The Stance Essay: English 115

The Stance Essay is the final essay for English 115 and lays the foundation for English 215.

For this essay, you are not just giving the facts or your opinion, but in 3rd person taking an academic stance on the issue.

To make the essay manageable, you want to focus and plan. What is the specific stance you are taking? What part of the topic do you want to make an argument and take a stand about? Think as you narrow who do you really want to discuss, what part of the issue, etc.

As far as organization, think in terms of 8 paragraphs or 6 points to your argument, and introduction, and a conclusion. If your 8  paragraphs are about ½ page each, you will end up with 4 pages.

Below is a suggested sample outline that you can fill in to help organize your essay.

Broad Topic:  __________________________________________________________________

Narrowed Topic:  _______________________________________________________________

Once you have a topic, you want to create your thesis. Remember the thesis consists of the TOPIC your POSITION or OPINION regarding the topic and then and overview of WHY you have that opinion.

For example: Finding childcare in America (topic) is so difficult that the government should provide 6 months of paid maternity leave for one parent of each newborn to stay home with the child (opinion) to reduce emotional and financial stress on new parents.

Thesis=  _____________________________________________________________________

Once you have a thesis, begin to consider where in your paragraphs that you can include your ideas.

For an outline:

1- Introduction

Remember that the thesis belongs at the end

(Body paragraphs- focus each paragraph on one good point)

2- ______________________________________________________________________

3- ______________________________________________________________________

4- ______________________________________________________________________

5-  ______________________________________________________________________

6- _______________________________________________________________________

7- _______________________________________________________________________

12- conclusion

Types of evidence: statistics, anecdotes, interviews, experts, date and details

P1- Introduction

• Hook

o ___________________________________________________________

• Background information about the issue.

o ___________________________________________________________

o #1 quoted statistic as to why this issue is important

 _____________________________________________________

o #2 quoted statistic as to why this issue is important

 _____________________________________________________

• Thesis (does not contain a quote and is not a question/ topic + opinion)

o ____________________________________________________________

Pattern for paragraphs 2-7

• Topic Sentence (does not contain a quote)

o ____________________________________________________________

• Reason #1

o ____________________________________________________________

o Support for reason 1

 _____________________________________________________

• Reason #2

o ____________________________________________________________

o Support for reason 2

 _____________________________________________________

• Concluding sentence (does not contain a quote)

o ____________________________________________________________

Conclusion paragraph pattern

• Restate the thesis

• Add a little- why does this matter or what should a person do about it?


• By breaking the argument apart, you can begin with part of it while still thinking about other parts.

• The order of the paragraphs that you start with can be changed if you decide that something else would be more effective.

• Do not lose your sources. Start a reference page as you begin working and then at least add the last name and links to the page as you go. If you have the name, you can add the citations. If you have the links, you can format those later.

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