Argumentation Paper Prompt


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RHET 108: Argumentation Paper Prompt


Length: 4 pages of text (excluding title and Works Cited page).


An informal outline is required. Your paper will not be accepted without it.


Format and Documentation Style: MLA


The Assignment:


Provide a balanced argument on the following:


Should the death penalty continue to be carried out in the United States?


Research the subject of capital punishment very thoroughly from diverse sources.

Cite 6 sources: 2 scholarly journals, 2 books or chapters from 2 books, and 2 newspapers.


Treat 3 claims and corresponding counterclaims made by your sources about the topic.


Some of the sub-issues on which claims and counterclaims have been based include the following, most of which I discussed in class:








Revenge (Retribution)


Choose 3 of the above or any three sub-issues you want.


MLA In-Text Citations:


Use the 2 systems that you studied earlier—the signal phrase and parenthetical methods.


Works Cited:


Review the information and models in LBW, pp. 122-126; p. 132 and in Mirror, pp. 387-388.






Introductory paragraph:


Begin this paragraph with a hook to arrest and maintain the reader’s attention, as done in the Analysis paper.

Provide relevant background information on capital punishment.

Develop the paragraph adequately, as instructed previously.

End the paragraph with your thesis sentence, which should state that a debate about whether or not capital punishment should continue to be used in the United States is based on 3 grounds.

List the 3.

Type the thesis sentence in bold face and underline it.


Body paragraphs:


Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence, in boldface and underlined, stating the specific ground on which there is a debate or controversy.

Present the evidence in support of each stated claim, followed by the evidence in support of the counterclaim.

Use mostly summaries and only 2 direct quotations in the entire paper.

Then make your voice heard by critiquing the evidence advanced by each side.

As instructed previously, produce body paragraphs that are coherent, unified, and adequately developed.

See the handout on the definition and characteristics of a paragraph together with the list of transitions.




Plagiarism is prohibited by the University (see the syllabus for the policy on plagiarism and the consequences of flouting the prohibition).


Concluding paragraph:


Craft a concluding paragraph that wraps up the paper as done in the Analysis paper. Do not raise any new issues not discussed in the paper.


The Writing Center:


Before submitting your paper for peer review, edit and proofread it. Additionally, go to the Writing Center for help and attach proof of attendance when you submit your draft to me.





Other requirements:


Your grade will be based on meeting the above requirements and on the use of correct grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling.


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