Argumentative writing is a type of writing that requires you to investigate a topic, collect, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position (assertion) on the topic in a brief manner.  Each of you will choose a topic, research facts that support your position on that topic, and write an introductory paragraph. In this paragraph, you are to mention the topic at hand (assertion), facts to be reviewed (evidence), and the opposing viewpoint (counter claim).


    1. (sports related) The ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) program has become the standard for computerized concussion evaluation. Pottsgrove athletes must take this test once every two years. Hundreds of thousands of athletes across the country take the test to create a cognitive baseline, especially during the fall as school sports begin. Should this program be used to diagnose concussions and provide a guideline for how quickly athletes can return to their athletic endeavors?

    2. (technology & health)  The modeling industry is often blamed exclusively for the perpetuation of social ills and wrongful body image.  Should actors and models be prohibited from using plastic surgery?  

    3. (technology & health)  The 1918 flu pandemic was responsible for the death of more than 675,000 Americans and more than 50 million people worldwide. The devastation and fear caused by this pandemic is, in part, what drives the preparedness of the United States today. Since 1918, the United States has developed flu vaccines and other antiviral medications.  Should this vaccination be mandatory?

    4. (schools) In the classroom, it seems enough for a student in the learning environment to demonstrate their understanding of content and apply it in order to accomplish a greater goal. Thus, should the grading system be eliminated if students can demonstrate their understanding and apply their knowledge in another way?

    5. (schools) Since the early twentieth century, a basic education in the US has centered around the “three Rs” of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Increasingly, educators and business leaders have pushed for the inclusion of more in-depth training in the sciences, engineering, and technical (STEM or STEAM) disciplines early in a student’s school years. Should schools be focusing on these 21st Century skills--collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication and cooperation--within their curriculums?

    6. (creative) Write your own topic, using the above statements to guide you. See Dr. Mays Coleman for approval.


    1. Choose a topic from above.

    2. Define your issue, demonstrating your awareness that you are entering a conversation that contains competing perspectives on the issue.

    3. Make a focused claim (assertion) about your issue (i.e., state an arguable thesis that locates your stance among the competing perspectives).

    4. Research! Use the graphic organizer for notes.

    5. Provide reasons that support your thesis (assertion).

    6. Provide information about an opposing view. Write at least one succinct sentence that expresses the counter claim.

    7. Create a works cited.  Give credit where credit is due.  (TIP: If you utilize any of the library databases, the works cited is usually created for you to cut and paste into your project).


    1. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context:  http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/?p=OVIC&u=pl2695  This database has controversial topics such as abortion issues, AIDS/HIV, Animal Welfare, Censorship, Civics & Government, Labor & Economics, War & Peace, Women’s Issues, etc.  This database usually contains articles that argue “Point” and “CounterPoint”.  (PASSWORD FROM HOME: pl2695)

    2. Books in library card catalog: http://pgdestiny.pgsd.org  Complete a search of your topic.  

    3. EasyBib:  Automatic works cited and bibliography formatting for MLA, APA and Chicago/Turabian citation styles. http://www.easybib.com/

    4. Library Research Tools:  https://www.pgsd.org/Page/4327