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Evaluation of legal age for drinking alcohol


Begin by Reading:   Be sure to also read all the assigned readings from the text. You must cite your sources within your documents as well as on the Works Cited Page. Be sure to use at least four-five sources.Take a stand on an issue and defend that stand with sound reasons. DO NOT USE I OR YOU OR PUT IN ANY PERSONAL COMMENTS!!!!!! If you are unclear about a certain way to do an in text citation and your book doesn’t answer your question, Google Purdue Online Writing (also one of the files I provided). Also, READ the files I have provided for you on plagiarism in the files section. You may be plagiarizing and not even know you are doing so.

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Pay particular attention to the Models in your textbook in the argument chapter and the readings in the back of the book.

 Then choose one of the topic ideas listed below on which to write your own argument, being sure to follow these instructions:

 Topic chosen: the legal age for drinking alcohol shouldn’t be lowered

  1. Write a 5-7 page essay PLUS a works cited page. If you do the minimum length of five pages, it MUST be a FULL five pages (it can be longer, but NO shorter). Use your word count in your word processor). USE MLA FORMAT ONLY!!!!!!!
  1. Choose  from the ideas listed below and, write an Argument  Essay


  1. Be sure to use the correct format for your essays, and double space. Check carefully for grammar and spelling errors.


  1. Upload your finished essays as a doc or docx ONLY.

Arguments come in many shapes and serve different purposes. These can include Causal Analyses, Literary Analyses, or Rhetorical Analyses. At the same time, less specialized arguments also have distinctive features. In any argument, you must offer levelheaded and disputable claims. In other words, in any argument, something clear and specific ought to be at stake. Maybe you want to change readers’ minds about an issue or reaffirm what they already believe. In either situation, you will need a well-defined and appropriately qualified point, either stated or implied. To do this you will need to:

  1. Offer good reasons to support a claim.Without evidence and supporting reasons, a claim is merely an assertion – and little better than a shout or a slogan. While slogans do have their appeal in advertising and politics, they don’t become arguments until they are developed through full-bodied thinking and supported by a paper trail of evidence.
  1. Respond to opposing claims and points of view. You will not be able to make a strong case until you can honestly paraphrase the logic of those who see things differently. If you wish to seem smarter and more fair in your own arguments, you must acknowledge these other reasonable opinions even as you go about refuting them. So, be prepared to address even the less rational claims temperately, but firmly.
  1. Use language strategically. Opinions clothed in good sense still need to dress for the occasion. This means you have to find the right words and images to carry a case forward. It goes without saying that many appeals you encounter daily do not measure up to the criteria of a serious argument – just because they are stylish, hip, or repeated so often that they begin to “sound” true. This means you will need to reach for a higher standard.
  1. Learn much more about your subject, which means doing basic library and solid online research to get a better handle on it – especially when you think you already have all the answers – because the chances are good you don’t!
  1. State a preliminary claim, if only for yourself.Some arguments fail because the writer never examines his/her own thinking. Instead they wander around the topic, throwing out ideas or making contradictory assertions, hoping that reader will somehow be able to assemble the random parts. In order to avoid this misdirection, begin with a claim – a sentence that states a position you will then have to defend! You most likely will change this initial claim as you begin your research and begin assembling your information, but such a preliminary statement will keep you on track as you explore the topic.
  1. Qualify the claim you make to make it reasonable.As you learn more about the topic idea, you may find it necessary to revise your topic idea to reflect the complications you encounter. Your tentative thesis will grow longer, but the topic will actually narrow because of the issues and conditions you’ve specified. You also have less work to do, thanks to qualifying expressions such as some, most, a few, often, under certain conditions, occasionally, when necessary, and so on.
  1. Examine your core assumptions.Claims may be supported by reasons and evidence, but they are based on assumptions. Assumptions are the principles and values on which we ground our beliefs and actions. Sometimes they are controversial and stand right out. Other times they are so close to us they seem invisible because they are part of the air we breathe. Hence you can expect to spend a paragraph defending any assumptions your readers might find controversial.

Next you have to understand who your audience is. Keep in mind that specific topics touch groups of readers differently, so you will need to consider a variety of approaches when determining the audience for your argument(s).

