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Paper #5: Argumentative Essay

To successfully complete this assignment you should read chapters twenty through twenty-three, particularly those regarding arguments in your text.  A good argumentative essay will have a thesis with the potential to be argued either way.  The skill of your writing will be showcased when you find the rights sets of persuasive proofs to sway your readers from the point in opposition to yours.  The paper will surround a claim of value concerning the class and the novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Harry Dresden or Fading Lands). 


For this paper, you should do some research on Harry Potter  (or the other approved texts). There are several texts that take oppositional points on the text, like Richard Abanes's
Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick or Connie Neal's What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter.  There are also sources available through the library, including videotaped lectures by Connie Neal and/or Sallee Beneke.  You may want to do some research online or to see what issues--literary, social, or political--have relevance to the Harry Potter novel and world, keeping in mind that the most credible sources are academic journals which can be accessed through the library's databases with your student ID. Note: Research on Harry Potter may be applicable to the other approved texts.

You will be assigned a position statement on a topic:
This section of English 1001 and Harry Potter has/has not increased your knowledge or appreciation of a particular IVCC general education goal. You will be able to pick your specific general education goal and argue either way on your paper, but it is important that you choose one side over the other, as you are writing an argumentative paper and not a comparison paper.  You may find that you can narrow your topic, as well, depending upon how you phrase your thesis.  You can find the goals on your syllabus or on page 3, Figure 0.3, of the IVCC Systems Portfolio.

For this paper I expect and require you to quote from the novel, other assigned readings, and perhaps your own work to make or support your points, and to cite them in accordance with MLA style. You can use your books during this exam, so you may find that the revision flow charts from the text will help your essay's quality.  I also expect and require you to use at least two academic sources to further support your argument.

The main difficulties you may have in this paper will be in presenting your claims logically and persuasively while refuting the opposing views and interweaving primary and secondary source material as support.  Straying to emotional appeals while disregarding rational arguments or adding irrelevant information may also cause you some difficulty. 

Format: You will submit your paper hard-copy in class, so make every effort to abide by style and formatting consistent with MLA requirements.  This paper should be around 5-12 paragraphs long.

Note: You will need to define the criteria to be used to judge the argument.  For example, you'd need to define the general education goal  before you determine whether Harry Potter  teaches it.