Classical Argument Unit Schedule
Student’s Unit Plan
By the end of the unit, students should be able to:
1. Generate an arguable and timely topic that poses a PSI question.
2. Write a thesis-driven classical argument essay.
3. Create a focused argument that includes reasons supported by
evidence, incorporates opposing views, and addresses underlying assumptions.
4. Research, incorporate, and document secondary sources.
5. Make appropriate rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, pathos) to a skeptical or neutral
6. Arrange ideas in a logical and purposeful order that is easy for the reader to navigate.
7. Produce a final draft that shows an understanding of argument as an evidence-seeking process
and a product of persuasion, as well as an indication of revision and attention to
conferences and peer reviews.
8. Correctly use diction, punctuation, and spelling for a college-level audience.
• Week 1 – Introduction to Classical Argument
• Week 2 – Research
• Week 3 – Qualifications/Concessions in a Claim
• Week 4 – Draft and Revise
Forms Found on Course’s Moodle Site:
• Student’s Classical Argument Essay Unit Plan
• Assignment Sheet for Classical Argument Essay
• Writer’s Memo
• Grading Rubric for Classical Argument Essay
• Activity Sheets
EW: Lunsford, Andrea A. The Everyday Writer with Exercises. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin, 2010. Print.
A&B: Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to
Writing. 4th ed. New York: Learning Solutions, 2010. Print.
Week 1: Introduction to Classical Argument
Monday – Introducing Classical Argument
• Introduce purpose of classical argument essay.
• Understand argument assignment sheet.
• Discuss arguable and timely issues.
• Begin brainstorming for topics.
1. A&B, chapter 8, “Writing a Classical Argument” (no essays).
Wednesday – Classical Argument Structure
• Understand structure of classical argument.
• Understand how arguments persuade through rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, pathos).
1. Review A&B, chapter 3, “Thinking Rhetorically about How Messages Persuade.”
2. Review “Appealing to Ethos and Pathos” (A&B 223-25).
3. “Paintball: Promoter of Violence or Healthy Fun?” (A&B 234-37).
1. Post current research topic and question(s) to the “Classical Argument Topics” online forum.
2. Respond to at least two of your peers’ ideas with useful suggestions to help them choose a
topic and create a strong research question.
Friday – Introduction and Thesis
• How to create an effective introduction.
• Discuss importance of creating a thesis-driven classical argument essay.
1. Review “A Strong Thesis Statement Surprises Readers with Something New or Challenging” (A&B
2. A&B, chapter 18, “Composing and Revising Closed-Form Prose.”
1. Draft of thesis statement.
Week 2: Research
Monday – Finding Academic Sources
Library Session – class will meet in library.
• Gain a familiarity with the use of databases and eJournals for research.
• Learn to find useful secondary sources for an essay.
1. Review A&B, chapter 20, “Asking Questions, Finding Sources.”
1. Complete PSI question and initial claim.
Wednesday – Evaluating and Citing Sources
• Evaluate secondary sources using the STAR criteria.
• Understand how to incorporate sources into essay.
• Plan for follow-up research.
1. Review A&B, “Evaluating Evidence: The STAR Criteria” (217-18).
2. Review A&B, chapter 21, “Evaluating Sources.”
3. A&B, chapter 22, “Incorporating Sources Into Your Own Writing.”
Friday – Incorporating Research to Support Against Counterarguments
• Learn how to incorporate research into a paper.
• Consider the use of supporting evidence in thwarting counterarguments.
1. Review A&B, Appendix, “A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.”
2. Review A&B, “The Myth of Violence in the Old West” and “Skill 27: Keep Your Focus on Your Own
1. Prepare summaries for at least two potential secondary sources.
2. Complete and bring “Classical Argument Schema” worksheet.
Week 3: Qualifications/Concessions in a Claim
Monday – In-Class Peer Review
• Peer review with specific questions in mind.
Bring 3 copies of draft; must be at least 2-3 pages long.
Wednesday – Counterarguments
• Know how to introduce and refute/concede to oppositional views.
• Review and see in practice angle of vision and rhetorical appeals in an argumentative format;
be aware of how people go about convincing audience of biases.
1. “Why Uranium Is the New Green” (A&B 238)
2. “No to Nukes” (243)
3. “The Case for (Gay) Marriage” (249-54).
1. Answer questions at the end of all three readings.
Friday – Fallacies and Unstated Assumptions
• Know what are fallacies and unstated assumptions and how to avoid them.
• Find unstated assumptions and counterclaims in peers’ papers.
Full drafts with Writer’s Memo due.
• Bring three copies.
• Submit through Turnitin.
1. Review A&B, “A Brief Primer on Informal Fallacies” (225-27) and “Articulating Unstated
Week 4: Draft and Revise
Monday – Individual Conferences
No Class – Individual Conferences.
• Individual conferences.
• Have a clear idea of how to revise.
Bring a hard-copy of your draft to conference.
1. A&B, chapter 18, “Composing and Revising Closed-Form Prose.”
1. Have questions and concerns about your paper ready to discuss.
Wednesday – In-Class Peer Review: Final Polish
• Know the strengths and weaknesses of your paper and have a distinct direction for final
• Understand how to critique your fellow students’ work in a helpful and articulate way. Become
comfortable with and proficient in the peer review process.
Bring 3 copies of draft.
1. A&B, chapter 17, “Writing as a Problem-Solving Process.”
2. EW, chapter 9, section 9b, “Get responses from peers” (91-96).
Friday – Reflections
• Understand what worked and what didn’t in the writing process and in the final product.
• Gain an understanding of why reflection is important and how it can improve your writing.
• Understand how to apply this knowledge to future writing projects.
Final drafts with Writer’s Memo due.
• Submit through Turnitin.