Paper #1: Evaluative Essay
Write a 5-7 page (1,250-1,750 word) essay that explains and evaluates 3-5 arguments on a controversial topic. The arguments can be: i) for the same conclusion or ii) for contradictory conclusions. For example, you could examine two arguments for the conclusion that abortion is morally wrong and two arguments for the conclusion that abortion is not morally wrong. On the other hand, you could examine three separate arguments for the conclusion that abortion is morally wrong.
In order to explain an argument, I expect you to: i) state the argument in your own words (though, you can selectively use quotes to support your interpretation of the article), ii) state the argument in “Premise-Conclusion” form. [For example
P1- It is always morally wrong to kill human persons
P2- Abortion is the act of killing a human person
C- Therefore, abortion is morally wrong.]
iii) state whether the argument is best interpreted as an inductive or a deductive argument. Remember, you should attempt to interpret the argument in the best light possible; in other words, don’t state the argument in an obviously illogical way when it can be formulated in a stronger way.
In order to evaluate an argument, I expect you to: i) state whether the premises of the argument REALLY support/prove its conclusion ii) identify the use of any rhetorical devices and/or fallacies that occur in the argument, iii) indicate whether the argument contains any false or implausible premises.
Sources: I would prefer you to choose arguments from newspaper, magazine, or journal articles. If you would like to use a book or an online source (not including online newspapers, magazines, etc.), please check with me. Predictably, Wikipedia articles are not permitted for this assignment.
Documentation Style: MLA or APA
Format: Double Spaced. 12 point normal font.
1) State the argument in your own words
2) State the argument in Premise-Conclusion format
3) State whether the argument is best interpreted as an inductive or deductive argument.
Your evaluation of an argument should include: 1) a discussion of whether the argument supports/proves its conclusion, 2) a discussion of rhetorical devices/fallacies, and 3) an indication of whether the premises are true or not
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