Outline assignment | English homework help

Here is intruduction of outline, sample outline and two articles that must read

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2nd Assignment:  Outline with Works Cited—The Value of a Liberal Arts Education


After we have discussed the articles assigned for Unit Three and you have determined your position on the issue, you will need to plan how to support and develop an argument for your response to the articles.  The question you choose to answer could be answered (i.e., developed in an essay) with historical precedent, statistics, description of circumstances, comparison or contrast to the current situation, logical analysis of causes (reasons for events) and effects (results, benefits, dis/advantages), reference to international law, and philosophical discussion. 


Since arguments must be carefully constructed in order to be effective, your first assignment will be an outline of your proposed argument; the outline will show how you plan to analyze your position on the topic and develop your argument for your position.  Writing an outline is also a good heuristic—a way of figuring out what you really think about an issue.  The rigid outline format also forces you to express your ideas precisely in logical relationship to each other, and helps you to organize your ideas in a coherent, effective way.


Your outline will include a Works Cited page listing the articles that you are responding to in your essay.


Analyzing a topic means to break it down into logical component parts.  When you write an argument, you must analyze the topic that is expressed in your thesis (position) statement.  Each part of your analysis becomes a sub-point in your essay.  Each sub-point may be one body paragraph that develops and supports your thesis; if a sub-point is complex, it should be broken into two or more paragraphs (sub-sub-points). 

A typical academic argument includes three basic parts: 


•  information about the topic—this helps your reader understand the topic and accept your opinion on it; you can use information to prove that a problem actually exists if you think your readers may not believe it does.  Information may be statistics, description of the problem, definition of the issue, history of the issue, classification of parts of the topic/problem (types of something), or causes of the problem. 


•  arguments to support your position—this is the main part of the essay and is usually two to four body paragraphs in a short essay.  Arguments for your opinion may be effects of a problem, positive effects if we accept your position/solution, comparison to similar cases in other places or at another time to clarify the issue or to show why your solution would work (e.g., “We did this with X, so we can do it with Y”), or contrast to a different issue to show what would not work or what you’re not including in your argument.  Arguments may also include description of solutions to problems.


•  counterargument—in this part of the essay, you mention an opposing position, make a concession to the opposing position (explain this position to show your understanding of it) and refute (argue against) that other position to show why it is illogical or unethical or outdated or simply wrong (perhaps based on unreliable data).  The opposition may be an objection to your perspective on the issue, or it may be an alternative solution to the problem.  The refutation must not repeat one of your arguments.  Including counter-arguments and refutations in your essay will strengthen your position by showing that you’re open-minded and by taking the opportunity to defeat an absent reader’s resistance to your ideas.


All the parts of an essay include specific examples, and you may, of course, use facts and statistics to support the arguments and counter-arguments sections of the essay.


You will write an outline of at least four sub-points that you will use to support your position in your essay:  information, two arguments (you must have two types of arguments), and a counterargument.  Your outline must include a strong, precise thesis statement and a brief statement of each of your sub-points.  An outline should present a clear, simple idea of the structure of your argument; your reader should be able to see your logical reasoning at a quick glance.  How long do you think it should take me to read your outline and understand the structure/logic of your argument?



Type your outline as shown in the template below.  You may copy the outline template from the digital version of this textbook and use it as a starting point for your own assignment.  In fact, I recommend that you do that, so that your outline is properly formatted.  

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