What I Have Learned in This Course:

I have learned a great deal in this course in relation to writing argumentative essays.  There is much research involved, as well as objectivity to the position taken on a particular subject.  These are, what I have learned, to be the two most important factors in the preparation for a paper.  A writer must look at all possible arguments to support his or her position and make this very concise in the thesis statement in the first paragraph of the work.  Similarly, one must look at any counterarguments that could arise from the thesis and explore these, as well.  All of this research must be done before the paper is written and woven in the supporting paragraphs in the piece.  Of equal importance is taking a professional stance on the position/thesis and not an emotionally-driven stance.  Using “I” statements is unacceptable, such as stating “I think that this is the best policy…”, for instance.  Conclusions must come from extensive data review and demonstrate an extremely objective, yet clear stance on the subject from beginning to end.All supporting paragraphs, after the introductory paragraph, that includes the thesis and main points that support it, should be filled with explanatory data to provide cause for the writer’s position.  After these arguments (supported by other research) are presented, then counterarguments should be noted.  Having not only an literature review before beginning a paper, but, also, an outline with supporting arguments for the position and counter claims to the position with a response to them will make this portion of the argumentative paper easier and is extremely beneficial to the first draft of the work.  It is standard in a shorter essay to use four supporting paragraphs that all flow consistently from paragraph to paragraph and a conclusion that does not introduce new facts, but highlights the importance of the writer’s previous information in this final paragraph.This final paragraph should not simply reiterate everything that is already written, but restate the main points and help further support the important stance taken on an issue. This “wrap-up” of the paper should leave no doubt in the reader’s mind as to exactly what the writer intends the reader to absorb and the importance of the issue to that reader.  If further writing and research on the subject is planned, the final paragraph should indicate this.  As many times, a short argumentative essay may evolve into a larger research project.After compiling the research, the outline, and then the first draft of the essay, a writer must then review the work and make any needed changes to the paper.  Grammatical errors should be corrected, as well as any language that is unclear and may confuse the reader.  These essays must be very precise and to the point, so they may involve more than one revision to make a great final paper. I have, also, learned to ask for help involving feedback and constructive criticism, to help understand how another person views my essay.  I have learned so much in this class involving this topic and realize that if I follow these “rules” of writing I can create a great paper.  It was hard for me personally, to ask for help, but learned that that is one of the best ways to learn more about how to be a better writer, listener, and student.