10a | English | york technical college




Jargon- technical terms

Topic: Self and Nature

Choose a specific ability or skill (playing a sport, singing, doing math, playing an instrument, writing
creatively, memorizing, and learning a foreign language) in which you are reasonably competent. Develop
an essay in which you explain the roles of nature (genes) and nurture (experience) in developing that
ability or skill. Which has had the greater influence and why? Plan your essay by creating a list for both
nature and nurture. List as many points as you can on both sides. Use many specific examples and
details to make each of your points believable and convincing. Be sure to consider carefully and
thoroughly the roles of both nature and nurture.
Be sure to include a clear and unified thesis, the classical argumentative organizational strategy, and lots
of specific supporting details. Your paper must be at least 500 words in length and follow the MLA
guidelines for documentation and citation.

How the Essay should look like)

1) Introduction- This is a little different from the introduction you may have written in other classes. If you’ve done the typical 5-paragraph essay before, then you’ve written a generic first paragraph that introduces your topic. Do not do that here. This introduction should be an attention grabber. Use a personal experience, startling statistic, quote, joke, or fictional story to hook the reader in. This intro should still be relevant to your overall point. Therefore, if you are discussing a short story about an abusive husband, then your intro should deal with.

2) 2) Statement of Background- This is where you write the type of thing you would normally write in an introductory paragraph. This is an intro to your actual topic. Most of the time, if you were arguing a controversial issue, you would talk about the history of the debate. For example, if you were talking about abortion you would use this space to bring up Roe v. Wade and other legal proceedings relevant to the topic.

3)  Proposition- This is your thesis statement. Now, you may notice something. A thesis statement is just one sentence, and one sentence cannot stand by itself as a paragraph. That shows you that this format is a content format and not a paragraph format. You may have one paragraph for your intro and one for your statement of background, but your proposition will either have to be at the end of your statement of background, the beginning of the next proof section, or a paragraph will have to be built around it. Otherwise, the proposition itself should be a normal three-part thesis statement. 

4) 4) Proof- This is the meat of your paper where you put your examples, support, and data. If you used a three-part thesis for your proposition, then you can follow that essay map here to form three paragraphs.

5) Refutation- The refutation is very different from writing you’ve done in the past because it deals with counter-arguments. You need to bring up arguments from the opposing side and counter them. There is always more than one side to everything. Some people may argue that a person succeeded in their struggle against authority, while others disagree. Even a simple statement such as “the sky is blue” can be debated. Was it blue at midnight last night? At dawn? What shade of blue is it really? What about the clouds? Everything, and I mean everything, has more than one side to it. So, you need to bring up an opposing, or differing, side, and then you need to counter that side by saying why your ideas are right and their ideas are wrong. It’s ok to use some of your proof info again. Be sure to be fair to the opposing side, and bring up their points with a neutral tone.

6) Conclusion- Most of the time, students summarize their paper here and write down two or three of their main points that they feel are especially important. That’s fine. However, you can also give a call to action (abusive husbands should be stopped) or a warning/forecast (if we don’t stop abusive husbands, we will allow their children to continue the cycle).

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