|1) Find a piece of writing containing an argument. Arguments are everywhere! Of course, not all of them are good. The purpose of this course is to help you develop a set of skills which will allow you to evaluate arguments and determine which are good and which are bad. You should also be able to point out problems, potential problems, and strengths and weaknesses of arguments that you come across. For this assignment, you must first locate an argument somewhere. Since not all arguments are found in peer-reviewed academic journals, feel free to be creative and choose something related to any of your interests. It could be in an advertisement, an editorial, a blog, a magazine article, etc. All you need to do is find someone who is making a statement and giving reasons in support of it.
2) Attach that piece of writing to your project. Remember that you will need to submit your project electronically, since this is an online course. (You will email your final Argument Analysis Project to the instructor; see below.) You should keep this in mind when selecting a source. If the source is online, you can simply attach a web address (but be sure that your instructor can use it to access the source!). If the source is in print, then you can scan it and attach it to your email (if this technology is available). The most preferable would be a PDF which your attach to your email, but at any rate be sure to attach your original source so that I have access to it.
3) Find an argument which the author makes in your selected text. Be sure to tell me exactly where your argument is coming from! Please include page and paragraph numbers.
4) In English (not our symbolic language), type up a presentation of the argument as best as you can reconstruct it. Be sure to number the premises, and put the premises and conclusion in your own words. This should be page one of your assignment.
5) Identify the type and form of the argument. Is the argument inductive or deductive? Is it a generalization, argument from analogy, disjunctive syllogism, etc. (refer to the textbook, especially Chapters 7 and 8)? Are there any fallacies? If so, what kind of fallacy? Is it a straw man, ad hominem, inappropriate appeal to authority, etc. (refer to the textbook, especially Chapter 5)?
6) Evaluate the argument in a short essay. Is it valid? Is it sound? Are there any potential problems or issues with the reasoning or any of the premises? Are there any fallacies? Be sure to discuss any support the author provides for the premises. Is more evidence needed? What kind of evidence?
The project should be 4-6 pages (including the argument presentation as the first page, and the evaluative essay), 12 point font, double-spaced, with 1” margins and numbered pages. Since you will submit the original document along with your Argument Analysis, citation is only necessary if another source besides that or the textbook is used to analyze the argument or premises. Be sure to use appropriate citation methods whenever this is the case (the style can be MLA, APA, Chicago, or whatever is appropriate for your major discipline).
You will be graded using the following criteria. You need to:
• Write in full sentences, use correct grammar, appropriate academic style, etc.