Purpose and Overview
Your first essay assignment of the semester asks you to make an argument based upon a claim of
fact. It is the first of the three types of claims you will use to make arguments this semester. It
also builds upon skills you enhanced in ENGL 100 F (or its equivalent): development of your
ideas, research, and organization of material. A claim of fact needs factual information as
support. You will write arguments based upon claims of value and claims of policy later in the
In an essay of at least 1,200 words (about 4-5 pages), chose a topic about which you can make an
argument based upon a claim of fact. You may use one of the topics in the background readings
listed above or you may decide to select a topic of your own.
You will need to use at least three outside source
Use MLA format when introducing and citing sources, including the readings from the textbook.
You will also need to provide a Works Cited list that includes all of the outside sources you used
in your final draft. The Works Cited list does not count toward the minimum word count.
Thesis and Rough Draft Workshop, you will need to have made a tentative selection of a
possible topic and located at least one outside source other than the readings from the textbook.
You should have also considered which form of an argument about a claim of fact you intend to
take (a statement in favor of a particular interpretation of data, a suggestion of a causal
relationship, a prediction, or a case for the acceptance of new evidence). You will respond to a
series of questions online in preparation for your final draft submission.
Some notes to help you with your rough and final drafts:
- Choose a specific topic or issue that lends itself to a claim of fact. The more specific the
issue, the easier it will be to research and discuss. The broader the issue is, the more
factual support you will need to provide. Set reasonable parameters for yourself.
- You may be tempted to provide a solution to whatever issue you are discussing.
However, remember that the goal of this assignment is not to provide a claim of policy (a
proposal or problem-solution paper). Instead, you are primarily going to be supporting a
claim of fact, so choose your topic carefully and wisely.
- Early in your prewriting process, select which particular form of the argument you want
- A statement in favor of a particular interpretation of data
- A suggestion of a causal relationship (cause and/or effect)
- A prediction
- A case for the acceptance of new data
- The counterarguments for this argument will need to address the particular form of the
claim of fact that you’re making.
- If you’ve chosen to make a statement in favor of a particular interpretation of
data, then the opposition will need to favor a different interpretation of that data
- If you’ve chosen to suggest a causal relationship, then the opposition will need to
suggest a different cause or a different effect than the one you are concentrating
- If you’re making a prediction, then the opposition will need to suggest a different
outcome than what you’re predicting based upon the same information or
- If you’re making the case for the acceptance of new data, then the opposition will
need to question the need for accepting the data in the same way that you have
REMINDER Labeling a statement a claim of fact does not make it true