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Use the outline templates attached to write a clear and concise outline of at least 200 words for the topic;

” Which is better: Traditional Or Online Education?”

Classical Argument Outline Template


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a) Hook:

b) Background/context:

c) Thesis:


a) History/background of your topic (neutral)

b) Any key words/terms that need to be defined


a) Overview of your position on the issue (broad explanation of your argument; might include support from sources):

IV. ARGUMENT PARAGRAPHS (Sub claims must be arguable)

a) Sub Claim #1:

a. Supporting evidence:

b) Sub Claim #2:

a. Supporting evidence:

c) Sub Claim #3:

a. Supporting evidence;

d) Additional sub claim(s) if needed:


a) Major objection to your main claim/thesis:

a. Evidence to disprove/refute the objection:

b) Second objection to your main claim/thesis (if needed):


a) Summary of argument, main points, call to action, etc.

Classical Argument Outline


Purpose: Compose a Classical Argument essay that aims to persuade your audience by using evidence and research to back up your thesis.

Audience: Peers with an opposite or indifferent viewpoint to yours

Subject: Issue that is debatable and arguable

Thesis: Arguable, Specific (problem), Feasible (solution). See pages 110-113 in Let’s Get Writing!

INTRODUCTION: The introduction will provide a very brief overview of the issue, capture the reader’s interest, and state the arguable thesis. Consider the following questions to gather the information needed for this paragraph:

• Consider using a quote, statistic, or an interesting fact to catch reader’s attention and establish context of persuasion (appeal to pathos)

• Briefly describe the problem with the issue that you are going to address (background and context)

• Why is this issue important? (engage the audience)

• If your argument proposes a solution, you may want to hint at it here.

• Usually, the thesis statement comes at the end of the introduction. Remember, the thesis must be arguable (readers can agree or disagree with it), describe a specific problem, and offer a feasible (workable) solution.



What is the history of your topic/issue/claim? Give the audience essential background information. Provide research sources for anything that isn’t common knowledge, especially when providing statistics.

• Begin maybe 5-10 years ago with your topic. What are some key events, topics, ideas (or people) that have happened to make your issue debatable and something to argue?




• Define key words in your position statement that will help convince your audience to believe the way you do. Think about defining at least two words in your claim/position statement.

1. Do you need to redefine or clarify any terms that have specific meaning in this context? For example, what does “institutional racism” mean, and what does it mean in the context of higher education?


The partition is like an expansion of your thesis statement before you begin your detailed argument. It is typically one to two paragraphs.

• Provide a larger overview about your position on the issue, the exact problem you see and your proposed solution.

• Give specifics and provide support from outside sources as needed.


Develop your argument by creating a list of specific reasons (subclaims) that prove your position. Before you write this section, consider the following:

• As you develop your subclaims, consider the warrants (principles/laws of society) and assumptions (shared values/beliefs) of your audience. Make sure your subclaims appeal to what you have in common with your audience. This will make your argument much more convincing.

• Each reason will become a paragraph with a clear topic sentence; each paragraph will need outside sources to support the subclaim (data, statistics, expert opinion, etc.)

• Aim to provide a balance of ethos (objective and fair support), logos (factual information), and pathos (human interest/emotion).

• Be careful to avoid unsupported assertions: opinions without outside support to validate their truth. Ex: “Most people don’t like to spend a lot of money” is an assertion that will need outside support in order to be accepted by readers.

Quick Brainstorm Activity: What warrants and assumptions does my audience share with me? Try to identify at least two and use them to help develop your subclaims.


Argument Section Body Paragraphs:

Think back to your brainstorming list above and develop paragraph topics that are subclaims for your thesis. Try to create subclaims that appeal to the commonly shared values you considered in the brainstorming list you just created.

Use as many subclaims as needed to thoroughly argue your position. Each subclaim will become the focus of a paragraph and should be reflected in the paragraph topic sentence.






What are some major objections to your claim? In other words, what are some reasons your audience might disagree with your thesis? Explain why your audience could be wrong, and how you are right. Maybe they just need more information; maybe you need to remind them of shared warrants/values. Maybe an objection contains a logical fallacy that you can reveal. Remember to keep your tone neutral. Don’t confront or condescend to your audience. Consider using logos and ethos more heavily in this section.

• Objection 1:

§ Explain why this is wrong/your suggestion is better:

• Objection 2:

§ Explain why this is wrong/your suggestion is better:

• Objection 3:

§ Explain why this is wrong/your suggestion is better:


• Briefly, and without repeating yourself, restate the specific problem and your claim.

• Summarize your main points, being careful to not add any new subclaims

• You may consider ending with an emotional appeal such as a call to action, asking readers to consider what may happen if your solution isn’t accepted, or providing a humorous observation to lighten the mood.

NOTE! This assignment is for an outline only).

Intro: Do you have some information to establish the context of your argument? For example, if your essay is about gun control, is there a reference to recent news reports or an establishment of a need for gun control? Does your thesis appear at or near the end of the intro paragraph? Is your thesis arguable?

Narrative: Does your narrative provide background information on your topic? Is the information within the past 10 years or less? Do you have source material for this section? Is this section neutral, as it should be?

Partition: Does your partition provide context for your issue? Does it provide an overview of why there is a disagreement concerning your topic? Do you have source material for this section? Does this section begin to provide a broad overview of your argument? 

Argument Section Paragraphs: Do you have at least three arguable sub-claims to provide the basis of the argument section paragraphs? Does each paragraph list a sub claim as a topic sentence at or very near the beginning? Does each paragraph have evidence to prove the sub claim it is presenting?

Refutation: Is there at least one counter-claim listed? Do you have source material to accurately describe the counterpoint(s)? Do you have a refutation listed for the counter-claim? Do you have source material to support your refutation?

Conclusion: Is there a clear re-establishment of your overall thesis? Did you avoid repeating sentences that appeared elsewhere in your essay? Is there a reiteration of all of your main points? 

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