How to write an Argumentative Essay on “Gun Control

For your Argumentative Essay on Gun Control, you are to write a single-spaced, 12 –point font, 8-10 page essay and argument diagram in two Phases and in strict accordance to the format below. Late phases will only be accepted if they are one class-session late but will be worth only ½ the points.

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Phase I: In this phase, you are to write the Introduction (Section I-see essay outline below) and your main argument in Standard Form, along with its corresponding diagram (this will correspond to what you write in Section II.A-see essay outline below). Make sure that your argument does not have less than 4 or more than 8 premises. I will not accept diagrams that have more than 8 premises. Also, the argument must be a complex one (the diagram must have premises at least two levels deep). Once I receive your work for this phase, I will grade it, make comments on it, and hand it back to you.

To be clear, for Phase I you will need to turn in two things: a) your introduction and b) your main argument in Standard Form and diagrammed.

Phase II: In this phase, you are to finish the entire essay, including the diagrams, and rewrite the Introduction and the Standard Form argument and diagram from Phase I, in conformity with my comments.

Gun Control

You are to upload on Moodle (by clicking on “Essay Phase II Upload Here” and following the instructions) the completed essay along with the corresponding argument diagrams and you are to email me Phase I, along with my comments. Phase II of your essay will be automatically checked for plagiarism by TurnItIn, also, your grammar and spelling will be checked by TurnItin. I will discount points for faulty grammar and spelling.

The standard form arguments and corresponding diagrams and the bibliography count as part of the paper length.
The topic of your essay must be on a current and controversial issue, such as illegal immigration reform, gun control, the abortion debate or the Proposition 8 debate, etc. You must explicitly state what specific position you will take regarding the topic.

You must write the essay as if your audience is intelligent but knows nothing about the subject matter that you are writing about.
If you write about the abortion or the marriage debate, you are to use the article assigned to this class that counters your position. Specifically, you are to include the argument that most closely responds to your main argument as your counter-argument in the essay.

Make sure that you do not end up with an argument for your position that the article counters and that you have not dealt with. In other words, do not respond to the counter-argument with an argument that has already been dealt with in the article.

Argumentative Essay “Gun Control” Paper Outline

Paper Title

I. Introduction This section contains no more than 2 paragraphs and should only contain one quotation, maximum. The introduction must contain a brief explanation of the context or background of your topic. You will then ask a question related to your topic, such as, “Should our current immigration laws be strictly enforced?” or “Should the Mosque be built next to the 9/11 Memorial?” You are to finish your introduction by clearly stating your answer to your own question. This answer will be the conclusion of your main argument (the argument itself is to be placed in section II.A.).

II. Body of Paper (supply appropriate title here)

A. Case for position (1-4 paragraphs)

Clearly state the reasons (premises) for why you think that your position is true. (You must include the summary of this argument in “standard form,” along with the corresponding diagram)

(You may include 1 or 2 quotations)

B. Counter-Argument (1 paragraph)

****Important**** If you chose to write on the topics of marriage or abortion, you must take your counter-argument from the article that I’ve posted or will post on Moodle that opposes your position. Further, do not respond to the counter-argument with an arguments that has already been given and countered in the article from which you take your counter-argument

Summarize your opponent’s strongest possible argument in a fair and honest way. Remember that the counter-argument must be a defense of the opposite response that you gave to the question in the introduction.


Essay “Gun Control”

You must find and cite a source that supports or gives your counter-argument. (You must include the summary of this argument in “standard form,” along with the corresponding diagram. This diagram has no minimum of premises and the premises do not have to be at least two levels deep. However, it is not to have more than 8 premises or it will not be accepted.)
(You may include 1 quotation)

C. Respond to Counter-Argument (1 paragraph)

Analyze the argument, explaining what is wrong with it. (You must include the summary of this argument in “standard form,” along with the corresponding diagram) (You may include 1 quotation)
III. Conclusion (1 or 2 paragraphs)

A. Summarize the main point(s) of your essay in one paragraph (no quotations).

B. So what? What is the importance of answering the question in the way you did? (no quotations)
IV. Bibliography

(For footnotes and bibliography use The APA Style format. See the citation guide:

Important Points (reductions in your grade will be made if these points are ignored)
1) You must label each major paragraph of your essay in accord with the above outline (I., II., III, and IV also, you must label section II.A, II.B. and II.C).


Essay on “Gun Control”

2) Section II.A and B of your essay must match your two argument diagrams.
3) Use quotations sparingly and do not use quotations longer than two lines or points will be deducted. Quotations that include ideas must be explained.

4) Define terms that are ambiguous (those that can be taken in two or more sense), obscure, technical, or controversial.

5) Make sure to proofread your paper, taking out spelling and grammatical errors. You will be marked down for these.

6) Do not plagiarize. To plagiarize means “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source.” (Webster’s online dictionary If you plagiarize, you will be given “0” points.

7) Make sure that all of your standard form premises and conclusions are written in full sentences.

8) Make sure that your arguments and counter-arguments are valid, relevant, and strong.

Argumentative Essay “Gun Control”

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