Essay Five – Argument

Your assignment is to choose one of the three prompts listed below in order to write a Definition essay.
Your essay should be no less than 750 words (2 ½ – 3 double-spaced, typed pages), and should have a
solid thesis statement that is well-supported by topic sentences and concrete details and examples. Your
essay should be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font and adhere to MLA format guidelines (see: A
Writer’s Resource – pgs. 329-341 for correct formatting). You may use personal experiences to serve as
examples, but do so by using third person and avoiding the use of first and second person pronouns.
“Remember that you must maintain an objective perspective by taking yourself out of the essay even
though the topic may be one that is very personal to you” (from Bridging the Gap: Developing Academic
Writing Skills by Delma McLeod-Porter and Shonell Bacon).
An Argument essay must serve a purpose; therefore, your essay must have a dominant impression
(thesis). Your thesis should be one in which you either agree or disagree with the topic you choose to
write about and your body paragraphs should support your argument with ample concrete details and
You will also need to incorporate at least three outside sources to support your argument. All three
sources must be used in your essay and each source you use must be cited on your Works Cited. You may
choose any academically credible sources you feel will best support the stance you choose to argue for or
Remember, at least one of your chosen sources should be a primary source. The other two can be
secondary sources, but at least one of your secondary sources should be from a scholarly journal.
Paragraphs should begin with topic sentences and end with transition sentences. Quotes and paraphrases
are used to support your ideas and opinions about your subject, not take the place of major components of
an essay; therefore, quotes and paraphrases should not begin or end your paragraphs, but be used as
examples within your body paragraphs.
1. Scientists insist that animal testing is necessary for the continuation of medical research
and the advancement of scientific knowledge. Write an argumentative essay that takes a
stand on whether animal testing is ethical, or if this type of testing should be outlawed.
2. Gambling is one of America’s favorite pastimes, especially in states like Louisiana and
Nevada. If a person were to examine the positive and negative consequences of
gambling, he or she might find that one consequence outweighs the other. Write an
argumentative essay that supports whether or not gambling is positive or negative for
3. Sooner or later, some of you may want to have children. Write an argumentative essay
that supports whether or not children should be reared in small towns or larger cities.
There are both positives and negatives for either; therefore, you will want to consider
either the positives or the negatives of rearing a child in either of these environments and
construct your argument around one environment being a better place to rear a child than
the other.