You will then write a critical argument analysis in which you are analyzing the validity of the argument. This assignment should be written as a cohesive essay, not just as a series of disconnected answers to the following questions. You will want to try and avoid your own subjective opinions about the topic, and rather respond to the argument being made. Stick to the facts and your sound reasoning skills. This is not an exercise in commentary. It is specifically an exercise in analyzing the author’s argument at hand. The questions and paragraph suggestions below should act as a guide. You can rearrange paragraph order if you see fit, but you should make sure that you do address all the concerns in the questions below. Remember that to achieve coherence and unity your essay must have transitions between paragraphs, topic sentences and its own thesis regarding the main purpose of the article you are analyzing. This essay should be 2-3 pages, double spaced, and use MLA formatting guidelines. Steps to Success: 1: Identify the article, author, publication and immediate context that gave rise to this article. Supply from your own knowledge of this issue the broader context to which this article refers. 2: Identify the main claim of the article and the evidence used to support the author’s position. This is a summary of the article, but it must define the various parts. Consider the kinds of evidence are used to support the claim. Are there any logical fallacies being used? 3: What is the author’s purpose in writing this piece? What is he or she trying to accomplish? How is this article organized? Where is the thesis found? What are the main points of each paragraph? Does it move from general to specific examples or vice versa? 4: What is the larger context into which this article fits? Is there an on-going debate? A developing story? A history of some sort? 5: Begin to discuss writing strategies. What attention grabbing strategy is used in the intro and why? 6: What is the tone of this article? How does the author represent him/herself and his or her credentials for speaking on this topic? 7: Who is the implied audience it is written for? Which authorial appeals are used to gain the support of this audience? Give examples. 8: In making his/her argument, what does the writer assume or take for granted? In other words, what does he or she assume the reader already knows or believes? 9: How does the author conclude? Does this add to or subtract from the success of his/her argument? 10: Evaluate the article. Does the author make a convincing argument? Why or why not? Did you agree or disagree with the author before reading this piece? He s/he changed your mind? What is the importance of your essay? What should the reader take away from it?
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