Putting Together Your Argument


If you want to reduce the basic structure to creating an argument, you could reduce it to this structure:

Topic Sentence

Statement / Claim

Evidence / Example

(Citation of Evidence, whether summarized or quoted)

Explanation / Transition


Topic Sentence: a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which occurs.

Statement / Claim: expression of material information that builds upon the topic sentence and/or sets up your eventual example.

Evidence / Example: usually taken from some source aimed at supporting your statement/claim and ideally in support of your larger thesis.

(Citation for any Summary, Paraphrasing, and/or Quoting of material)

Explanation: Following your use of source to support larger claim or statement, usually aims to explain and connect quotation to larger overall argument expressed in thesis.

Transition: When finished explaining and moving on to a new paragraph, should help move the conversation/argument forward into a topic of conversation.

From this basic structure you can set up, integrate research information, and explain it, connecting it back to your thesis statement.

I did an example here, color coded to match structure above:


THESIS

Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples relates the story of the parents Alana and Marko who despite their terrible circumstances do all they can to be good parents in how they seek to protect, care for, and love their child even though the circumstances in which they raise Hazel.

ARGUMENT

A second example of Alana and Marko showing good parenting was when they discussed what to name their new baby girl after they took their first look at her. They were deliberate about her name representing who and what type of person they wanted her to become and see her grow up to become. They already knew that Hazel’s future and current lifestyle set alongside with their past; she would not have a “normal” or boring life (Vaughan and Staples). The choice of her name was a declaration of her being and an expression of what kind of future they wanted for her. This ties into the article, “6 A’s of Good Parenting,” when the author states that “When we affirm a child’s feelings, it gives them a sense of authenticity” (Merril). So, by choosing a name other than “Pico,” which has a negative name to Marko or “Beatrice,” which Alana thought was too “girly,” the parents tried to give their new baby a sense of her authenticity by naming her Hazel. This served as a compromise and demonstrated another way that both Alana and Marko are doing the best, they can be good parents while on the run.

Author:

BA in History from Northwestern State, MA in English from Northwestern State, and PhD in Rhetoric from Texas Woman's University. Big into comic books and visual rhetoric. Assistant Professor of English at Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.

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