I am in my 10th year and must write an opinion piece of 500 words in which I defend the actions of a particular person or group of people against accusations or allegations from someone else. ( I have chosen to write about a Toyota company closing down.)
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With the understanding that you wish to defend the actions of Toyota's closing one of its companies against some arguments against it, you will want to use the format of an argumentative essay. In order to do this, you will first want to
- Select and define the issue - What is the reason the plant is closing? What are the allegations against Toyota's action? [e.g. Does the company want to go to a Right to Work state and/or where the climate is warmer? Have they claimed conflicts with workers or other businesses in the area? etc.]
- Create a potential statement of your position [thesis statement] For example: Toyota's move to _________from ___________will save the company $____ in energy costs and will alleviate present shipping problems and labor conflicts.
- Set up a pro-con chart. It is important to anticipate what the arguments and counterarguments that your issue gives rise to. Setting up two columns, one labeled "Pro" and one labeled "Con" will help you examine the reasons that you can give and the reasons you will need to refute.
- List your arguments and counterarguments. Using the pro/con chart, write a longer, more extensive list of possible arguments to support your side and a list of potential counterarguments, or objections to these. It is not a good idea to ignore counterarguments that are valid; instead, "conceding a point" is a sign of strength that demonstrates your having thoroughly considered all sides of the issue. And, if you can make a point that will act as a substitute for this valid point, you will strengthen further your argument.
- Search for evidence. Look up closing of plants that have actually occurred and find the evidence that was used for their moves or changes. For, the use of statistics, examples, and anecdotes are effective support for arguments.
- An argumentative essay has an introduction which induces the audience to care about the issue from the beginning.
- The body of the essay is usually arranged in the order of importance, starting with the most important or the least important, depending on the effect that the writer wishes. Since the audience is usually more attentive at the beginning, though, you may wish to begin with the strongest point. Another way to organize is logical order. In this method, you can present the opponents' positions or arguments and present your refutations by means of comparison and contrast. For instance, you may present an argument, then follow it with your rebuttal, and repeat this pattern; or, you may present all the objections together, and then write your rebuttals. Include, too, some emotional appeals by using the evidence you have collected which will speak to the audience's hearts. Emotional appeals are also used when you use loaded words; that is, words that have not only an effective denotation, but also a connotative meaning--the feelings or attitudes the word suggests. For instance, a word such as self-interest has a negative connotation and can be applied as a counterargument to the position of a union. However, you should be careful to use connotative words sparingly so that the arguments do not appear completely emotional.
- The audience should be considered since affecting their opinions is the primary goal of any argumentative essay.
- The conclusion should leave the audience with the feeling that the issue has been fairly and well examined. The essay can end with a restatement of the position, or it can suggest consequences for the other position.
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