Writing Argument Essay

Write a 1600–1800-word argument essay that incorporates secondary sources to support your claim about an assigned topic.


Choose one of the following:

– Persuade your audience that the use of alternative energy is beneficial and economical, or that the use of alternative energy is expensive and as detrimental as traditional energy sources.

– Persuade your audience that social media provides a valuable outlet for free expression, or that social media allows users to insult, bully, and threaten others without any fear of punishment.


The purpose is twofold:

– Persuade the reader to agree with the writer’s position (primary purpose).

– Express the writer’s feelings about the reader taking action on the topic (secondary purpose).


Your audience is made up of your fellow Penn Foster classmates. Many will agree with you, while others will disagree. You must take a position, present evidence to support it, and try to convince your audience through the strength of your argument to agree with you and to take action.

Research Requirement

You’re required to use a minimum of four secondary sources in your essay.

– Use at least two articles from Penn Foster’s digital library database, Expanded Academic ASAP. You can find directions on how to use the Penn Foster Library and the database here: http://tinyurl.com/lhovwva.

– Use at least one non-profit or government organization (online or print). You can find non-profit and government organizations under various Subject Guides in the Penn Foster Library.

– Choose a source, but one that you’ve evaluated for accuracy and validity. You can find tips on evaluating your resources in the Penn Foster Library Subject Guides under Guide Books and Tips. Reviewing your Information Literacy course can also help you with proper evaluation of resources. Follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/k2hryob


1. Applying the requirements given, work through pages 558 to the middle of 560 in the section “Generating Ideas and Writing Your Thesis.” Review Chapter 22 in Successful College Writing, “Finding Sources and Taking Notes,” to begin your research and organize the information you find. Narrow your focus appropriately for the assigned length before attempting to develop the essay.

2. Continue the guided writing assignment with “Developing Your Thesis and Making a Claim”, on pages 560–565. Use strategies from the patterns of development you learned throughout the course to expand your main points and accomplish your purpose. Review Successful College Writing, Chapter 23, “Writing a Paper Using Sources”, as you begin your draft to ensure that you’re incorporating your sources accurately and responsibly. Remember to include the sources you use in your paper on your list of works cited.

3. As part of your revision process, review the purpose and requirements for this assignment. Make any changes necessary to ensure that you’ve met the goals for this essay. You may also find it helpful to review the grading criteria.

4. Prepare the final draft of the essay according to the exam submission format from the Course Information section. Submit only the final, polished draft for grading.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a properly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address (see page 6 for an example). Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson number, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.

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