Example Argumentative Essay

Exercise 7.1: Annotate an Essay

Scan the essay below and annotate it according to the following directions. 


1. Draw a star next to the hook.

2. Draw a box around the background information.

3. Underline the thesis. 

4. Label the overarching claim with OCL and any contributing claims with CCL.

Body Paragraphs

1. Underline the topic sentences in each body paragraph.

2. Draw an arrow to show the words that show how the topic sentences support the thesis statement. Draw the arrow from the word(s) in the topic sentence to the word(s) in the thesis statement. 

3. Label any contributing claims CCL, reasoning RG, and evidence E

4. Label the counterclaim CC and the rebuttal R

5. Circle the cohesive device words and phrases

6. Highlight all in-text citations. 

7. Draw an arrow from each in-text citation to their matching full citation on the reference page. 


1. Underline the restated thesis. 

2. Circle the key words that are kept from the thesis statement or that are replaced with synonyms. 

3. Box the background information, summary, or global extension. 

4. Draw a star next to the concluding sentence. 

5. Label the concluding sentence. What type is it?

Reference Page

1. Underline the name of the section "Reference". 

2. Circle the author's last name(s)

3. Draw a star by the year of publication. 

4. Draw a box around the title of the article, website, or book. 

5. Label the source. What type is it? Is it an article from a journal or newspaper, website, or other?

Exercise 7.2: Analyze an Essay

Use the questions below to analyze the example essay. 

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body paragraph. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body paragraph. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body paragraph. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body paragraph. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?

Exercise 7.3: Discovering Structure

Make an argumentative essay outline template in groups or with your class. What parts are needed for an argumentative essay?

Biofuels: Renewable Resources Friendly to the Environment

       The use of alternative energy sources like solar power or water wheels is not a modern concept; since the 1900's scientists, various government agencies, and private corporations have been searching for alternative energy sources (Pacific Biodiesel, 2017). However, petroleum still dominates as the primary fuel source of the world today with widespread use and reasonable efficiency. Although petroleum is one of the most widely used fuel sources, it isn’t the perfect answer to the world's fuel needs. The environment suffers greatly due to the pollution that the oil industry produces (Doyle, 2017). Many companies have started searching for and studying fuel sources other than petroleum because of all the environmental advantages. One of the most potentially promising sources for alternative energy comes from biofuel, which is using organic substances to produce fuel instead of non-renewable resources like petroleum. The use of biofuel can decrease greenhouse gases, reduce organic waste and decrease environmental destructions and damages.


       The production and use of biofuels decrease the greenhouse gases in the environment. On the other hand, both the production and burning of petroleum (as gasoline in a car, for example) generates many different chemical gases that negatively affect the environment. While the processing of crude oil to create petroleum products like fuel generates problems, the most concerning issue connected to oil is the use of gasoline derived from petroleum and all the products that we as human beings used every day that have been derived from petroleum. Our global dependence of fossil fuels like petroleum creates huge quantities of greenhouse gases that pollute the air and our environment. Biofuels can help improve our world's environment because the production of biofuels create less harmful chemical emissions and they burn much cleaner when they are used, meaning that the comparative amount of greenhouse gas emissions put off by biofuels as compared to that of conventional petroleum-based fuels is going to be lesser or perhaps even null (Maciel, n.d.). Thus, biofuels should be used since their production and use generate fewer overall harmful gases.

       Corn may be one of the best options for biofuel. Biofuels produce fewer harmful gases but it is not as easy to extract them from the earth as oil is. Instead of drilling a well, biomass must be grown and processed and of all the organic materials biofuel can be made from, corn appears to be a promising source for high-yield, environmentally-friendly production. As corn grows, the plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and when the biofuel made from corn is burned, less carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere when compared to petroleum products. Thus, a net 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare of corn per year will be reduced (Jones, n.d.). These statistical projections were made many years ago when our world was just beginning to think about the environmental problem we have been passing through but today there exists more than one source to obtain biofuels and, even if it is not corn, the production and use of biofuels is going to decrease these gases in our environment.


