Argument Analysis Exercise #1 Directions - WR 122 Handout

Argument Analysis Exercise #1 (10 pts. possible)
DUE:  Tues., 10/5/10
And don’t forget to label your assignment properly with an MLA-style heading (on page 1)
and Running Page Headers (on any subsequent page/s).  

PART  I.  Toulmin Analysis of Amber Young’s “Capital Punishment: Society’s Self-Defense”
Directions: 
Apply the Ch. 3 Toulmin method to analyzing the logic of Amber Young’s “Capital Punishment: Society’s Self-Defense” (pp. 55-58).  You can use a chart (see p. 53) or an outline (see p. 54) for your Toulmin analysis, but be sure to include the following information:
--Part I.A.  Claim, Qualifiers, Exceptions. State Young’s claim, identify qualifiers, and identify exceptions, by quoting sentences (noting paragraph number and page number) in the argument where claim, qualifiers, and exceptions can be found.  If you can find no qualifiers and/or exceptions, say so.
--Part I.B.  Reasons. List the reasons Young advances to justify her thesis claim, by quoting and/or paraphrasing sentences (noting paragraph number and page number) in the argument where these reasons are expressed.
--Part I.C.  Evidence. For each reason you list (for B above), identify any evidence Young offers to back up each reason, by quoting and/or paraphrasing sentences (noting paragraph number and page number) in the argument where this evidence is presented.   If no evidence is offered to support a reason, say so.
--Part I.D.  Refutations.  List objections (opposing viewpoints) to her position and her rebuttals to each of these objections, by quoting and/or paraphrasing sentences (noting paragraph number and page number) in Young’s argument where these objections and her rebuttals can be found.

PART II.  Evaluation of Amber Young’s “Capital Punishment: Society’s Self-Defense”
Directions: 
Respond to the following questions, and briefly explain your answers:
--Part II.1. Strength of Young’s Argument.  In which area/s (Part I A, B, C, or D) did your Toulmin-style analysis of Young’s essay suggest that her argument is strong/est?  Briefly explain why you think so.
--Part II.2.  Weakness of Young’s Argument. In which area/s (Part I A, B, C, or D) did your Toulmin-style analysis suggest that that Young’s argument is weak/est? Briefly explain why you think so.
--Part II.3. Your Pre-Reading Opinion. Did you have a strong opinion/position on capital punishment before reading Young’s essay?  If not, answer NO.  If so, answer YES and briefly state your pre-reading opinion or position on capital punishment.
--Part II.4. Your Post-Analysis Opinion.  Did (re)reading and analyzing Young’s argument using the Toulmin method influence your opinion/position on capital punishment Why or why not?

PART III.  Four Criteria of Mature Reasoning applied to Amber Young’s “Capital Punishment: Society’s Self-Defense”
Directions: 
Review Crusius and Channell’s Ch. 1 “Four Criteria of Mature Reasoning” (pp. 11-14), apply these criteria to evaluating Amber Young’s “Capital Punishment: Society’s Self-Defense,” and then respond the following questions with brief explanations of your answers:
--Part III.Criterion 1. “Mature Reasoners Are Well Informed” (Crusius and Channel 11-12). Do you think that Young’s argument meets this Criterion 1?  Why or why not?
--Part III.Criterion 2. “Mature Reasoners Are Self-Critical and Open to Constructive Criticism from Others” (Crusius and Channel 12-13). Do you think that Young’s argument meets this Criterion 2?  Why or why not?
--Part III.Criterion 3. “Mature Reasoners Argue with Their Audiences or Readers in Mind” (Crusius and Channel 13). Do you think that Young’s argument meets this Criterion 3?  Why or why not?
--Part III.Criterion 4. “Mature Reasoners Know Their Arguments’ Contexts” (Crusius and Channel 14). Do you think that Young’s argument meets this Criterion 4?  Why or why not?

 


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Last Updated: 30 September 2010

1997-2010, Cora Agatucci, Professor of English
Humanities Department, Central Oregon Community College
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