Arguing Essay

Type a short essay, consisting of five paragraphs, an introduction, a body (containing three paragraphs), and a conclusion, about something that should be changed at your current school. It should be between one and two pages long. Make sure it’s double spaced, has one-inch margins, and uses 12-point font.

In addition to what all that you’ve learned on previous essays, make sure that your essay:

  1. Uses tactful, courteous language
  2. Points out common ground (Although we disagree on gun control, we all want our families to be safe.) 
  3. Acknowledges differing viewpoint(s) (Their viewpoint) List and/or explain what the people who disagree with you would say. (Those who don’t want gun control feel that guns keep them safer.)
  4. Grants merits of differing viewpoint(s) (The value of their viewpoint) Explain what is good about the people who disagree with you would say. (It’s true that there have been incidents where a gun in the home has protected the occupants from harm.)
  5. Rebuts differing viewpoint(s) (What’s wrong with their viewpoint.) (The rest of the essay does this.)

Make sure the common ground in your essay is in red font, the opposing argument in green, and the merits of the opposing argument in blue, like the example below.


Tina Fischer
Written Communications TR 8 a.m.
Arguing Essay

Thesis – The Student Success class should be optional, not required.
SP#1 – Not everyone will benefit from the Student Success class.
SP#2 – The Student Success class takes time away from more important classes.
SP#3 – The cost of Student Success is an unnecessary financial burden.

College will always be more of a challenge for some people than others. We can all agree that it is important for people to do well in college. Some may argue that teaching new college students right away how to be successful at schooling is the best way to ensure they will get the most out of their college experience. While it’s true that some students will benefit greatly from Student Success, for some students, the benefits don’t outweigh the burdens. Not everyone will benefit from Student Success. For students like me, Student Success takes time away from more important classes. It also creates an extra unnecessary financial burden on the student. Student Success should be optional, not required.

Not all students will benefit from Student Success. While I agree, some people will benefit from the class, I can think of two specific types of people who will not. If a student isn’t ready for the responsibility of college, this class will not change that. Also, if a student already knows how to excel at school, and knows the information taught in the class, there is no benefit to them taking it. Over the summer I was enrolled in two accelerated courses; Medical Terminology and Chemistry. My program advisor warned me that it would be a lot of work and advised me to maybe only do one or the other. I received a 99% in Medical Terminology and a 103% in Chemistry, without taking Student Success.

Not only will some students not benefit from the class, Student Success takes time away from more important classes. As a college student, it is important to make the most out of the time available. When a student is required to take a class that they aren’t learning anything from and has nothing to do with their program, it leaves them with less time to prepare for their essential classes. This semester, I am enrolled in five classes, including Student Success. My Student Success class meets every week for one hour. While to some that may not seem like a very significant amount of time, to a college student who is trying to balance school, work, and family life, one hour a week could make a huge difference in their academic performance.

In addition to struggling to budget one’s time wisely, a great deal of college students also struggle with their finances. Student Success creates an unnecessary burden on the already tight college student’s budget. The cost of Student Success is $136.64.   Financial aid doesn’t cover this class, so it is up to the student to pay for the class on their own. That money could be better spent on things that would be more beneficial to the student, such as gas money or school supplies. For example, one student in my Student Success class is now having a hard time paying for transportation to and from school. The $136.64 that she spent on Student Success would have covered her bus fare for the entire semester.

Student Success should be optional, not required. While some students will benefit from the class, not all students will. Student Success takes valuable time away from the student’s essential classes. It is also an unnecessary financial burden. When the burdens caused by something outweigh the benefits, it doesn’t make sense to require people to do it. (558 words)

Write an outline before beginning the essay.

Write the body first, then the introduction and conclusion.

When you’re finished, reread the example and your essay–make sure your essay has all the right parts in the right order.

Then, turn it in to Blackboard.

Grading criteria:
Sentence Flow
Arguing techniques 1 – 5 listed above

Grade scale:
6 – excellent
5 – acceptable
4 – needs improvement
3 – missed concept
0 – no attempt