Argumentative Writing Assignment

The object of this exercise is to enhance your argumentative writing skills. Along the way, I hope that you will also gain practical experience and a certain level of expertise in:

You, and your team, are to do the following:


  1. Read A Rose For Emily (p. 315).
  2. Determine whether you wish to prosecute or defend Emily.


You must assume that Emily is being tried for Manslaughter in the state of Georgia but be prepared for the prosecution to go for some murder charge.

You must prepare a case (written in the form of a 3-5(body)paragraph essay...(with all the attendant structure) that defends your client, Emily, from the state's charges.

  1. You must refute the value of the physical evidence.
  2. You may choose an insanity defense.
  3. You may bring in ancillary character witnesses. (Which can be found in critical essays about the story)


You must determine what Emily will be charged with under the Georgia Revised Criminal Statutes.

  1. This may include any degree of murder, manslaughter, or justifiable homicide.
  2. You must determine whether Emily is sane...and argue for her mental fitness to stand trial.
  3. Then you must build a case (Claim-Ev.-Arg.) to prove that she is guilty [of course, this will be in the 3-5 point format with all the attendant structure].

*****The 3-5 point structure is just like the 3-5 paragraph structure except that each point has more than one paragraph. The key is to try to keep the number of paragraphs per point consistent.


Research. That you can tell me where the library is. I expect you to not only discover such bits of information as the correct laws that you are charging Emily under or defending her from. I expect that you will seek out critical reviews of the story and of Faulkner as additional evidence, character evidence, and circumstantial evidence.

Citation. I expect you to correctly cite all external research and all material you quote from the text.

Creativity. Have fun with this. Don't be afraid to be a little outrageous.

Each team will turn in a typed paper (at least 3-5 paragraphs). With a bibliography and sources cited in the text.

Presentation. You will try this case in class. Be prepared.

Final grade for assignment will be determined from an examination of both the paper and your team's in-class presentation (time permitting in summer semesters).


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