting claims and examples.
The "Majors" system that was developed at Harvard and other colleges and
universities over a century ago is now completely out of date and useless for most
college students. Students need real job training today as most industries,
businesses, and other ventures and careers simply expect new hires to be ready for
jobs on day one. Colleges like Troy should therefore partner with industries and
create job tracks for students to ready them to step into a job after graduation or to
step into a graduate/professional school like law, medicine, business, etc. Who
needs a B.A. in 'English' or 'History' if the only thing an HR department wants is
evidence that one can do the job listed?
Some Tips for Successful Essays:
1. Be sure to go beyond your own thoughts and experiences in this paper—talk to friends,
relatives, and class-mates, do some research on the Internet, in newspapers, in books,
etc. Be sure to cite all of these sources in correct MLA format—see The Writer's
Reference for guidelines.
2. Show both sides of the issue. You MUST have at least one paragraph in which you
clearly, fairly, completely, and honestly show the opposing viewpoint. Be especially sure
to show strengths in the opposing views. But demonstrate why your position is stronger,
overall, than the opposing view.
3. A successful essay will introduce, prove, and support a thesis through a sustained
argument that is strong, active, and grammatically and logically sound.
Double space your essay; include your name, the course number and section at the
top of the first page.
Avoid the use of the second person as it is conversational and too direct. Use the
first person to describe your own thoughts, but better to use the third person in
most of your analysis.
Do not focus on the writing process. Instead of telling your reader what you are
going to do, do it.
Write in the present tense unless specifically describing past events.
How it will be graded:
A failing paper, either a “D” or an “F,” will either be completely off-topic, so
short as to be negligible, and/or be so marred by mechanical errors that meaning
is lost. Further, the argument may not be grounded in a thesis or else lack
examples or explain why the examples given mean for the interpretation.
A “C” paper is one that manages to competently convey information to the
reader—each part has a logical organization with clear thesis statements, contains
coherent and complete sentences, appropriately answers the essay prompt, and
does not have so many mechanical flaws that legibility suffers.
A “B” paper has all the characteristics of a “C,” and in addition displays effective
insights into the essay prompt (possibly acknowledging multiple perspectives on
the issues, or making particularly good choices about what material to address),
has fewer mechanical flaws, and has an organizational scheme and general tone
appropriate to the material.
An “A” paper has all the characteristics of a “B,” and in addition displays few or
no mechanical flaws, pays attention to appropriateness of word choice and
shifting tonality through the essays, displays a command of pacing and sentence
variety appropriate to the varied content of the essays, and may display
particularly thoughtful insights, of contain stylistic devices which illuminate the
After you turn the paper in through Canvas, I will grade and return it to you via email as a
Word or OpenOffice file. I will make comments throughout the paper to offer guidance
on how to improve the paper and your writing in general. If you choose, you may revise
the paper once for a new grade—I am a big believer in revision, so I urge you to take
advantage of this option. You may have until the end of the term to re-submit any or all
of your formal essays for a re-grade.
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