how leaders such as martin luther king jr and malcolm x helped shape modern day youth activists

WR 122 – LeRud
Spring 2018
Essay 1: Argumentative Essay
For this assignment, craft a 4-5 page argumentative essay directly responsive to our class
discussions and readings this term.
The direction for your argument is as limited or as open as your creativity allows. The only
constraints on topic selection are that your essay must correspond with our class’s discussions
and/or the issues taken up in Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay, “Nonviolence and Social Change,”
and Malcolm X’s essay, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” Thoreau’s, “Civil Disobedience.”
Because the aim of Essay 1 is to practice the argumentative essay style often assigned in college
classrooms, your essay must include the following:
c An interesting title that gives a sense of the argument the paper will make
c An opening paragraph that introduces a compelling, unique enthymeme (for this
assignment, it’s okay to leave the enthymeme out of 1.1; we’ll add it to the 1.2)
c Body paragraphs arranged into a logical sequence that supports the enthymeme’s argument
c Topic sentences that introduce each paragraph and further the enthymeme’s argument
c Evidence in the form of descriptions, analysis, and interpretations, as well as at least one
quotation from two of our three assigned readings King, Malcolm X, and Thoreau).
c Consideration of your argument’s context: how it builds on or contradicts other ideas,
especially the ideas that have come up in readings and in class
c In-text citations for ideas that are not your own original thinking and evidence that is not
from your own experience
c A paragraph that concludes your argument
c A Works Cited page that provides source information for cited evidence
This is not a research paper, so you should not spend time gathering outside evidence for your
argument. Avoid arguments that demand historical data or statistics that you don’t already have.
The challenge of this assignment is to present a claim related to your unique insights and
perspective on these readings and what they mean for us today.
Since this is a formal writing assignment, it should adhere to course standards for written work
outlined in the syllabus.
For information about how this assignment will be evaluated, see the back of this page.
Essay 1.1 is due Monday, 4/16 and Essay 1.2 is due Monday, 4/30
WR 122 – LeRud
Spring 2018
Essay 1
Areas for
Standard Criteria
(essays with a majority of 2s earn Bs)
Exceeds Expectations
Argument and Enthymeme – pertains to a relevant
question; enthymeme (expected in 1.2 only) is
logical and reasoned; significance of argument is
evident and pertains to the course discussions; not
obvious or trivial
Structure and Organization – essay order supports
argument; adequate balance of claims and evidence;
includes engaging title, introduction, and
conclusion; topic sentences and transitions aid order
and advance overall argument
Evidence – evidence is presented and explained
thoroughly; always connected to primary argument;
includes one quotation from two different assigned
readings (at least two quotations total)
Style – writer’s voice and tone are appropriate to
argument and audience; word choice, figurative
language, sentence structure, and rhetorical
strategies build trust and enhance argument
Essay is 4-5 typed, double-spaced pages; free
from errors or typos; in-text citations used for
ideas that are not the writer’s own original thinking
and experience; a Works Cited page that provides
source information for cited evidence; essay
formatted appropriately using MLA style (see

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