  1. Consider your own limits.If you read material that basically confirms your own political views, say, you might be in for a wake-up call when you venture an opinion beyond your small circle of friends. Tread softly. There are good reasons people don’t talk politics at parties. When you do argue about social, political, or religious issues it is important to be respectful of those who work from premises that are different from your own.
  1. Consider race and ethnicity.The different lives people live as a result of their heritage plays a role in many claims you might make about education, politics, art, religion, or even athletics. Be sensitive but don’t be gutless, either.
  1. Consider gender and sexual orientation.These issues almost always matter, and often in very unexpected ways. Men and women, whether straight or gay, don’t inhabit quite the same worlds. But, even so, you shouldn’t argue, either, as if all men and all women somehow think the same way – or should! False assumptions about gender can lead you right into the middle of a live minefield.
  1. Consider income and class.People’s lives are often defined by the realities of their economic situations – and the assumptions that follow from privilege, poverty, or something in between. Think it would be just dandy to have an outdoor pool on campus or a convenient new parking garage? You may find that not everyone is as eager or as able as you to absorb the costs of such proposals to improve campus life, or the neighborhood. And if you intend to complain about fat cats, ridicule soccer moms, or poke fun at rednecks, is it because you can’t imagine them among your readers? Think again.
  1. Consider religion and spirituality.Members of different organized religions manage to insult each other almost without trying, more so now perhaps as religion routinely seems to take center stage in the political and diplomatic arena. People within the same denomination often hold incompatible views. And the word atheist can engender negative reactions in certain audiences. It takes skill and good sense to keep the differences in mind when your topic demands it.
  1. Consider age!Obviously, you’d write differently for children than for their parents on almost any subject, changing your style, vocabulary, and allusions. But consider that people at different ages really have lived different lives. The so-called greatest generation never forgot the Depression; youngsters today will remember the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, and the school shooting in Littleton, Colorado and at Virginia Tech. a writer has to be savvy enough to account for such differences when constructing an argument.

Finding and developing materials

Begin by listing your reasons. Once you have a subject, come up with reasons to support your claim. Write them down, then start reading and continue to list new reasons as they rise, not being too fussy at this point. Be careful to paraphrase these ideas so that you don’t inadvertently plagiarize them later. Also be careful to note down the name of the author, the title of the work you are looking at and all the publishing information which will be needed for the works cited page and for citing your sources in the body of your paper (author, title, publication info, URL).

Once you have gathered notes and finished the research, review everything you have accumulated and group the arguments that support your position. You should be able to detect patterns and relationships among those reasons and at this time begin to streamline your list of potential arguments into just three or four – which could become the key reasons behind your claim. Look for logical connections or sequences.

Assemble your hard evidence. This means to gather together examples, illustrations, testimony, and any needed numbers to support each main point of your argument. Record these items as you read, photocopying the data or downloading it carefully into labeled files on your computer. Take this evidence from the most reputable sources and keep track of all bibliography information, as mentioned above – even if you aren’t expected to document your argument. You want that data on hand in case your credibility is challenged later.

If you are using facts from a Website, do your best to track the information back to its actual and original source. For example, if a blogger quotes statistics from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, take a few minutes to find the table or graph of the site itself and make sure the information is accurate and correctly quoted or paraphrased.

Cull the best quotations. To prove your argument, use quotes from your sources intelligently. Choose quotations to use that do one or more of the following:

  • Put your issue in focus or context
  • Make a point with exceptional power and economy.
  • Support a claim or piece of evidence that readers might doubt
  • State an opposing point well.

Be sure to quote correctly, and if you must insert words to have the quote make better sense, do so by putting those works in [brackets].

Find logical counterarguments. This is to maintain an unbiased and fair attitude towards the readers who may have a different take or point of view, and shows intelligent and mature ability to argue fairly. And if you study your subject thoroughly, you will come across plenty of honest disagreement. List all the reasonable objections that you can find to your claim, either to your basic argument or to any controversial evidence you expect to cite. Decide which you must refute in detail, which you might handle briefly, and which you can afford to dismiss.  Address counterpoints when necessary, not in a separate section. Hence, an argument might look like this:

Introduction leading to a claim or thesis statement:

  1. First reason and supporting evidence (stronger)
  2. Second reason and supporting evidence (strong)
  3. Third reason and supporting evidence (strongest)
  4. Counterarguments

You should hold your best argument for the end. You want strong arguments throughout the paper. You need a high note early on to get your reader invested, then another “moment” as you finish to send them out the door having accepted or at least giving your claim serious consideration. If you must summarize an argument, don’t let a flat “recap” of the main points squander an important opportunity to influence your reader. End with a strong flourish that reminds your readers how compelling your arguments are.  You can end with a pithy phrase, an ironic twist, or a question to contemplate to lock down your case. Here is Maureen Dowd’s bleak but memorable conclusion to her argument defending the job journalists have done covering the Iraq War:

Journalists die and we know who they are. We know they liked to cook and play Scrabble. But we don’t know who killed them, and their killers will never be brought to justice. The enemy has no face, just a finger on a detonator. – “Live from Baghdad: More Dying,” New York Times, May 31, 2006

So, to cap:

  1. Invite your readers into your story with a strong opening
  2. Write vibrant sentences
  3. Ask rhetorical questions
  4. Use imagery and or images to make a point.

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