Argument Synthesis Essay Exercises1D1
(Can also be found in Refining Composition Skills)
Exercise 1(RCSEx. 12.3 p. 282)
Study the followingthesis statements. Label the statements “A” if they are argumentative, meaning they take a clear side on an issue.
- College students should have complete freedom to choose their own courses.
- Prospective parents should be required to get a license in order to have children.
- The building codes in Las Vegas, Nevada, are inadequate.
- This university has more students than any other university in the city.
- Students should have a say in the hiring and firing of teachers.
- Pornographic books ought to be banned from the library.
- This university should not have a football team.
- There are many complex reasons for the failure of the police to respond quickly to alarms.
- The citizens of this state should be allowed to carry guns.
- The U.S. government ought to allow more immigrants into this country.
Exercise 2(RCSEx. 12.4 p. 284)
Read the following thesis statements and think of the reasons in support of the thesis (“pros”) and the reasons against (“cons”) it. List as many reasons as you can for both sides. Then circle the reason that you think is the crucial one, the one at the heart of the issue. The first one is done for you.
- Marijuana smoking should be legalized.
- It is a harmless, enjoyable relaxer.
T The government does not have the right to tell us what we can or cannot consume.
3. It is useful as medicine.
4. Many people already use it.
- It is an addictive drug.
- The government should not allow harmful drugs to circulate without control.
- People under its influence can harm others.
- Its use leads to use of more dangerous drugs.
2. A basic core curriculum of liberal arts courses should be required for all students
graduating from college.
3. College students should have freedom to choose their own courses.
4. A student convicted of cheating on an exam should automatically be expelled from
- A year of national service, with low pay, should be required of all 18-year-olds in this
- A university education should be free to all high school students with a B grade average.
- Physicians should be allowed to assist people who want to die.
- The United States should not restrict immigration or have immigration quotas.
- The production and sales of cigarettes should be made illegal.
- Air bags should not be required in cars.
Exercise 3(RCSEx. 12.7 p. 288)
Study the following sentences, which give reasons to support their essay’s respective theses. For each reason, decide what type of evidence you could use to support it; would this evidence appeal to logic or emotion?
- One reason we should legalize marijuana is that the government could collect taxes on its sale.
- One reason we should not legalize marijuana is that its use leads to the use of more dangerous drugs.
- We should not build more nuclear power plants because of the potentially devastating effects they could have of they break down.
- Requiring parents to get a license on order to have children would help to reduce child abuse.
- One of the advantages of having a football team is that it boosts student morale.
- One reason the university should have a day care center is for the convenience of students and staff.
- All students should be required to take a foreign language because it will broaden their understanding of important issues.
- One reason we should restrict students’ use of computers is that overuse can lead to addiction.
- One reason we should ban smoking cigarettes in bars and restaurants is to protect the health of the employees.
- An important reason that we should restrict handgun sales is to keep guns away from children.