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Evaluating an Argument

Reading and Writing Argumentative Essays

Emily Hoffman

on 23 April 2015

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Transcript of Evaluating an Argument

a series of statements designed to convince you of something
"A Defense of the Jury System" Pg. 395
Evaluating a Written Argument
Writing Effective Arguments
Read the argumentative essay by Thomas M. Ross while answering the questions in the yellow boxes in your notes. After answering these questions, write the below information:
- At least 2 logical appeals. What types of evidence support these logical appeals?
- At least 2 loaded words
- What is 1 anecdote the author uses to support his argument?
1. According to the first two paragraphs, why are juries frequently criticized?

2. List the advantages of having cases decided by juries instead of by judges, as described in the essay.

3. According to the author, what does the jury system guarantee that no other judicial system can guarantee?

4. Which statement best expresses the author's claim or opinion?
A. A few highly publicized cases prove that the jury system is not fair.
B. Many judges believe that the jury system is unfair.
C. There is nothing wrong with the jury system, and it should not be replaced.
D. Despite its problems, trial by jury is the fairest system of justice.

5. The author's comparison of the jury systems to the popular vote is an example of-
A. a fact C. loaded words
B. an anecdote D. an analogy

6. To support his claim, the author relies most heavily on-
A. reasons and facts C. anecdotes
B. expert's opinions D. loaded words

8. Which word best describes the tone of the essay?
A. sarcastic C. reasonable
B. comforting D. resentful
Step 1: Read and Analyze Essay
Step 2: Write an Opinion Statement
Step 3: Consider Purpose and Audience
Step 4: Gather Support and Evidence
Step 5: WRITE!
Writing engaging and effective arguments
Reading LOTS of informational text
Elements of literature
You will be using these steps to write an effective argumentative essay
A Closer Look at those Steps
Logical Appeals/Logos
Case Study
Expert Opinion
Emotional Appeals/Pathos
Loaded Words
Ethical Appeals/Ethos
Evaluating an Argument
When you evaluate an author's argument, you act somewhat like a juror serving on a trial. Like a juror you need to analyze the evidence presented to you and decide whether the argument is sound
4 Steps to Effectively Evaluate an Argument
1. Understand the claim or opinion
2. Identify the support
3. Evaluate the evidence
4. Identify the author's intent

These 4 steps will help you determine if an author's argument is credible.

- believable and convincing
- prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair
Step 1: Understand the Claim, or Opinion
Read through the argument to make sure that you understand the matter being discussed.

-what the author is trying to prove.

Often the author's claim is stated in a generalization

-a broad statement that covers many situations. For example, 'All jurors should be allowed to take notes during a trial.' OR 'All girls love the color pink and all boys love the color blue.'
Step 2: Identify the Support
An author must provide support for a claim in order to create a persuasive argument. There are many types of support.
Logical Appeals/Logos
-reasons used to show that the opinion of the author is valid.

For example, 'All jurors should be allowed to take notes during a trial because notes can help them remember important information for reaching a verdict.
- the information that authors use to support their reasons. Every generalization, to be believable, should be backed up by evidence.

There are 6 types of evidence:
- statements that can be proven true
- numerical information
case studies
- examples from research
expert opinion
- statements made by a recognized authority on the subject
- specific instances of a general idea
- comparisons that show similarities between otherwise unrelated facts or ideas
Emotional Appeals (PATHOS)
-to win readers over, authors sometimes appeal to readers' emotions rather than their reason.

Loaded Words
- words with strong emotional connotations. For example, "detrimental", "damaging", "effective", "popular", "superior", "cruel," "best, "inferior," etc.

- brief stories that draw an emotional response
Ethical Appeals/Ethos
- addresses readers sense of right and wrong. This relies on the fact that the writer is ethical.

- When a writer uses ethos well, readers trust what they have to say
- Writers are likable
Step 3: Evaluate the Evidence
An argument is only as strong as its evidence. In order for the evidence and argument to be strong the author must...

- provide evidence that directly relates to the argument

- present sufficient evidence to back up generalizations and prove the claim

- use a combination of all types of appeals: logical, emotional, ethical
Step 4: Identify the Author's Intent
-why the author is making this argument; the author's purpose.

Be sure that the author has not been biased or prejudiced.

