Mapping, Responding to, and JOINING the Conversation
This outline offers a model for the types of paragraphs you would find in an Academic Argument. The order is up to you.
Introduction Paragraph(s) Objectives
? Hook the reader (relate through experience, current events, contemporary issues)
? Identify your topic: What are you talking about?
o Define any unclear terms in your own words
? Identify two to three varying viewpoints/groups: What’s the controversy? X vs. Y This is a mini-map the debate ¶ to orient readers to: your group names and what they are arguing.
? Establish the stakes: Why does it matter?
? Present a clear thesis: What are you arguing? (may be a question you will answer later)
*Mapping Conversation Paragraphs Objectives (GROUPs):
? Show what THEY SAY (agree on) as a GROUP in response to your question/thesis (multiple sentences) and name the GROUP—this is your UNITE ¶. What do they agree on?
? Introduce sources as credible and include a main point summary (what) and types of evidence used (how)
o Professor of rhetoric Smith conducted a study that concludes students must read rhetorically in order to write researched papers effectively with rhetorical awareness.
? Include a sub-summary in relation to your research focus/thesis if needed (stated or implied)
? Put sources into conversation to show the nuances of how they agree & diverge within the GROUP with Synthesis Claims (must overtly name sources in SC)
o Link to thesis: How does the source engage with the overall argument? (build the connection)
o Provide textual evidence (quotes) for all sources named in synthesis claims for proof
? Present the strengths and weaknesses of the GROUP (as a group) in answer to your research question if needed—here or Map the Debate paragraphs.
? REPEAT for All GROUPS
Map the Debate Paragraph(s) Objectives:
? Pull back from the minutia of the synthesis work and talk about the debate between the groups. This crucial work provides the space for you to JOIN the conversation
? Summarize the THEY SAYs/GROUPS in relation to each other (use the group names you devised)
o HERE or in above section: Present the strengths and weaknesses of the GROUPS in answer to your research question
? Build the conversation (ARGUMENT) between GROUPS with synthesis claims using group names.
o Specifically point to a flaw within the argument(s) (the reasoning, the research, an undefined word, and unstated premise, a reasonable counterargument)
Joining The Conversation Paragraphs Objectives:
? Differentiate yourself from what THEY SAY and provide evidence (additional research, interviews, original comparison, personal experience, etc.)
? Add your own original ideas/insights into the conversation:
o Synthesize the voices of at least 2 sources with your own (name them)—put your argument into the context of the larger conversation
Conclusion Paragraph Objectives:
? Strong restatement of thesis (use different words) & a summary of findings
? Assert the value of all of the work you’ve just done (So What?/Purpose)