Argument Essay

Argument Essay: Treasure, Trash, and Environmental Ethics


Due Dates: Please Note the Revised Dates

T, Oct 1 Bring a draft of the argument essay (at least two pages or 500-600 words) to class for a full class workshop. Be prepared to read your draft aloud, listen to your peers’ drafts, and give and receive feedback.
W, Oct 9 Publish your Argument Essays as a page on your Domain site by 5:00 pm

Option 1: Revised Goals & Purpose: Pick an environmental problem or topic you care about and about which you have some first hand or working knowledge. Then generate an argument in response to the following question: What factors facilitate and/or obstruct an ethical solution to the environmental topic you chose? Finally, develop your claim through an analysis of at least 3 explicated passages from 1 text we have read so far this semester by responding to the following: what does an ethical stance toward your topic depend according to “The Trouble with Wilderness,” Walden, “The Powers of the Hoard,” Hoarders, iSeeChange, your peer’s Tweets and blog posts, and/or Wall-E.

Option 2: Original Goals & Purpose: For this paper you are required to generate your own arguable claim in response to the following question:  On what does an ethical stance toward the environment and/or the nonhuman world depend? To answer this question you may want to address the relationship between trash and treasure, or the continuum from collector to hoarder.

Further Requirements: To meet the baseline requirements of either option above, your argument must include at least 3 explicated, in-text citations from a single course texts. While you are required to use only 1 text from the list above, please feel free to develop your argument through more than one text. As long as you include at 3 explicated, in-text citations from the course texts, you are welcome to draw in other sources to make your argument. The success of your claim lies on your interpretation of the in-text citations you chose, so be sure to close read the passages from all sources for form and theme. MLA format, please.

Audience: As always your peers and I are your primary audience, yet please also keep an ever expanding, global Internet audience in mind for this paper. What style, tone, and vocabulary choices will you have to make to suit both the audience, and the subject matter for each project? Explain quotations and images as if your audience is has never read the texts you discuss.

Grading Criteria, Base Line Requirements: 

  • Does the essay generate an argument in response to the question(s) asked for this specific assignment?
  • Does the author announce the goal of the essay and then fulfill the established goal?
  • Is the claim developed through an analysis of at least 3 explicated passages from 1 class text?
  • Is the essay published on its own static web page? Is the page easily accessed from a menu or navigation bar?
  • Is tone/style consistent, appropriate to content, and accessible to audience? Are citations in MLA format? Are sentence level problems either non-existent, or so minor they do not impede the clarity of argument?

Grading Criteria, Aspirational Requirements:

  • Does the claim and/or textual explication move beyond overly generalized or cliche environmental rhetoric to demonstrate complex understanding of human/nonhuman relationships and contributing factors?
  • Does the author draw from more than one source, class text or other, to persuade readers? Is the explication surprising and/or original?
  • Does the essay make exceptional use of the technology by including links, integrated visual imagery, or video, etc.?



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