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Analyzing the Written Argument (In-class Essay) Context: Former Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum once stated

that all Americans do not need to attend college in order to be successful. This claim was in response to a speech by President Obama who proposed that e!ery American should pursue higher education. "n our instant gratification media#obsessed society it didn$t take long before Santorum$s claim set off a firestorm of criticism re!ealing how one position or argument can ha!e such an enormous societal impact. Simply put arguments are a part of our daily li!es and e!eryone has an opinion about something. Therefore it$s important that we as critical thinkers make sure these arguments are sound whether they are con!eyed orally !isually or in written form. Writing Task% This essay will impro!e your critical reading and writing skills by encouraging you to write an in#depth analysis of an argumentati!e piece of writing. This is an in#class essay but you will be informed which arguments you will analy&e prior to the actual e'am (they are either on )lackboard or in the te'tbook*. Therefore you will ha!e time to read the arguments annotate them and plan your approach. +owe!er you will not write the actual essay until the day of the e'am and you will choose only one of the argumentati!e essays to analy&e. **Kee in min! that you are not arguing "or or against an issue or !isagreeing or agreeing #ith any o" these authors$ %ut analyzing the #ays in #hich they resent their arguments& ,ltimately you will be deciding whether the writer$s o!erall argument is effecti!e based on specific elements (as listed below*. -uch of this essay will be based on the reading .,nderstanding the Relationship )etween Analysis and Argument./ )ut here$s a little refresher on the most important argumentati!e elements0 this will help you with the de!elopment of your essay. An e""ecti'e argument: 1.* deals with an issue that is debatable and open to different interpretations 2.* is not based solely on strong .knee 3erk/ feelings or beliefs unsubstantiated by e!idence 4.* stands up to a critical reading (a!oids logical fallacies* 5.* takes a position and makes a clear claim about the topic 6.* supports that position with detailed and specific e!idence (such as reasons facts e'amples descriptions and stories* 7.* establishes common ground with listeners !iewers or readers and a!oids confrontation. 8.* takes opposing !iews into account and either refutes them or shows why they may be unimportant or irrele!ant 9.* incorporates the use of the three persuasi!e appeals% logos pathos and ethos 9.* presents reasons in a logical order. :.* is engaged and !ital a reflection of the creator$s thinking rather than 3ust a marshaling of others$ opinions. (ome a!'ice on #riting a success"ul argumentati'e analysis: Read the selections early on and decide which article will work best for you Once you$!e decided on an essay read it a number of times employing the critical thinking skills you$!e been practicing with the CRRs (annotating in the margins taking notes asking ;uestions highlighting significant ideas<points discussing the reading with classmates or other people etc.* =hile there are some similarities between this essay and the CRRs the essay is more formal so you will not be gi!ing your opinion on the issue at hand nor should your essay be a

rhetorical pr>cis. "n your essay you will not be writing about e!ery element but mainly focusing on the elements that are rele!ant to your chosen argument. ?ou might use the ;uestions below as a guide to your essay (though " don$t suggest that you organi&e based on the order of the ;uestions* =hen you come to class to write your essay you may only bring% the arguments or te'tbook (annotated highlighted etc.* a blue book this handout pens and a dictionary.

)uestions to hel you !e'elo your essay: ##What is the claim* =hat is the main point the writer is trying to make@ "s there a clearly stated thesis statement or is it merely implied@ ##What su ort !oes the #riter o""er "or the claim* =hat RAASOBS are gi!en to support the claim and what AC"DABCA backs up those reasons@ Are the reasons plausible and sufficient@ ##+o# e'enhan!e!ly !oes the #riter resent the issues* Are the arguments appropriately ;ualified@ "s there any mention of CO,BTARARE,-ABTSFand if so how does the writer deal with them@ ##What authorities or other sources o" in"ormation are cite!* +ow credible and current are they@ ##+o# !oes the #riter a!!ress you as the rea!er* Does the writer assume that you know something about what$s being discussed@ Does his or her language include you or not@ ##,e sure to check "or -A..ACIE( arguments that rely on faulty reasoning. Of course these ;uestions do not co!er e!erything but it is certainly a good starting point. Eood luckG
/our "inal gra!e #ill %e %ase! on ho# #ell your essay: Addresses the assignment thoughtfully analytically and creati!ely Contains a thesis statement that gi!es a clear and debatable position "n!ites the reader in with an engaging introduction and closes with a satisfying conclusion Contains cohesi!e focused body paragraphs that relate back to your thesis Contains a logical structure -aintains audience awareness (persuades and informs your readers* "ncorporates e!idence from the reading (direct ;uotes paraphrases and summary* Analy&es the essay from an argumentati!e perspecti!e Does not use the first person or any personal e'perience "s nearly free of punctuation mechanical and spelling errors -inal 0oints: ?ou will ha!e the full class time to write your essay There will be no make#ups ?ou will skip lines and only write on one side of the page