Should Guns be allowed in the United States? Argumentative (Essay Sample)
Essay Three: Argumentative
For this essay, you are going to pick an issue about which you want to pose an argument, make that argument, and support it with research. This will involve you pulling together all of the skills we’ve learned this semester – having a clear thesis, supporting it with relevant facts, explaining those facts, indicating the significance those facts have to your thesis – and it should stand you in good stead for the work you’ll do in 102.You should pick a topic that genuinely interests you and that you are prepared to discuss in an academic way. That is to say, the topic you pick does not have to be an academic one in the sense it doesn’t have to be a formal, traditional concept, but you must be prepared to use peer-reviewed research materials and academic discourse – not emotional reasoning or subjective, personal anecdotes only – to support your point. We will be spending one week in the library learning how to use the library databases and collecting information from the databases. If I am giving this much class time over to this, it should tell you I don’t want to see commercial websites, blogs, Wikipedia, or any other non-academic sources being used in your essay. There is a reason for this – you cannot trust the information on these sites, and future instructors will not accept such sources being used in your essay because they are not respected/trusted. I will lower your grade if I see these sources appearing in your essay.Plagiarism is a big temptation on this essay. Don’t do it. You have no idea how easy plagiarism is to detect, and you will receive a zero if you do it, so don’t take the risk. I will have no sympathy if you are caught plagiarizing on this paper since we have gone over how to avoid this many times this semester. Cite your sources, paraphrase them (and do it appropriately) wherever possible, and mix in your own explanations/connections to avoid this problem.You need to have a clear argument that you are pursuing in this essay. Things that are NOT clear arguments include:•Asking a question – if the title or thesis of your essay is a question, you are probably already in trouble. Why? Because you are supposed to be telling us why we should agree with you that something is the way it is, not asking us whether it is a certain way. For example, if the title of your essay is “Should there be stricter gun control?”, I have no idea where you stand. In an argumentative essay, that’s a problem.•Comparing and contrasting – I should not see any “X vs. Y” titles (e.g. Abstinence vs. Birth Control). This is not taking a side on an issue; it is you telling me about two different things. That is an informative essay, not an argumentative one.In other words, take a position! Have a point of view! Support that point of view with facts, statistics, research, and clear explanations. Make your voice resonate in academia. You’d be amazed how powerful this can be.A NOTE ON QUOTATIONS: Many students come to college thinking that using a lot of quotations makes their paper good. It doesn’t. You should use quotations VERY sparingly, opting for paraphrasing the
majority of the time. Your quotations must also be relevant to your point with contextualization and explanation surrounding them. Anyone can stick a quotation in an essay; the skill lies in picking the right quotation and not making the quotation do all of the work for you. Consult the materials I’ve provided in the “Quotation Materials” folder in the course files page for additional information on how to do this.
Essay 3 Introduction Paragraph Guidelines1) An attention-grabber to hook your audience in. DO NOT ask a question as your hook. This is very high school. Draw us in with a relevant personal anecdote (but keep it brief) or general discussion you can bring into the essay topic.2) Introduce the key arguments made about this issue. You don't have to introduce each author you will be citing as that would take a long time since you are dealing with multiple authors. Instead, tell us what different views of the issue are. For instance, if I were doing my essay on gun control, I might mention some of the most common arguments in the debate - Second Amendment rights and the ability to protect oneself versus safety in public places in light of recent mass shootings and the lack of gun violence in countries that have banned/heavily restricted them. You don't need to give us a lot of information about these points of view - just let us know these are some of the issues people raise in this discussion.3) You will want to transition into and then offer your thesis. This is where you will tell us where you stand on the issue, and you may like to give us a preview as to why you took this stance. Remember, your stance has to be informed by research from valid sources, so make sure you do your research first. ***If you struggle with introductions, They Say, I Say has a template you might find very helpful for this essay and future essays in college. It's on page 9 of the edition I am using, but because of the bookstore issue with some people getting one edition and some people getting another, you may find the template is on a page before or after that. It begins with "In recent discussions of _______...." You do not have to use this template, and if you use it, you can certainly adjust it as you see fit or leave it as it is. It really is up to you.***
Essay 3 Body Paragraph OutlineTopic Sentence: One reason X should be the case is (insert a clear, focused reason here)o e.g. One reason America should introduce stricter gun control laws is because mass shootings have become common occurrences.Support: Provide specific evidence from the articles you have chosen to support your point. DO NOT use anecdotal evidence (i.e. don’t use a stories about individual cases; in this case, I would NOT use examples of recent mass shootings that have taken place). I could, however, use the following:o Statistics about how many mass shootings have happened in the U.S. in the past few years.o Comparisons of the regularity of mass shootings in the U.S. versus other countries that have strict gun control lawso Any research explicitly stating the regularity of mass shootings is directly linked to our gun control laws. DO NOT use editorial or opinion pieces for this but rather studies from peer-reviewed pieces in the library databases. Explain your support: Tell us what your quotations, paraphrases, statistics, etc. all mean. Don’t editorialize, meaning you should not add any sort of attitude or judgement but rather just a statement of what the facts tell us.Conclude your paragraph: Tell us how the information you just gave to us and explained for us supports the main idea you expressed in the topic sentence and your thesis overall.***Remember, you need to have a naysayer paragraph and a refutation, so make sure you follow the pattern laid out for you in the Writing a Counterargument resource in the Essay 3 materials file***
IntroductionAttention-grabber – a personal anecdote, a news story, a quotation you explainPresent the general arguments of both sidesYour thesis – where do you stand? (Don’t say, “In my opinion” or “In this paper, I will...”
Should Guns be allowed in the United States?
In the United States, it is not usual to see citizens having a gun. Gun laws have made headlines in the United States after the two attacks that happened in Texas and Ohio. People can now own and carry a firearm anywhere, and this seems to be a fundamental right for every citizen in the United States. The right to own a gun is written in the constitution. The only reason that limits people from possessing a firearm is if one was previously convicted, if one has a mental illness or if one is not a citizen of the United States. The right to keep a gun is written in the Second Amendment of the constitution. If firearms are banned, citizens will not be able to protect themselves in case of danger. Therefore gun laws should be upheld in the United States, and citizens should be allowed to own guns.
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