English 1301 - Composition & Grammar
Assignment #7: Argumentative / Persuasive

Reading Assignment
  • The Longman Writer, Ch. 18, "Argumentation-Persuasion", pp. 455-527
  • Hurston, Zora Neal. "Sweat" (Text on the Web)
  • Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, "Sweat", pp. 558-566

  • Writing Assignment
    Write an persuasive essay in which you respond to the following questions.  Do you believe that Delia is responsible for Sykes's death?  Is Delia's action (or inaction) immoral?  Why, or why not?  Remember to provide evidence to support your assertion.  Your best sources for supporting information for this assignment are experience, observation, imagination, and, of course, the text.

    This assignment asks for your opinion concerning the actions of a character in a story.  Although your opinion is not going to have any bearing on your grade, you will be graded on your ability to clearly and effectively express your opinion and support your assertions.  Remember to provide your audience (me) with your reasoning and evidence from the text.  Tell me who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

    Don't forget that there is a purpose behind your writing.  Be sure that you provide adequate examples from the text to support your thesis statement.  However, if the subsequent examples from the story do not clearly illustrate your thesis statement, you have wasted your time.  Similarly, if you fail to discuss your examples, they may be too vague for your audience to understand.  Make sure that you explain your assertion and the significance of each of your examples.

    This essay should be a minimum of 750 words in length.  It must include an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, fully developed body paragraphs with transitions, and a concluding paragraph that neatly wraps up your essay.  Write your rough draft and proofread carefully!  Look for more than just mechanical and grammar errors.  As you read, ask yourself; "have I said what I intended to say?".  When you feel that you have, type your final draft. 

    See pages 526 - 530 in The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version for information on proper MLA formatting and the heading for your essay.