General Chemistry II Writing Assignment

Your writing assignment is to convince the President that one particular environmental concern should have the highest priority.

Some general guidelines are available. Specific guidelines are given below. This is an argumentative paper and the logic must be readily apparent. For our class you will be required to use one specific form of argumentation and to organize the paper in a very specific format.

The first paragraph of the paper should contain the argument stated in such a way that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. The required form for the argument given below will ensure that is the case. The body of the paper should show that the premises are true. In the second paragraph there should be support for the first premise (the conditional premise). The next paragraph (or paragraphs) should support the second premise. The last paragraph of the paper should repeat the argument given in the first paragraph and say that since the premises are true and since the logic is good, the conclusion must be true.

The required form for the argument is:

You must decide what "my choice" is and you must spell out the criteria A, B, and C.


A specific example of the form is: If acid rain is the only environmental concern that threatens life, then acid rain should be the number one environmental concern. Acid rain is the only environmental concern that threatens life. Therefore, acid rain should be the number one environmental concern. Notice that this would be a difficult argument to support since acid rain is clearly not the only environmental concern that treatens life.


Specific Guidelines:

  1. Required Argument Format

  2. Required Paper Format

  3. There is no length requirement. Keep it simple and to the point. Follow the example of the sample paper.

General Guidelines:

  1. This is an argumentative paper and the structure of the argument should be obvious. I do, however, expect the paper to be in normal sentence and paragraph form. Don't use outlines or write P1, P2, etc. in an attempt to make the argument more explicit.

  2. This is not a persuasive paper. Opinions and emotional pleas should not appear in this paper.

  3. Make sure all premises for the main argument and the conclusion are in the first paragraph. Don't introduce new premises that directly bear on the conclusion after the first paragraph.

  4. All the premises of the main argument must be explicitly stated in the first paragraph. That is, there will be no implicit premises in the main argument.


Other ways to form an argument are given below for information purposes only.