Imagine you are having an argument with your siblings – who should get the car Friday night? You each want to convince your parents that you are the most deserving child – but how? If you just yell at your sibling the whole time, you won’t look very mature or credible. You’ve helped around the house all week and you have good grades, shouldn’t you bring that up? Plus, its your friend’s birthday party and their dad is going to be relocated to a different base soon – you won’t be together for their next birthday. How do you present all of this information so that you win the argument and get the car?

Know how to structure argument is useful for many reasons – for real life arguments and debates over issues big and small, in writing your own arguments and in reading and analyzing the arguments of others.

The first thing you want to consider is what is your point – what is your claim? This will be the stance or position you take on the given topic or situation.

Next, what evidence do you have to support your claim? What do you have to ‘back up’ what you’re saying?

Also, is that evidence reliable, unbiased, and balanced (ethos/pathos/logos)? If its not trustworthy, why should we listen to it? If you don’t use all three rhetorical appeals, how can we know/trust/feel for you?

Finally, do you acknowledge your opponent? Remember, you are having an argument – if you don’t talk about your opponent’s point, you’re not really arguing, you’re just informing me on your own ideas and position.

Let’s review the elements of an argument and how to organize your argument-


Remember, your arguments will be assessed using the rubric – please click here to view it and please be sure to review the rubric before submitting your final essays!

Your 1st essay topic will use the resources from Patrick Henry and Joseph Galloway’s speech – your prompt is “Whose side would you support – the Loyalist or the Colonist, Joseph Galloway or Patrick Henry – in the Revolution?