Intent influences the tone of the argument. For example, if the author wants the readers to take action, the tone might be strongly emotional and urgent
"How Arizona State Reinvented Free-Throw Distraction"
Step 1: Read and Analyze
Step 2: Write an Opinion Statement
Step 3: Consider Purpose and Audience
Step 4: Gather Support and
When does cheering for your favorite team become distracting and plain absurd?
Read an article that has been recently published on a highly debated and argued issue. This article may presents both sides of the issue. It's up to you to form an opinion.

When you analyze this article, you are evaluating the effectiveness of the argument.

Annotate by taking notes on the different types of support and evidence the author uses.
An opinion statement is your thesis statement. This is the argument that you are trying to persuade your readers to support. The opinion statement must mention the topic, your position on the issue, and three reasons you will use to support this argument.

This opinion statement will be structured using the Although / Because format.

Use the examples we wrote together as a model for your opinion statement.
In an argumentative essay, your purpose is to convince readers to share your opinion on a topic. In order to "win" this argument, you need to know your readers. Think about your audience by reflecting on these questions:

What will make my audience care about this issue?

What concerns might my audience have?

What is the counterclaim or other side of the issue?
Using the article and background knowledge that you already possess, gather support for your argument. You MUST directly quote the article when supporting your position. This means using lead-ins and in-text citations!

Use all three types of appeals-logical, emotional, and ethical. Use many different types of evidence-facts, statistics, expert opinions, case studies, etc.
As More Schools Embrace Tablets,
Do Textbooks Have a Fighting Chance?
This article written by Brenda Alvarez asks the questions, "Are textbooks on the verge of extinction?" What is it that makes tablets so irresistible?"

The article discusses both the benefits and issues related to having students use tablets opposed to textbooks on student achievement.

Considering both the support presented in this article and the experiences of West Catholic students this school year using the iPad, what is a more effective learning tool--textbooks or devices such as tablets and iPads?

Do Uniforms Make Schools Better?
This argumentative article presents both sides of the school uniform issue: the pros of school uniforms and the cons.

A strength of this article is that it not only discusses uniform policies of private schools, but also public.

The author discusses the difference between school uniforms and a dress code while presenting research on both sides of the issue.

Considering both the support presented in this article and the experiences of West Catholic students, do school uniforms make schools and student performance better?

Obama Plan Would Help Many Go to Community College Free
Wouldn't it be great to graduate from West Catholic knowing that you could possibly attend community college for free? Well, this could be an opportunity for you if new legislation proposed by President Obama gets passed.

This article discuss Obama's ideas surrounding granting particular students free community college enrollment as well as the potential set-backs and limitations of this program.

Considering the support presented in this article, is President Obama's proposed program to make community college tuition-free a realistic way to expand educational opportunities for American students?
Group Work
Break into groups according to the article/topic chosen.

As a group, discuss both sides of your topic's argument by completing the below steps:

- complete a T-Chart listing the support the article reveals for both sides of the issue

- create a web giving examples of the different types of appeals that you will use to support your argument/position.

- Brainstorm a list of loaded words that describe both sides of the argument. Use the loaded words you found in the article as a guide. Remember if you use one of these loaded words in your essay, it needs to be cited.
25 Minutes
ICE Expectations/Outline
Essay Expectations: Argumentative essays follow the 5 paragraph essay format. Argumentative essays must present persuasive supporting reasons that work to convince readers to share your same opinion on a topic. Essays must include logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. Strong argumentative essays use at least four different types of evidence and directly quote information found in informational articles.
Grabbing Lead: This could be an alarming statistic, fact, quote, anecdote, etc. However, it must relate back to your topic.

Background information on your topic/argument: Present any pertinent information/vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to your readers.

Opinion/thesis statement using the although/because structure.
Body Paragraphs:
The body paragraphs of your essay need to include numerous types of evidence.

Reference the article using at least 1 direct quote per body paragraph.

Remember that summarized and paraphrased information also needs to be cited.

Organize body paragraphs by leaving your strongest supporting reason for last.

BP3 needs to discuss the counterclaim. After revealing the other side of the issue, argue why your position is better.
Re-stated opinion/thesis statement

Address the counterclaim and summarize the three supporting reasons presented in body paragraphs.

End conclusion with a call to action.
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