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Research Workshop: Writing and Presenting the Argumentative Essay, Part 1

Which is the best example of a thesis statement for an argumentative essay about zoos and animal welfare?

Although many people feel that keeping animals captive in zoos is cruel, zoos are necessary for animal conservation and research.

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Zoos have been around for thousands of years, and each year they draw millions of people to see the variety of animals they house.

Many animals die prematurely in zoos because they are exposed to infectious diseases.

Animals can be bred at zoos to increase their population and to combat extinction.

A.
Millions of dollars have been spent by taxpayers on programs to improve education.

Which revision offers the most improvement in sentence fluency?

Programs to improve education cost millions of dollars, and taxpayers need to pay for them.

Taxpayers have spent millions of dollars on programs to improve education.

So much money has been spent on education by way of taxes.

Programs endorsed by taxpayers have also been funded by taxpayers.

B.
High-sugar foods should have the same sales restrictions as other harmful substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.

(Pay close attention to how the question is worded)

Which statement best represents a counterclaim to this claim?

Sugar is a nutrient that the body uses as a source of energy; alcohol and tobacco are not.

Consuming too much sugar over time can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sugar is cheaper to buy than alcohol and tobacco.

Studies have shown that sugar can be addictive.

A.
High-sugar foods should have the same sales restrictions as other harmful substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.

(Pay close attention to how the question is worded)

Which piece of evidence, if true, would best support this
claim?

Sugar is a natural source of energy for the body.

It has been reported that the average child consumes over thirty teaspoons of sugar per day.

Consuming too much sugar over time can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sugar is cheaper to buy than alcohol and tobacco.

C.
Which sentence best demonstrates an appropriate style for an argumentative essay?

Anyone who believes we should increase taxes is incapable of logical reasoning and should be discounted.

Increasing taxes would place an unnecessary hardship on the citizens and should be avoided.

Local legislative bodies are tasked with generating revenue to manage the needs of their districts.

Taxes are already out of control; it is unbelievable that the legislature is considering an increase.

B.
Which list best describes the organization of an argumentative essay?

thesis, description, supporting details, conclusion
thesis, reasons, evidence, counterclaim, conclusion
thesis, counterclaims, reasons, conclusion
thesis, description, evidence, conclusion

B.
Which of the following parts of an argumentative essay belongs in the introduction?

reason
evidence
counterclaim
thesis

D.
Is a college education worth the price today? College tuition has almost doubled in the last twenty years. More than half of all recent college graduates are currently unemployed or in jobs that do not require a college degree.

Which revision offers the most improvement in sentence fluency?

College tuition has almost doubled in the last twenty years because more than half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or in jobs that do not require a college degree.

College tuition has almost doubled in the last twenty years; however, more than half of all recent college graduates are currently unemployed or in jobs that do not require a college degree.

College tuition has almost doubled in the last twenty years; therefore, more than half of all recent college graduates are currently unemployed or in jobs that do not require a college degree.

College tuition has almost doubled in the last twenty years and more than half of all recent college graduates are unemployed and others are in jobs that do not require a college degree.

B.
An effective thesis in an argumentative essay must

present both sides of the issue.
contain a quote from a source.
state a position on the topic.
include accurate statistics.

C.
Evidence to support a claim in an argumentative essay should be part of the

thesis statement.
body paragraphs.
introductory paragraph.
concluding paragraph.

B.