       The decomposition of organic wastes is another worrisome source of pollution in the world today that the use of biofuels could reduce. Clean, renewable biofuel energy obtained from otherwise useless and potentially harmful organic waste can help to reduce pollution and may be an important solution to decrease both the amount of decomposing waste and the environmental problems associated with unchecked decomposition of waste materials. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that 1/3 of the food produced in our world goes unconsumed, creating a situation that generates 1.3 billion tons of organic waste per year (University of Cincinnatti, 2015). This waste not only causes problems like economic loss but also becomes a major source of pollution. For example, in the United States of America, it is estimated that 3.3 billion tons of pollution is created by waste alone annually. Not only is this a problem for the United States, but for the world in general, since they are responsible for 19% of all global pollutants (University of Cincinnatti, 2015). An increase in pollution leads to severe global environmental distress. For example, pollution can lead to the destruction of the atmosphere that allows UV (Ultraviolet), and IR (Infrared) radiation to reach the surface of the Earth and dramatically impact human lifestyles (Lallanila, 2016). Biofuels can be obtained not only through the growth of crops like corn, but through the processing of biomass (which can include organic waste as well). Using organic waste to make biofuel not only means that less pollution is created by avoiding the use of petroleum products, but also by cleaning up organic waste by converting it into renewable energy.


       Environmental destructions and damages are going to decrease because the production of use of biofuels is not as harmful as the process used in refining oil to create petroleum products, not to mention their use. To obtain petroleum, the soil much of the area surrounding the actual well is destroyed during the exploratory phase as drillers look for oil and during the extractive phase when the well is established and oil is drained from the deep pockets where it lies in the Earth. Deforestation and the excessive use of explosives disrupt the natural landscape and ecosystems. The method of looking and drilling for oil has been described as using explosives "… to create a shockwave within the soil, which would propagate and generate echoes" (Science Publishing Group, 2013).  Specialized equipment on the surface  can measure these sonar "echoes" in the soil and pinpoint the location of an oil reserve, whereupon further explosives and drilling are required to break through the earth between the surface crew and the buried oil pocket.

       In contrast to such an invasive and destructive process of extraction, making biofuels will never damage environment so profoundly. The main source is biomass obtained through agriculture or by cleaning up organic waste. This much safer process will help to control and protect the ecosystems that petroleum processing has damaged (US Department of Enery, 2017). Considering that biofuel is made from natural, organic sources and refined in a lab without many harmful by-products, it is wise to invest more effort in producing cleaner biofuels instead of dangerous energy sources derived from petroleum. In addition, biomass is easily grown and does not require exhaustive or intrusive explorations that damage the environment. Because biomass is an easily accessible source of energy (whether grown or obtained by cleaning up waste) it is a clearly superior choice for meeting our worldwide energy demands.

       Using biofuels as an alternative source of energy is an ideal way to provide energy and take better care of the planet. Today our world is trying to think more about a healthy and green planet because it is possible to substitute petroleum as our principal and unique energy resource. The use of biofuels is going to decrease greenhouse gases, reduce organic waste and decrease environmental destructions and damages. As humans use renewable sources of energy that are not harmful for the environment, we will be able to take care of the environment. It is quite likely that as science continues to advance, there will be even more efficient ways to provide energy for our lifestyles that will also take care of the planet.


Doyle, A. (2017, September 27). Weather extremes, fossil fuel pollution cost US $240 billion: Study. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-usa/weather-extremes-fossil-fuel-pollution-cost-us-240-billion-study-idUSKCN1C22AM

Jones, R. Y. (n.d.). Effects of bio combustible fuel on the environment. Environmental Issues, 33(4), 63-80.

Lallanila, M. (2016). What Is the Greenhouse Effect? Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/37743-greenhouse-effect.html

Maciel, C. A. (n.d.). Current markets. International Commerce, 29(2), 63-89).

Pacific Biodiesel. (2017). History of Biodiesel Fuel Pacific Biodiesel. Pacific Biodiesel. Retrieved from http://www.biodiesel.com/biodiesel/history/

University of Cincinnati. (2015, April 17). Converting food waste into solid fuels, biodiesel and other products. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-food-solid-fuels-biodiesel-products.html

Science Publishing Group. (2013). Application of explosives in the oil industry. Retrieved from http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=268&doi=10.11648/j.ogce.20130102.11

US Department of Energy. (2017). Alternative fuels data center: biodiesel production and distribution. Retrieved from https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/biodiesel_production.html 

This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/up_writing_winter/argument_example_essay.