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Posted: January 31st, 2023

Should Americans continue to celebrate Thanksgiving?

Should Americans continue to celebrate Thanksgiving? Why? Why not? (Under what conditions?)

Argumentative Essay.

Grades-based (30% of final grade, so very important )

1200 words, thesis provided-you can come up with an improved version, but support it effectively

Well-structured & logical flow

Use of topic sentences supporting the thesis

Each paragraph should articulate a single point

Paragraphs of almost equal length
ENG 101
Instructor: Christine Marks
Fall I, 2021
Essay # 2: Argument (argument summary due Oct. 21; final draft due Nov. 2; 30% of final grade)
Choose ONE of the following questions and write a well-organized essay of about 1200 words. Make
sure to include material from at least two sources, applying the MLA rules for parenthetical
documentation.
This essay assignment includes one preliminary assignment:
What Do They Mean? Argument Summary and Response (see below) (due Oct. 20; 10% of final
grade)
The final essay draft will count for 20% of the grade.
Before you begin writing the essay, make sure to brainstorm, organize your thoughts, and create a thesis
statement. Remember to give your essay a title. Your essay should have a clear beginning (introduction
with thesis statement), middle (body), and end (conclusion). You will be evaluated on the quality of
organization, specificity of detail, intelligence of observations, and clarity of language (grammar and
punctuation). Remember to leave a margin, double space and proofread.
1. Should Americans continue to celebrate Thanksgiving? Why? Why not? (Under what
conditions?)
2. Should chefs feel free to borrow from any culinary tradition, regardless of their personal
background (consider race, ethnicity, gender, social class)? In other words, do you advocate for
or condemn “cultural appropriation” in the kitchen? (Under what conditions?) (consider David
Chang’s reflections in “Trust Exercise” and Dakota Kim’s article “We’re Having the Wrong
Conversation about Cultural Appropriation”)
3. In the Burger King commercial Whopper Virgins, the hamburger is presented as an American
phenomenon. Do you think that campaigns like Whopper Virgins or the Tang/Fruit Treasure ad
described by Yiyun Li are representative of American culture? Do you support such promotions
of American food culture? Why? Why not?
Step 1: What Do They Mean? (Argument Summary and Response)
(from John Warner’s The Writer’s Practice)
One of the fundamental skills in making arguments is to be able to accurately convey the arguments of others. In
writing teacher circles, we often call this “summary,” but I’ve found that this word can be somewhat misleading.
A good summary doesn’t just repeat what someone else said as a kind of regurgitation of content; it distills the
original text down to its core meaning.
A good summary zeroes in on the main idea of the text, the author’s point. It captures the forest without
describing all the individual trees. When you summarize, it is as though you are standing in the shoes of the
original author and are the vessel through which their ideas flow. Now, when you write something that brings a
summary of another person’s argument together with your own argument, you may reveal strong disagreements
(or agreements, or a mix of both) with this other person’s argument, but while summarizing the other’s argument
you’re trying to be as true to the original as possible.
Ideally for the audience, the summary stands in the place of having to read the original text. They can trust you,
the summarizer, to accurately convey what this other person was claiming to be true.
For a summary to be effective, it must be shorter, often a good deal shorter, than the original article; otherwise,
why are your summarizing it?
PROCESS
1. Find two articles with an argument that addresses the subject of your essay.
These are readily available. Every newspaper has an op-ed (opinion and editorial) section. Websites are constantly
publishing arguments, which is why we can spend so much time arguing with total strangers on social media.
Make sure the article comes from a verifiably credible source.
2. Read the article (x2).
Read the article once through to get the gist. With practice, you can usually do a mostly accurate summary after a
single read-through, but it’s a good habit to do one read, then go back and check your understanding.
3. Draft a summary (x2).
You’ll want to focus on the argument, really distill it to its essence. As you write, you should give the argument to
the author, using their name and a verb that conveys the fact that they’re the one making the argument, such as:
“Warner believes writing an accurate summary is a ‘fundamental’ skill for writing arguments.”
Notice the difference between that sentence and something like this: “Warner wrote about how summaries are
used in arguments.” The second example doesn’t share any claim I (Warner) made. It describes content rather
than summarizes argument. Verbs like “believes,” “claims,” “argues” help make sure you’re focusing on the
original author’s argument.
Use the remainder of the summary to tell your audience why the original author believes what they believe. You
will be supporting that initial claim about the main argument with a series of other claims. It’s like those Russian
nesting dolls. You start with the big doll by making a claim, open it up, and then each doll is another claim that
supports the one before it.
4. Test the summary.
Find someone who has not read the article you’re summarizing and have them read your summary (we’ll do this
in a class peer review – I’ll give you further instructions).
5. Revise and edit.
A summary rarely stands by itself, but it’s worth taking the time to address any of your reader’s questions or
concerns.

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