Assignment: Argument Essay—Draft

Length: Minimum 4 pages, double-spaced

For this assignment, you will work through the drafting stage of your writing process in an argument essay.

Assignment Instructions

  1. Review the grading rubric as listed on this page.
  2. Choose a writing prompt as listed above on this page.
  3. Review the Argument Essay Outline you submitted along with feedback you received from that assignment. Make adjustments to the outline in accordance with the feedback. This may include strengthening lines of reasoning, expanding or improving research sources for supporting evidence, creating a more sympathetic introduction to your position, etc.
  4. Develop a complete draft of your essay using your improved Argument Essay Outline. It should meet the following requirements. Papers submitted that do not meet the requirements will be returned to you ungraded.
    • A two-part thesis including statement of position; and forecast of your lines of reasoning
    • A minimum of three credible outside sources formatted on a source page (MLA, Works Cited)
    • MLA formatting (see the MLA Format page as needed)
    • Minimum of four (4) full pages, not including the Works Cited page.
  5. Submit your detailed outline as a single file upload.


Be sure to:

  • Choose a specific issue in which two credible parties have documented clearly opposing positions and clear agendas
  • Choose the position you agree with and argue that position using the following:
    • Three separate lines of reasoning;
    • Each line of reasoning will support your position with research (example, testimony, and fact/data, or any combination) that supports your position; and
    • Research about the opposing position’s views
    • Present the opposing views and refute them.
  • Include a two-part thesis with:
    • Statement of position; and
    • Forecast of your lines of reasoning
  • Develop an enticing title that implies your position.
  • Use a sympathetic appeal and/or cited research in the introduction to establish the issue.
  • Avoid addressing the assignment directly. (Don’t write “I am going to argue about…” Instead, introduce the issue in a more compelling way that makes the reader care.)
  • Your voice should be professional and scholarly.
  • Package your source material with appropriate signaling and commentary.

Grading Rubric: Argument Essay—Draft

Criteria Ratings Point Total: 50
Ideas 15 pts: The paper demonstrates outstanding idea development.

12 pts: The paper demonstrates above average idea development.

11 pts: The writer sufficiently defines the topic, even though development is still basic or general.

9 pts: The paper has an idea that needs to be developed.

0 pts: There is no coherent idea.

15 pts
Content 15 pts: The paper demonstrates outstanding evidence of supporting the main point.

12 pts: The paper demonstrates above average evidence of supporting the main point.

11 pts: The paper demonstrates sufficient support of the main point.

9 pts: The paper requires more supporting evidence of the main point.

0 pts: There is little content supporting the main idea.

15 pts
Organization 15 pts: The organization is outstanding and showcases the central theme. The presentation of information is compelling.

13 pts: The organizational structure is above average.

10 pts: The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion.

8 pts: The writing needs a clearer sense of direction. The internal structure is weak.

0 pts: The organization is poor.

15 pts
Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions 5 pts: The writer demonstrates an outstanding word choice selection, flow and cadence, with well-built sentences and strong grasp of standard writing conventions.

3 pts: The writer demonstrates above average word choice selection, flow and cadence, with well-built sentences and strong grasp of standard writing conventions.

2 pts: The writer demonstrates sufficient selection of words. The text tends to be more mechanical and contains some errors of standard writing conventions.

1 pts: The writer demonstrates a limited vocabulary and lack of fluidity. Errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage and grammar repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.

0 pts: No marks.

5 pts