• Elements of Argument

    Elements of Argument

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Revision is the key to successful writing. If you are satisfied with the results of your writing after several drafts, it is time to revise the essay as a complete piece of writing. This "big picture" approach helps uncover parts of the argument where your support strategies may be off track or out of balance. If so, you might need to find additional evidence or add another step to your thought process. In revisiting the the complete argument, you may even discover a new idea you want to include. The main point to remember is that good writers keep an open mind to the possibility that parts or even all of their argument may need to be rewritten, even when they think the essay is finished.

What Are You, Nuts?

One of the best ways to learn how to revise your own writing is to help others revise their essays. The writer’s group uses an exercise called "What are you, nuts?" to target weak points that require additional support in Mitch’s argument. Professional writers comment on the value of revision and the role of passion in writing a formal argument. While passon can make a compelling appeal and can contribute to creating a good argument, it can also blind a writer to the weaknesses of an argument.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • Why is it useful to see the "final" essay as a rough draft?
  • Does Mitch’s passion for his topic help or hinder the persuasiveness of his argument? Why?


Strategic Elements

One goal of a good writing course is to focus on key strategies writers use to persuade an audience of a particular point of view. Play this concentration style game to review strategic elements of argument.


The past is not a package one can lay away.

—Emily Dickinson