This assignment is designed to help you think about how paragraphs of an argumen
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This assignment is designed to help you think about how paragraphs of an argumentative essay work together to advance a central claim.
Writing effective paragraphs requires that you pay attention not only to paragraph focus (what a paragraph says) but also to paragraph function (what a paragraph does). Thinking about both of these elements as you draft your argumentative essay will ensure that your paragraphs work toward a cohesive argument.
For this activity, you will create a descriptive outline for your own draft of your argumentative research paper. No matter what stage you are in the writing process, thinking about how your paragraphs will work together to form a cohesive argument will help you write a stronger essay. You might want to review Chapter 13 in The Bedford Researcher as you think about how to organize your essay.
Write an overall description of your main argument first at the top of your outline then go through each paragraph (or each potential paragraph) and identify two items for every paragraph: 1) the paragraph focus—that is, the paragraph’s topic and content (e.g., what source detail the paragraph will include)—and 2) the paragraph function—that is, how the paragraph will advance your overall argument or thesis (i.e., what argumentative or persuasive purpose the paragraph will fulfill?). Think about how paragraphs work with each other to support your main argument.
For additional assistance with this exercise, see pp. 224–234 in The Bedford Researcher. These pages will not only offer resources for creating your outline, but they discuss different ways to frame your essay.