Argument/counterargument | English homework help


Previously you did some great work identifying your target audience for your research project.  The whole fun of writing a persuasive paper is to pick an audience who disagrees with you, or at least is undecided about the matter.  Then you use charm, wit, and raw intelligence to prove that they’re absolutely silly for thinking what they do, and that they better come over to your side or else the world will end. 

In being persuasive and winning the fight, it helps a lot to remember that your target audience has reasons for their position on the issue.  Those reasons may not be GOOD ones, of course, but they have some motivation for thinking or feeling the way they do.  (I still don’t like eating at Jack in the Box because a friend of mine had a really bad experience there years ago, in another state.  Not a very rational reason, I admit, but it does shape my behavior when it comes to fast food.)

In order to be truly persuasive, you have to understand what people’s motivations are, and acknowledge those in your essay.  If you don’t, then readers will think one of two things: 1) you don’t know what the other side thinks, and are therefore ignorant, or 2) you know what they think, but you just don’t have any good response for it and are avoiding it.

I’d like you to visit POWA’s “Anticipating Opposition” article  (Links to an external site.)and read the content there.  Then, return to this discussion and build your own pro/con chart, using your thesis as the “proposition.”  It’ll be easier to create a list, rather than a chart, given our constraints in the discussion forum platform.

Then look at one or two of your “con” statements in more detail.  How will you acknowledge these arguments in your own essay, and what will you say to your reader to counter them?  For instance, if I were trying to talk myself into eating at Jack in the Box again, I’d acknowledge that finding a bug in your food is yes, a traumatic event.  But it was an isolated incident, and in no way reflects the standards of the chain overall.  I’d go into food safety data and possibly relate the health scores of the local franchises recently.  Maybe I’d even embark on a smear campaign and talk about similar events that have occurred at other fast food chains, to show it’s not particular to one brand. 

Your post should be at least 150-200 words.  It doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect, but should use standard English (no text-speak, please) and normal capitalization rules. 

You will also need to return to this Discussion to reply to at least one of your classmates’ posts.  Content could include, but is not limited to, any of the following: Suggest further elements that could be added either to the Pro or Con side of their chart.  Indicate what it would take for you to be convinced, if you were on the con side of the argument.  

Responses are weighed as heavily as your initial posting, and should be roughly as long (150-200 words).  Responses should indicate you’ve read your classmate’s post carefully.  Include specific details from the post you’re responding to in your reply.

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