I’m supposed to write an argumentive essay..?

I’m supposed to write an argumentive essay..?
In my english class I have to write an argumentative essay. She gave us a list to choose from and I want to write about the one that says..”write an essay arguing for or against the proposition that women soldiers should be able to serve in combat situations…” I’d be for that… or “Assume that the library in your town has decided to ban certain books…etc argue for or against …” I’d be against that.
I don’t really understand the argumentative essay…help! I’m also supposed to site my info…don’t get that either.

The first thing you need to understand about an argumentative essay, if you want to persuade others to your view, is that you must become an expert on both sides of the argument (for and against). This means you must do some serious research (reading/study).

The person who does the best ‘argumentative essay’ is the person who knows both sides and can effectively REFUTE the arguments of the other side. Sometimes you can do this with stories or examples that show the inferiority of the opposite argument.

So if, after your reading and study, you decide you can only really argue for one position, be ready and willing to change because of the evidence you have found after you were able to think about it for awhile.

Let me give you a example or two.
1. “Women soldiers should be able to serve in combat.” So our nation goes to war, and begins to draft civilians to serve in our military. Does supporting this argument mean you feel women everywhere must now leave their families, just like the men, and obey the draft to fight in the war?
2. “Library has decided to ban certain books.”
So, the library refuses to admit and loan books that demonstrate how to create nuclear bombs and writers who propose treacherous destruction against the US government by terrorism. Does supporting the quoted argument mean you feel the library must have and loan books on these things?

The difference in an argumentative essay is YOU. Your voice needs to be heard in the essay.

Do the reading and form your opinion first. Then you will see how to argue either for or against and know ‘which stones are the heaviest’.