Reid – Ten Ways to Think About Writing

  1. A Thousand Rules and Three Principles
  2. Show & Telepaths
  3. The Little Green Ball and Some People: Doing Details Right
  4. Lost Money and Thank-you Notes: What’s in an Audience?
  5. Pink Houses & Choruses: Keeping Your Reader With You
  6. Fruit Jell-O: Balancing Arguments & Examples
  7. Wash-and-wear Paragraphs
  8. Hey Hey Hey and the Textbook Conspiracy: Annotating Your Reading
  9. Short-Time Writing: Use Your Higher Brain
  10. Rules vs. Rhetoric, or, The Five Paragraph Essay vs. “Try Something!”


Solution Argument Examples

One example of a solution argument essay that we have previously discussed in this class is “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie.

To quote a CNN article on the Danger of a Single Story:

Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie believes in the power of stories, and warns that hearing only one about a people or nation leads to ignorance. She says the truth is revealed by many tales.

She illustrates this with a story about coming to the United States, as a middle-class daughter of a professor and an administrator, and meeting her college roommate. Adichie says that her roommate’s “default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning, pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa. A single story of catastrophe.”

Adichie also tells how growing up in Nigeria reading only American and English children’s books made her deaf to her authentic voice. As a child, she wrote about such things as blue-eyed white children eating apples, thinking brown skin and mangos had no place in literature. That changed as she discovered African writers, particularly the Nigerian Chinua Achebe.

This is a great quote that highlights some of the moves we need to do in our article. It summarizes her topic, problem she is addressing, and solution; including examples she uses.

Topic: Many people do not realize that they are getting only one story. A single story is incomplete and she says dangerous.

Problem: Having a single story about an issue or group of people leads to stereotypes and incomplete information.

Solution: To look for multiple stories of whatever issue or topic you are hearing. She recommends we get our news and stories from multiple perspectives.

Reasons and evidence: She gives examples from her personal life to highlight that she has a personal connection.

Background: She gives background information, citing quotes and examples that place her issue in a historical context. She also uses current examples to place the issue in a contemporary context.


Who do you think her audience is?

What do they value?

Does she address those values?


Solution Argument Example 1

Solution Argument Example 2

Creating Structure

Structure is very important to making an argument. It needs to be deliberate and well organized. You cannot come across as being all over the place. An argument needs order in order for the audience to follow along.

Here is one possible outline to use to build your paper:

  1. Position (thesis)
  2. Background
  3. Reason with evidence
  4. Reason with evidence
  5. Reason with evidence
  6. Reason with evidence
  7. Counterargument with refutation
  8. Conclusion with so what question addressing audience

Grading Criteria

Here are the five criteria, we will be using to grade the essays. Use this to help build and revise your essay.

  1. Does the essay have a clear purpose and direction, including a thesis statement with a clear and arguable solution?
  2. Does the essay include a brief description of the problem being considered?
  3. Does the essay argue a clear solution, using research and evidence, paying specific attention to audience?
  4. Does the essay follow standard mechanics? MLA formatting and citation, Works Cited page, proper punctuation and grammar, appropriate word choice, minimum of 2,500 words, minimum of 7 sources.
  5. Does the essay have an appropriate title and image(s)?