See It in Practice

Now that you have learned about additional options for structuring and organizing arguments, it’s time to visit our student to see what decisions she has made about the structure of her argument.

In this video, watch as our student develops an outline for her argument, which well help her as she drafts her argumentative essay.

Video Transcript
Student says:

After learning about the many options we have for different argumentative purposes, I’ve decided I want to use elements of the proposal type of argument as I develop an overall classical or Aristotelian type essay. This means, for my body paragraphs, I’m going to focus exactly on my assertion that marijuana should be legalized in Texas, and then I will be sure to address the opposing views after I present my proposal.

So, here is my outline:

I. Introduction

A. Narrative about some of the history of marijuana

B. Transition to my thesis

C. Thesis: Due to a greater understanding of marijuana and its effects, American sentiment about the legalization of marijuana seems to be changing, and with good reason. With careful regulation, marijuana should be a legal drug in the state of Texas.

In my introduction, I provide a little bit of narrative about some of the history of marijuana and then I transition to my thesis, which is still a working thesis at this point

II. Body Paragraph I: Changing Perceptions

A. present research on changing attitudes

B. Polls in our state

C. Make connections to other states, Washington and Colorado

In my first body paragraph, I talk about the changing perceptions of marijuana and then in the next body paragraph I want to get into the reasons for those changing perceptions, so I can really dig into some of the science that I found in my research.

III. Body Paragraph II: Reasons for changing perceptions

A. Arrests and prosecution costs

B. Effects and addiction

C. Potential revenues

Then I transition into my plan or my proposal, what legalization would look like, using Washington and Colorado as models.

IV. Body Paragraph III: What legalization looks like

A. Comparing the Washington and Colorado models

B. Regulation and safety

C. Keeping children and young adults safe

And then, of course, I want to make sure in my next body paragraph that I have time to focus on the benefits of my plan because I think that’s going to be really persuasive.

V. Body paragraph IV: Benefits of Plan

A. revenue

B. arrests

I want to also make sure I devote a couple of body paragraphs to address the opposing views. I think this is going to be critical because this is a controversial argument, and I want to make sure that I’m digging into the science to support my argument, and making sure that I’m addressing each big concern that I’ve come across in my research.

VI and VII: Body paragraphs to address opposing views

A. addiction

B. gateway drug

C. driving laws

D. comparisons to alcohol

And then finally in my conclusion, I plan to summarize the change in cultural perceptions, reemphasize the benefits of my plan, remind my audience of my main idea or thesis, and then do my best to leave them with something to think about.

VIII: Conclusion

A. Summarize change in cultural perceptions

B. Summarize main ideas and benefits of plan

C. Remind audience of my thesis

D. Leave readers with something to think about

I think this is a good outline. It could definitely change once I start drafting, but I think I have a really good start here.

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