Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Sample

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The following are decent examples of Persuasive / Argumentative Essays, designed to help you think about the form more deeply. They aren’t “slam dunk” essays that guarantee an “A”. In fact, we’ve given you some perspective on how writing instructors would view these examples. Notice how the grammar doesn’t really play into the analysis of the examples; the writing is competent. It’s the ideas and choices that need work.
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  • Is Technology Making Us Smarter or Dumber?
    • First up, this essay reads like a professional writer’s work – and it is.
    • By posing a question the essay delivers on an original argument (“it isn’t smarter or dumber – it’s impact…”) but it’s an answer to a question that is too broad for a short paper. Indeed, the author is working on a book-length work to address the issues he raises.
    • As an expert this author can perhaps get away with making sweeping statements about the origins of cooking, but an undergraduate writer cannot. There would need to be many more citations if this were an academic paper.
    • The essay includes a counterargument. Check! Notice the, “I think you can argue…” paragraph. Also a nice example of using “you” in writing – which many students are told never to do. It works here.
    • 11trees Grade: B+/F depending on fixing citations

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