Evaluation of Argument Essay
Prompt: Which of the two writers we studied for this unit do you believe makes the most effective argument, Schumaker or Twenge?
Write a paper developing your position on the strongest argument of the two. You should start with some pre-writing on the issue to discover your position and the criteria (standards) you will use. Then once you have a thesis decide on what reasons you will give for its support. These reasons will be your topics sentences in body paragraphs. The introduction should help your paper read as a stand-along essay rather than as a mere response to a question asked by a professor. Then flesh out examples and evidence for each body paragraph and write the first draft. Put it aside and return to it a couple of days later to see whether there is a clear thesis, whether each paragraph has a topic sentence (reason) that supports the thesis, and whether evidence in each paragraph relates to the topic sentence. Check transitions, word choice, and edit and proofread. Follow the guidelines for format in the syllabus. Upload the paper for peer and self-assessment by the set deadline. You will then go through the assessment activity, and finally upload the revised paper by the stated deadline.
Structure: You can choose any of the two articles you want, but make sure you are clear in your choice and the reasons for choosing it. Also, be fair—since the essay you did not choose has some great strength also, acknowledge it. Or, you can instead choose to acknowledge some weakness your own choice has (or do both in the concession paragraph). Of course, being fair does not mean being ambivalent. You will still make it clear you find your choice the strongest.
Sources: The two articles will be the sources you will use for this paper, with no other sources needed or expected. You will create a works cited page entry for it with the two articles. For whatever you use in your essay from the articles, put it in quotation marks and indicate the page number in parenthesis, or if you paraphrase it or use an idea from it put just the page number in the parenthesis.
Audience: Your audience will be readers who are considering which of the two articles to include in a college textbook and who are leaning toward the opposite selection of the one you made.
Length: Papers should be at least 900 words (minimum)
Grading: I will grade you on the following criteria:
A clear structure with a thesis in the introduction, topic sentences for each body paragraph, and conclusion; the title, introduction, and conclusion are engaging.
The paper clearly reaches out to its audience. This is evident throughout in tone, and especially in the concession paragraph.
Body paragraphs have sufficient evidence for each topic sentence and are focused. Paragraphs have adequate downshifting. The paper clearly reaches out to its audience.
There is appropriate use of sources (not extensive—simply strategic)
The paper is written in eloquent prose, and there are no frequent errors in grammar, sentence structure and other mechanics. There are effective transitions between paragraphs and diction and sentence structure are appropriate for the college level. There is appropriate sentence variety.
The writer has followed the guidelines for a paper’s form in the syllabus
Entries for Works Cited:
Schumaker, John F. “The Paradox of Narcissism.” The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader, edited by Timothy W. Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell, 7th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY, 2015, pp.185-188.
Twenge, Jean. “Changes in Narcissism.” The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader, edited by Timothy W. Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell, 7th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY, 2015, pp. 189-191.
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