4. Super-Taking a Stand

Arguing for Superheroes 

DUE Dates:

FINAL DRAFT: FRIDAY, DEC. 1  by 11:59 PM    
Assignment Sheet: Arguing for Superheroes

As a superhero, there are many problems you encounter, one of them is the questioning of whether or not you are actually a benefit to society or a burden/danger. Your job for Assignment 4 is come up with an argument and make your case.

Your Purpose: Write a 3-4 page, well-researched essay justifying the need for superheroes. You can do this from the point of view of a superhero or simply as your own self looking at superheroes. So, either argue for the need for superheroes (fictional) or as if you are one arguing for your own existence.

Required: An introduction with thesis statement. Background information, roughly 1-2 paragraphs, followed by an argument section running from 5-7 paragraphs, and then a counter-argument section roughly 3-4 paragraphs. Finally, a conclusion.

You will be using readings from Norton’s Field Guide to Writing 4th Ed. as a touchstone along the way during this process.


Develop a Thesis:

For purposes of this essay we will be venturing into our first working of a more formal thesis statement. The primary purpose of any thesis is to present with a position you will be arguing for, in this case, superheroes. The thesis statement is located at the END (that is the final sentence) of your INTRODUCTION paragraph.

Two things we need to indicate clearly in our THESIS STATEMENT for this essay:

  1. Who are you arguing for: superheroes.
  2. What reasons will you use to support your argument.

All of this should be done in ONE sentence.

Outlining Your Paper:

I. Introduction

A. Crafted Thesis Statement making it clear the purpose of the paper. See “Developing a Thesis Statement” above

II. Background Information

A. Define what a superhero is

B. Any other information critical for us to be able to follow your argument for superheroes

III. Lay down your Argument for Superheroes as Necessary

A. Use resources and information to lay out, in support of your thesis statement and reasons, to lay out a case for “why” superheroes should exist and why people today (real or fictional) need them.

IV. Engage in Potential Counter-Argument

A. Lay out potential challenges to your

B. Refute, answer those potential challenges

 V. Conclusion

Key Elements:

Clear, Arguable Thesis Statement: Its difficult to have an argument without knowing what side you are on, so you need to tell us. Need to make sure your position is arguable one and not one that is “completely subjective, [a matter] of opinion … or [one] based on belief or faith” (97). In this case, you are and will be arguing for the existence of superheroes.

Necessary background information: What do you need to tell your audience, summarize and you can take this from general information about superheroes. You may want to use your definition section from Essay 3 as part of this.

Good reasons and Convincing evidence: Sources will be needed here. Good reasons will form part of the reasoning of your thesis statement and good evidence will be used to support your reasons, expanded, inside your paper.

Trustworthy tone: The Norton’s textbook states that “Arguments can stand or fall on the way readers perceive the writer. Very simply, readers need to trust the person who’s making the argument. On way of winning this trust is by demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about” (98).

Careful consideration of other positions (Counter-Argument): We always have to be aware of, and it helps demonstrate this, that there are more than one way to look at the situation under debate. The book points out that “No matter how reasonable and careful we are in arguing our position, others may disagree or offer counterarguments or hold other positions. We need to consider those other views and to acknowledge and, if possible, refute them in our written arguments” (98-9).

Develop Your Counter-Argument 

We will go into this in more detail, but one thing we will be making sure to address is how we can both bring up potential challenges to our arguments and address those challenges successfully for the sake of our audience and ethos.

 Proofing and Editing

As we move along we will work on checking and addressing our proper MLA formatting and correctness.

We will layer this process. It will begin with you and move through Peer Reviews and Rough Drafts to the Final Draft.

Peer Review

Once we have put our drafts together, you will start and make sure these are finished by the time we reach our In-Class Drafting day.

Following our In-Class Drafting Day we will have a Peer Review. You will exchange TWO printed copies with other classmates. You will read each other’s papers providing each other with constructive feedback aimed at improving your paper. When this is done you will use this feedback to revise your paper before submitting it in Rough Draft Form to your instructor.


Like with Proofing and Editing, we will continue to refine and ex-examine our assignment, making sure we address and are taking care of our requirements of the assignment as well as any key features we have for each genre.


TEMPLATE: essay-4-template

PowerPoint: Essay 4 Powerpoint

Lecture Walkthrough:

Essay 4 Example: Essay 4 Example