Argumentative Essay Example for College Composition I

Instructor: Shelby Stewart
This is a sample essay on whether aliens are out there with explanations that will help you write a great argumentative essay.

Essay Introduction

This lesson will provide an example argumentative essay. This sample essay will respond to the prompt: ''Some think aliens are out there. Can we truly believe aliens might exist? Why or why not? And would it be beneficial to the human race? Consider these questions as you write an essay on your position regarding whether aliens are out there.''

Review the following sample as a basis for your own writing, but note that it is shorter than a typical essay. Then review the bibliography as a sample for your own bibliography. The lesson will then conclude with an analysis section highlighting important parts of the essay.

Sample Essay

Have you ever looked up into the night sky and considered if there is alien life out there? Scientists have taken up this question and explored the cosmos with increasingly precise tools. Though there is no concrete evidence to definitely affirm the existence of aliens, it is likely that there is intelligent life in the cosmos. Alien life is probable due to the vast expanse of space, the identification of habitable planets, and the similarity between Earth and other planets.

The search for alien life will always be similar to looking for a needle in a haystack. The amount of area beyond our galaxy to the entire universe defies most people's imagination. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson puts into words just how large the universe is by stating, ''if the count of planets in our solar system is not unusual, then there are more planets in the universe than the sum of all sounds and words ever uttered by every human who has ever lived (2003).'' The universe is incredibly large, so with that many planets, each possibly containing life, there are many places for scientist to check for life beyond Earth.

In addition to the unfathomably large size of the universe, Tyson goes on to point out that it is logical for there to be the possibility of life outside Earth. He mentions the Copernican principle, which holds that Earth and people are not cosmically special. In his view, humans and Earth are important, although not unique. He states, ''to declare that Earth must be the only planet in the cosmos with life would be inexcusably egocentric of us (Tyson, 2003).'' The universe is a large place. With all the planets available, it would statistically make sense that there would be a place outside Earth where alien life exists.

Furthermore, not only is the universe an overwhelmingly large place, scientists have already identified habitable planets and moons. The possibility for life has to meet some basic environmental criteria, just as on Earth. On Earth there are several places which are mostly or completely uninhabitable due to harsh weather and climate conditions. Most planets, moons, and other space objects are similarly unsuitable for life. Some space objects have no atmosphere whereas others have atmospheres which have made the planet toxic.

However, some of the habitable planets provide the correct circumstances for life. All life on Earth has three of the four most common elements in the universe, namely hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Australian scientists found the closest planet with the potential for life to exist. ''The planet, named Wolf 1061c, orbits a star 14 light years away (Pearlman, 2015).'' There are many other planets withe the potential for life, but this is the closest one scientists have identified. Studying this planet will help scientists better understand planets with the possibility of hosting alien life.

Whether or not alien life exists or not, the mere search for these creatures has been beneficial to humanity. Through the study of astrobiology or the study of life outside Earth, scientists are better able to understand how life works here on Earth. Some advancements developed through the exploration of space objects has created applications to life on Earth. One such development comes in the form of ''The powder that works in your washing machine at high temperature functions because it contains proteins extracted from microbes that grow in volcanic hot springs (Cockell, 2012).'' This development may not have come about if we hadn't been studying the rocky world of Mars.

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