An Argumentative Essay in English, Using 'Coca Cola' As an ExampleAs an undergraduate and graduate student I was instructed to write an argumentative essay in English, but with a class topic of 'coca cola.' The subject turned out to be the brewing controversy over the advertising slogan. I wrote an essay and wrote as though I was writing about any other topic, and an argumentative essay seemed to make sense.
My college English students have long been taught to analyze the arguments in an essay. They are required to identify the evidence supporting and against each side of the argument. They are also expected to read the arguments as well as others who would support or oppose them. When we read an argument, we need to consider not only what is the evidence but also how that evidence is used.
But at a recent lecture on this topic, it became clear that the 'argument' that the Coca Cola company was right was actually the end result of a bad argument. First, I want to say that I am a huge Coca Cola fan. If they offered me a dollar, I would gladly drink one. Second, my friends think that I am not reading their arguments correctly. That is one of the things that I believe make a good argument.
The writer of the original research paper on the matter made grammatical mistakes that forced me to read between the lines. The author did not realize that what he was really saying was that he believed that what he saw as the truth should be the one that he published. He then continues his reasoning that there was nothing to be learned from analyzing the argument.
I also found it interesting that his beliefs were similar to the comments that were made by consumer groups. These groups were actually calling for the de-publication of a study that found that Coke had killed off small, local businesses that were popular with the kids. After all, there had to be something in the research that suggested that Coke should have changed their ways, right?
Finally, I find it to be disturbing that the way that the writer wanted to use evidence to support his belief that Coca Cola was the cause of the contamination was similar to what he had written about in his academic paper. His argument came across as being a series of statements rather than a reasoned argument. It sounded like a book review rather than an essay that would help you decide the facts.
The best arguments for your own arguments will be what you choose to call them. In this case, it would have been an argumentative essay. The truth is that they can actually help you learn the facts, and that is what an argument is really all about.