Author Topic: five-paragraph argumentative essay  (Read 46811 times)

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Offline Freddy Freitez

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five-paragraph argumentative essay
« on: May 02, 2012, 04:32:34 AM »
I found this website very useful for the first time we want to have our students write a short argumentative essay. It contains the basic structure of five paragraphs (introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion). Furthermore, it is self-explanatory by using visual aids (italics, boldprint, underlining...) to signal every important piece of information. I hope you find it useful. Find below the example essay and the link to the website where I got it from.
 A Model of a Basic Essay
            The essay below demonstrates the principles of writing a basic essay. The different parts of the essay have been labeled. The thesis statement is in bold, the topic sentences are in italics, and each main point is underlined. When you write your own essay, of course, you will not need to mark these parts of the essay unless your teacher has asked you to do so. They are marked here just so that you can more easily identify them.
"A dog is man's best friend." That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friend whose companionship people enjoy. For many people, a cat is their best friend. Despite what dog lovers may believe, cats make excellent housepets as they are good companions, they are civilized members of the household, and they are easy to care for.
 In the first place, people enjoy the companionship of cats. Many cats are affectionate. They will snuggle up and ask to be petted, or scratched under the chin. Who can resist a purring cat? If they're not feeling affectionate, cats are generally quite playful. They love to chase balls and feathers, or just about anything dangling from a string. They especially enjoy playing when their owners are participating in the game. Contrary to popular opinion, cats can be trained. Using rewards and punishments, just like with a dog, a cat can be trained to avoid unwanted behavior or perform tricks. Cats will even fetch!
 In the second place, cats are civilized members of the household. Unlike dogs, cats do not bark or make other loud noises. Most cats don't even meow very often. They generally lead a quiet existence. Cats also don't often have "accidents." Mother cats train their kittens to use the litter box, and most cats will use it without fail from that time on. Even stray cats usually understand the concept when shown the box and will use it regularly. Cats do have claws, and owners must make provision for this. A tall scratching post in a favorite cat area of the house will often keep the cat content to leave the furniture alone. As a last resort, of course, cats can be declawed.
 Lastly, one of the most attractive features of cats as housepets is their ease of care. Cats do not have to be walked. They get plenty of exercise in the house as they play, and they do their business in the litter box. Cleaning a litter box is a quick, painless procedure. Cats also take care of their own grooming. Bathing a cat is almost never necessary because under ordinary circumstances cats clean themselves. Cats are more particular about personal cleanliness than people are. In addition, cats can be left home alone for a few hours without fear. Unlike some pets, most cats will not destroy the furnishings when left alone. They are content to go about their usual activities until their owners return.
 Cats are low maintenance, civilized companions. People who have small living quarters or less time for pet care should appreciate these characteristics of cats. However, many people who have plenty of space and time still opt to have a cat because they love the cat personality. In many ways, cats are the ideal housepet.
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Offline Olexandra

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Re: five-paragraph argumentative essay
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 02:05:44 PM »
Freddy, I liked the argumentative essay sample you've provided in your post; however, I am not sure that it can be used as an ideal model for students to refer to, firstly, because its structure does not correspond to the model structure we give to our students, and secondly, because it is not a purely argumentative essay.
First, the reson why the structure of this essay is not a classical one is because in our ESL courses we provide the following possible structures (Block pattern and Point-by-Point pattern) to our students:
Block Pattern
I.   Introduction
Explanation of the issue
Thesis statement
II.   Body
Block 1
A.   Summary of other side’s arguments
B.   Rebuttal to the first argument
C.   Rebuttal to the second argument
D.   Rebuttal to the third argument
Block 2
E.   Your first argument
F.   Your second argument
G.   Your third argument
III.   Conclusion – may include a summary of your point of view

Point-by-Point Pattern
I.   Introduction
Explanation of the issue, including a summary of the other side’s arguments
Thesis statement
II.   Body

A.   Statement of the other side’s first argument and rebuttal with your own counterargument
B.   Statement of the other side’s second argument and rebuttal with your own counterargument
C.   Statement of the other side’s third argument and rebuttal with your own counterargument
III.   Conclusion – may include a summary of your point of view

As far as I can judge, this essay has scattered opposing arguments (neither presented in the first body paragraph (Block pattern), nor in the beginning of each body paragraphs (Point-by-point pattern).

Second, this essay can not be considered a ourely argumentative essay because it represents a combination of comparison/contrast and argumentative essays. Here the author not only argues that cats are people's best friends, but also compares cats to dogs, saying that cats make better housepets.
Nevertheless, I think this essay can be given to students for analysis. They may be asked to find structural discrepanices in this essay or improve this essay by incorporating opposing arguments in accordance with one of the model structures provided (block or point-by-point).