Describe the main logical argument present in the opinion essay you have chosen to analyze.

Compose a paper that responds to the main argument in a piece of opinion writing.

The paper should be 3-4 pages long (plus a title page and References page) and use APA style 7th edition for format and citations.

Choose an opinion essay from a popular news source (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, etc.) to analyze as the focus of your paper. Select an essay labeled “opinion” or “op-ed” that gives arguments for a debated view, rather than a descriptive news story that objectively narrates events that have happened.

In the paper, you will analyze the main argument of the opinion essay and briefly defend your own view on the issue. Before starting, review the Lecture Video – Argument BasicsLecture Video – Deductive Arguments, and Lecture Video – Missing Claims and Longer Arguments, as well as the related handouts.

Include the following sections in this order:

  1. Introduction – Draw in the reader in an engaging way and introduce your topic. Make the last sentence a thesis that states the main claims you will defend.
  2. Describe the author’s argument – Describe the main logical argument present in the opinion essay you have chosen to analyze. Identify the main conclusion of the piece. Explain the main premises and (if relevant) intermediate conclusions used to support it. You do not need to lay things out with full precision in standard argument form but should indicate the main types of evidence used to support the opinion essay’s conclusion. Feel free to paraphrase if it is easier to express the underlying logic of the argument in your own words.
  3. Evaluate the author’s argument – Then, give your assessment of the argument in the opinion essay. Look for controversial claims and give your view on whether they are true or false. Also, comment on the logical structure of the essay — if the main conclusion is well-supported by the evidence given or if there are gaps in the logic of the argument.
  4. Defend your own arguments – Next, present two valid and sound deductive arguments of your own as a response to the opinion essay. These can agree or disagree with the essay’s point of view but should add something new to the conversation and support a coherent position of your own. Label the premises and conclusion of each argument you develop. Then, explain why each argument is valid and why its premises are true. Review the Worksheet – Composing Deductive Arguments and Handout – Checking for Validity for further help with these tasks.
  5. Conclusion – Signal the end of the paper and review your thesis and main ideas. End with a memorable closing.

The only sources you need for the paper are an outside opinion essay to analyze and the course text and materials. If you find that other sources are helpful for supporting your main ideas, you can add one or two more.

The library APA website (Links to an external site.) can assist with APA style. It has a pre-formatted paper in APA style to help with format as well as tabs on how to create in-text citations and References page listings for different types of sources.

Your grade will be calculated using the rubric attached to the assignment. Content Area will be weighted 70% with the remaining grade divided between the other rows as indicated on the rubric. Content Area concerns detailed engagement with an outside opinion essay, accurate and well-supported main claims, and correct logical work and discussion following the paper instructions.

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