Analyze This

You have learned about some of the most common organizational structures for academic arguments and learned about the benefits of each one—as well as when it might be best to use each one.

Before you begin working with your own academic argument structure, it might be helpful to review another academic argument for its organizational structure.

In the following video, watch as one student analyzes a traditional academic argumentative essay (Cheap Thrills: The Price of Fast Fashion), one that most closely follows the Aristotelian structure.

Video Transcript
Student says:

Our professor is having us write a traditional or Aristotelian argument for our class, so she is having us analyze a sample essay from the OWL.

I am working with the sample essay, “Cheap Thrills: The Price of Fast Fashion.” In the essay, the author argues for us to reconsider the way we shop for clothes, as there are many negative issues associated with the cheap clothes we find in most stores.

Before the author presents her thesis statement, she must first introduce her topic. Here, the author uses source material to provide background on the topic and then moves into making her case in her thesis statement.

At the end of her introduction, the author presents her thesis statement.

Though a thesis does not always have to be at the end of the introduction, many academic essays will follow that basic structure, and my professor has encouraged us to do this, as we are just learning how to organize arguments.

In this first body paragraph, the author makes an argument that many American consumers are likely aware of the working conditions associated with cheap clothing but choose to purchase it anyway. She ends this paragraph with a really strong claim about how westerners might need to rethink what they need. This directly supports her thesis that we need to re-think the way we shop.

In the second body paragraph, the author presents a topic sentence that makes it clear she is going to focus on the issue of sustainability when it comes to clothing. The author continues, throughout the essay, to develop each paragraph focusing on a different negative repercussion of fast fashion.

It is in the final paragraph of the essay that the author acknowledges those who might disagree with her argument. She admits that it may be much more expensive to buy clothing made under better conditions, but she does this very quickly and doesn’t seem to fully acknowledge the other side as much as we might like to see in an essay like this.

It is important to note that the author does seem to mention opposition in her body paragraphs supporting her thesis, but if she were to give a little more attention to the other side, she might be a little more convincing to those who might be on the fence or disagree with her.

In this final paragraph, she also concludes her argument.

Even though the author could have spent more time addressing the opposition, she does a good job in these final sentences of making a connection to her thesis, which helps reinforce her argument.

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