Writing Assignment #1: Argument Analysis (15%)
Technicalities and Must Haves: 4-5 full pages, Times New Roman, 12 font, Standard margins, Double spaced, MLA format.
For this assignment, you will compare/contrast two of the course readings, juxtaposing the two authors positions on the same issue. You will analyze how well one author presented an argument in comparison to the other author, looking at the writing strategies, such as:
- what kind of evidence they used/ how effective the evidence was at supporting their arguments (ex scientific research studies versus personal experience);
- their tone;
- their voice (use of first person pronouns versus third person pronouns);
- the authors credibility as “experts”;
- audience awareness;
- organization (order of how points are given, topic sentences, connections between points and paragraphs, etc.);
- language use (ex transition words to help guide the reader);
Using, at most, three of the points above, you will answer the following question: Which authors claims were more convincing and why? This assignment asks you to take a position and support the position with evidence from the source texts. In order to do this, your thesis should be more than a statement of fact. It should be clearly state your position regarding which author is more convincing and why, using sub-points. You will choose two of the following readings to write your argument analysis:
- “Why women still cant have it all” by Anne-Marie Slaughter
- “Why men still cant have it all” by Richard Dorment
- “The Transformation of Everyday Life” by Richard Florida
Each of these authors presents perspectives about how society affects peoples perceptions and expectations of gender. Because good academic discussions do more than acknowledge what is readily apparent, your paper should make an argument for the subtle ways that the authors are actually similar or different in their writing approaches on a particular subject.
The skills you will acquire by writing this essay are the following: Reading comprehension, summary, comparison, application of analytical frameworks and rhetorical methods, integrating quotations, introductions and conclusions, developing a thesis, attention to composing process, coherence, grammar issues
Imagine that your readers for this assignment are peers who have not read any of these articles. Thus, you must give a brief overview of the authors main claims and key terms within your analysis. At most, consider having two-three sentences be a summary for each article. The rest should be your analysis.
To achieve your purpose with your audience, use the following strategies in your essay:
- In your introduction include: title of article, authors full name and credentials, a brief overview of the argument, and a clear concise thesis statement.
- Use present tense when discussing a piece of writing. Use past tense only when referring to historical events.
- Put the title of the articles in quotation marks.
- If you quote more than four lines remember to indent the entire quotation one inch from the left-hand margins. Do not include quotation marks, and all the parenthetical documentation after the end of the punctuation. Introduce the quotation using a colon,
- When mentioning the authors in the body of your essay, use full name the first time, and the last name only after that. (Do not use Mr./Mrs/Dr/etc.)
- Use MLA documentation style
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