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There’s probably a kid in your class who argues with the teacher constantly – make friends with them, and have them throw out some ideas.Some people are just idea generators, and this kind of stuff comes more naturally when you talk about it with other people (which is exactly what your teachers hope happens! Mature college and high school writers understand that there are legitimate points of view that differ from theirs.
Once you’ve got a draft completed, go through every paragraph looking for explicit connections back to your argument.
If there isn’t one, write a few sentences like the ones in green above.
We could debate the logic of this argument – there are many reasons why teens get in car wrecks (inexperience etc) and no data is provided for the “relative amount of miles driven” claim.
Still, your average English teacher isn’t going to go and research the numbers to contradict your point, and the argument feels like common sense.
So the connection between illicit alcohol use and cars is fairly made, and the entire paragraph ties back to the main point about freedom and the nuance around cars=freedom.
The author also makes an effort to avoid condoning this behavior in teenagers (“that sometimes ends in tragedy”) which will endear them to the authority figures doing the reading and grading.And counterarguments are awesome fodder for those difficult to write introductions or conclusions.Notice that we used key phrases, like “While some might argue” and “Some would argue.” These are great lead-ins to stating a primary objection to your main point.Many students graduate from high school thinking a “thesis” is a main idea.Like, “My thesis is, ‘Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.'”That isn’t a thesis; it’s a fact.But then our body paragraphs just quote statistics about car sales, car accidents, etc. Every paragraph should CLEARLY tie back to the thesis. Use the same language (or close to the same language) in every paragraph to hammer your point home. While teenagers love the freedom of the automobile so they can get away from supervision of all kinds, alcohol is clearly a top escape.For instance, in 2009, 18.8 percent of fatal accidents with drivers in the 16-20 year old age group involved alcohol (Census.gov).You don’t have to completely contradict the conventional wisdom; you only have to come up with a solid nuance (this is the kind of thing academics – professors – do for a living) and focus on it throughout your essay.If you have a hard time coming up with creative arguments, seek out help!So it can come as a shock to students in college (or good high school writing programs) when they’re asked to “be more original.”Plus, like any sport or skilled activity, it’s easy to execute on the basics (grammar, organization) when the overall level of difficulty is low. But what if I try to argue that Lincoln never wanted to free the slaves?If I need to write a piece on Lincoln, I’ll (basically) summarize a Wikipedia article on Lincoln and a review of Steven Spielberg’s 2012 movie. That he only freed the slaves from a calculated, military motivation?