Essay Assignment #1
Length: three to four pages not including Works Cited
Evaluation of an Argument through Analysis – In this assignment, you are required to show your abilities to summarize and evaluate the effectiveness of an argument, based on your analysis of it. Thus far in the course, we have explored the ways in which we read and analyze an argumentative text critically. Critical analysis of a text requires us to look for what the author claims (the main idea/thesis) and to closely examine how the author supports the claim (via subsidiary claims and evidence). It also requires us to examine how the author presents the claims and evidence and how he or she addresses his or her opposing views. Write an essay in which you evaluate the effectiveness of Ronald Macaulay’s essay “Sex Differences,” based on your analysis of its claims, evidence, and/or the presentation of the claims and evidence. Is the essay persuasive? Why or why not? Which elements of the argument make it persuasive and which do not? In order to complete this assignment successfully, you need first to analyze and evaluate Macaulay’s essay thoroughly by asking the following questions: A. Claims
(1) What is the author’s main claim (thesis)? Is it clearly stated fairly early in the essay? Does it reflect the purpose of the essay? (2) What are his subsidiary claims? That is, what are the claims that he uses to support his main claim? Are they clear and valid? Are they related to the main claim? (3) Does the author address opposing views fairly and counter them successfully? B. Evidence
(1) What kind of evidence does the author use? (e.g., facts, statistics, examples, personal experience, expert testimony, analogy) (2) Is the evidence sufficient, specific, relevant, and convincing? C. Presentation
(1) What is the author’s tone? Is it neutral, sincere, respectful, humorous, sarcastic, pessimistic, etc.? How do you know? How does it contribute to the argument? (2) How is the text...
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