Furthermore, the line between character-building obstacle and liability is not always clear. A Metro Academic Prep checklist of topics to avoid includes “sex,” “deep confessions” and “sob stories.” But if you take seriously the advice to “recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback or failure” (the second of the new Common Application suggested topics), you might write about a near miss with law enforcement, a bad breakup, or the months of 10th grade you spent in a pot-induced (or to give an example from my own life, “Designing Women”-induced) haze.
The function of an argumentative essay is to show that your assertion (opinion, theory, hypothesis) about some phenomenon or phenomena is correct or more truthful than others'. The art of argumentation is not an easy skill to acquire. Many people might think that if one simply has an opinion, one can argue it successfully, and these folks are always surprised when others don't agree with them because their logic seems so correct. Argumentative writing is the act of forming reasons, making inductions, drawing conclusions, and applying them to the case in discussion; the operation of inferring propositions, not known or admitted as true, from facts or principles known, admitted, or proved to be true. It clearly explains the process of your reasoning from the known or assumed to the unknown. Without doing this you do not have an argument, you have only an assertion, an essay that is just your unsubstantiated opinion.