The exercise: Write an argumentative paper to seriously argue something low-stakes and silly.
The purpose: To become more confident with writing in general and arguing in particular
- Pick a topic below or come up with your own.
- Why is your favorite food the best food there is?
- Should we have robots take over our jobs? Why or why not?
- Should everyone be required to roller skate to work? Why or why not?
- Should government funding be used to track down Bigfoot? Why or why not?
- Why should everyone watch your favorite television show?
- Set your timer for 15 minutes.
- As soon as the timer begins, write continuously. Even though you are arguing a certain position, the most important goal of this exercise is to get something down on paper (or the computer).
- After the 15 minutes is up, read through the paper. Underline the main point (something akin to the thesis). Circle all of the points with which you are arguing.
- Highlight every sentence that you feel proud of, that sounds good to you or that sounds like your voice.
- Now that you’ve had fun arguing something silly – check out these resources to help with academic writing: Handout on Argument, from the UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper, from the Purdue OWL