Inventing Argument

Inventing Argument

Inventing Argument

Unit 7, you will not be writing a full essay. Instead, you will prepare for the later drafting of your Argumentative Essay by identifying a topic and a viable debate within the topic, choosing your argumentative stance, locating library sources, and performing prewriting toward building a successful essay of argument.

To complete this assignment successfully:

  1. Identify a topic from the many covered in the List of Approved Articles for Writing that is relevant to your life and goals. This topic may pertain to your academic program and interests, your current or future career and goals, or one of your personal passions. ( Note: you will not use any sources from your textbook for this essay. The only sources you will employ in this essay will be peer-reviewed, scholarly library sources. No sources from your textbook or elsewhere will be acceptable.)
  2. Identify a viable debate within this topic (that is, an arguable concept over which scholars and academics or professionals in the field may hold differing opinions).
  3. Research your topic in the Capella University Library, and identify two scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that appeal to you and which both clearly and firmly present opinions on your topic.
    • Again, note that the only sources you may use for this assignment, and for your Argumentative Essay as a whole in Units 7–10, are peer-reviewed scholarly library sources.
    • Perform your library research by going to the Capella Library and searching across all collections, using the Summon search tool. On your iGuide page, go to Library, and locate the Summon search box. You will use your search terms and once you have searched, check the boxes Items with full text online and Limit to articles from scholarly publications, including peer-review. This way, you will know that your results are both in full-text (so you will be able to read the entire article online), and that they meet the important requirement of being scholarly and peer-reviewed by other experts in the field.
  4. Read your peer-reviewed, scholarly library articles several times, taking careful notes on the authors’ viewpoints on your topic.
  5. Identify your own stance on the issue, creating a single statement that forwards your argument and that illustrates how your opinion is situated in the larger debate.
  6. Carefully review the following:
    • The Prentice Hall Essential Guide for College Writers:
      • Pages 298–302, Argumentative Appeals, covering logic and reason; character, credibility, and ethical appeal; and emotion (or logos, ethos, and pathos).
      • Pages 336–345, Arguing: Writing Processes.
    • The two media pieces, Claims and Evidence and Developing an Argument.
    • A Writer’s Reference, Section A, “Reading Arguments and Writing Arguments”
  7. After you have reviewed these items, perform structural prewriting for your argumentative essay that focuses on voice, purpose, and audience by listing at least five items in support of your stance. Draw on the argumentative appeals of logic and reason; character, credibility, and ethical appeal; and emotion (logos, ethos, and pathos) and list at least two opposing viewpoints, or arguments that reasonable, educated scholars or professionals may make against your stance.
  8. Compose your prewriting for the Argumentative Essay. Include the following:
    • Your thesis statement (your stance on the issue in a single statement that forwards your argument and which illustrates how your opinion is situated in the larger debate).
    • The authors and titles of your two peer-reviewed scholarly library articles.
    • Your full list of at least five items in support of your stance, each of which draws on an argumentative appeal of logic or reason, character, credibility, or emotion.
    • Your full discussion of at least two opposing viewpoints, or arguments that reasonable, educated scholars or professionals may make against your stance.
    • A statement of how you will avoid bias in your argument and of how you will carefully consider audience, purpose, and voice.
  9. When you have finished your assignment, carefully and very thoroughly read through the Inventing Argument Scoring Guide before submitting your work. Read and comprehend all categories in the scoring guide, asking your instructor if you have any questions about any element of these criteria. Do not finalize and submit this assignment until you have taken this step.
  10. Submit your essay prewriting in a Word document with full and proper APA formatting. You will find detailed instruction on APA document formatting, as well as an example of an APA-formatted essay, in A Writer’s Reference, in the APA section, under APA: Manuscript Format, Sample Paper.

You are also strongly encouraged to make use of Smarthinking, which is a free service provided to you as a Capella learner. Smarthinking allows you to submit any writing assignment for a free review from a qualified tutor. If you would like to use this excellent tool, click the link in the Resources section.


  • “5 Ways to Avoid College Debt” by David Bakke, page 254.from The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, 11th edition.
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