You will be writing an argumentative essay of at least 750 words in response to one of two writing prompts, analyzing how one of the following perspectives ties into Hamlet’s tragic downfall:
Hamlet is a reflection of Shakespeare’s times because it highlights the modern, Machiavellian world where the ends justify the means and all notions of personal honor are sacrificed for the sake of power.
Hamlet is a study of what happens to a world when it is completely dominated by men, and it is essentially a cautionary, feminist examination of a world that is incapable of understanding women and denies them any kind of power.
Before you begin writing, review the following components of a well-written argument essay.
An Established Claim
Make sure you introduce a precise and thoughtful claim. Your claim will be the base of your organizational structure and will require ample support. So, make sure it is unique and substantially different from alternate claims. You will want to refine your statement as you continue to edit your paper.
Support for Your Claim
Your claim will require both textual evidence and logical reasoning. You need to make sure that you have plenty of support for your analysis. When you are working from an original text, you will need to document correctly.
Discussion of Counterclaims
You must consider ideas that might oppose your own. These are called counter-claims. Even if your main claim may be reasonable according to your lens analysis, someone will most likely disagree with some or all of your ideas. Sometimes, even another type of lens may cause discord with your viewpoint. Although tempting, you simply cannot ignore these oppositions. In order to design a thoughtful analysis, you must recognize that there are multiple facets and features to the issue you are discussing. In short, there are different interpretations or lenses. To take it a step further, do not just recognize a counter-claim; a great analysis articulates that counter-claim and then uses evidence or reasons to refute that counter-claim.
An effective way to address counter-claims is through the use of transitional words and phrases. Thereby, you can introduce a counter-claim clearly and then use transitions to explain why or how the counter-claim is invalid. Consider how lawyers do this in a court. The prosecutor and the defense attorney are aware of each other’s arguments. They use each other’s arguments to defend their own. The lawyers do not shy away from stating, “The defense will argue that…but that is unreasonable because of ….” In this same way, you can introduce potential oppositions to your claim and use evidence and reasoning to refute the counter-claim.
Every argument should provide a reader with a logical concluding statement. Found in the last paragraph of the essay, the concluding statement flows from and supports your main claim. This is your last chance to sway your reader. Take the time to consider what actions you would like your reader to take that might support your cause.
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