Writing 122- Cora Agatucci
English Composition [Argumentation & Critical Reading-Response]

Student Argument Analysis
(of another WR 122 Student's Essay #2)
Worth:  10% of course grade
Short Cuts:  Directions for Student Argument Analysis
URL of this webpage: 
See also Example Student Argument Analysis (online only)
WR 122 Syllabus Course Grading for Late policy & Revision Option
WR 122 Course Plan for Deadlines & related assignments

Directions for Student Argument Analysis
(of another WR 122 Student's Essay #2)

Your Name
Writing 122, Dr. Agatucci
Student Argument Analysis - Final Draft
13 March 2002

Analysis of  "Secondhand Smoke Is Just as Dangerous"
[ that is, state "Title of Student Essay #2" that you are analyzing]
By [State Name of the Student Author]

General Directions: 

·        You will write this Student Argument Analysis on another WR122 student’s Essay #2 (argument using at least 3 sources).  Feel free to annotate (write on) the copy of the student essay that you are given to analyze.

·        Note well:  I am NOT asking you to evaluate the student Essay #2.  Your main goals center in summarizing what the essay says, analyzing and illustrating how the essay says it, and showing how well you can apply what you have been learning about methods of analysis from Aims of Argument reading assignments, class discussions and handouts.

Please give this essay the same thoughtful, respectful, honest but tactful reading
and analysis that you would like another analytical student reader
 to give your own argument Essay #2.

·        You will have in-class workshop opportunities to meet with student author to discuss your summary & analysis notes, as well as questions and impressions about her/his essay.

·        This Analysis assignment is NOT an essay (e.g., it does NOT require a thesis, unity, etc.)  Rather, follow the directions given below for each of the sections, number and subtitle each section of your Analysis as they are given below, and use complete well-formed sentences throughout. 

·        Suggested length of the Final Draft of your Student Argument Analysis is 3-to-4 typed/wordprocessed double-spaced pages or as long as your Analysis needs to be to get the required tasks described below done well.

·        You will need to prepare two copies of the Final Draft of your Student Argument Analysis: (1) one copy is for the student author; (2) the other copy is for Cora (to be graded).  Please attach your Analysis notes and the annotated student argument essay to Cora’s copy.

·        The Final Draft of your Student Argument Analysis is due on Wed., March 13, 2002; and it is worth 10% of your course grade.  If you turn the final draft in on time, you’ll have the opportunity to revise the final draft to try to improve your analysis skills and your grade on this assignment before the end of Winter 2002 term.

The Final Draft of Your Analysis should address the following parts,
supported by your clear explanations and illustrated with
 well-selected specific examples from the student author's argument. 

1.  Summary

a.   Identify the problem or issue under discussion in the student's argument essay.

b.   Summarize the student author's thesis and main supporting points. 
  Use your Formal Academic Summary reading & writing skills to help you!

2. Classification (of type/s of argument)

a.      Classify the student's Essay #2 by aim(s) and type(s)of argument
that is, 
--to inquire: an exploratory essay (see Ch. 4) 
to convince (see Ch. 5 and Ch. 3)
--to persuade (see Ch. 6)
Note: evaluation and problem-solution essays are typically intended to persuade
to negotiate: a mediatory essay (see Ch. 7)
Tip:  The student essay may combine elements of more than one aim and type of argument; if so, please identify which aims/types seem to be combined —then, in part 2.b below, explain why you think so.

b.      Support your classification of this student argument by identifying/citing those elements of the student essay that best “fit” your understanding of major features of type(s) of argument that you identified in 2.a. 
  Use relevant chapter(s) of AofA, and take into consideration features such as the aim, author, audience, content, emphasis, appeals, etc., to help you classify the type/s of argument represented by the student's Essay #2.

3.  Structure
Analyze the structure and/or organization the student argument, and be sure to support and illustrate your audience points by citing and analyzing specific examples from the student's  Essay #2.

  1. Break down the essay into its major sections and identify those major sections. 
    Tips: 1. Number the paragraphs in the student essay so that you can group and cite sections by paragraph numbers); 2. Group paragraphs and ideas that seem closely related in content and/or function—e.g. start by identifying the major sections expected to be found in an essay: e.g., Introduction, Body, Conclusion.
  2. Describe the function(s) of each major section, with special attention to the arrangement and functions of the Body paragraphs.
    Tips:  1. Speculate on the reasons why the student author chose to organize the essay this way: try to identify an organizational “logic” to the way/order in which ideas are arranged and progress; 
    2. Consider how each section contributes to supporting the essay thesis and/or achieving its argumentative purpose(s), taking into account the type(s) of argument that you have classified this essay to be (see 2 above).
  3. Cite key ideas, passages, paragraphs to clarify, illustrate, and support your analysis of the essay organization/structure.

4.  Audience
Analyze the audience(s) for the student's argument, and be sure to support and illustrate your audience analysis points by citing and analyzing specific examples from the student's Essay #2.

  1. Describe how the author generally seems to envision the readers of her/his argument:  that is, what implicit and explicit assumptions does the author seem to make about:

·        who his/her audience/s are

·        how much readers will already know (or not know) about the topic issue

·        what range and kinds of pre-existing views his/her readers have on the topic issue;

·        what readers are likely to have in common with the student author, and/or on what points they are likely to agree with the student author;

·        how readers are likely to differ from the author, and/or on what points some readers will disagree with the student author.

  1. Identify any targeted audience(s) to whom the argument makes special or explicit appeals for support;
  2. Profile audience(s) with whom you think that this argument (1) is likely to be most successful, and (2) is likely to be least successful.

5.  Types of Appeals
Analyze the types of appeals used in the student essay:

a.      Appeal(s) to Reason (Logic, Logos):  Identify (cite) and analyze one or two examples of reasons and/or evidence that appeal to the reason/logic of readers.

b.      Appeal(s) to Emotions (Pathos) and Values:  Identify/cite at least one example in which the student author appeals to emotions and/or values (whether her/his own, the readers’, and/or those of the sources introduced) in the process of inquiring, convincing, persuading, and/or mediating.  Then analyze the emotion(s) or value(s) evoked in each example identified, and identify what kind of reader would most likely be affected by this type of appeal.

c.       Appeal(s) to Character (Ethos):  Identify/cite and analyze one or two passages in the argument that give(s) you a definite impression of the author’s character (ethos, persona) and/or establish the tone of the essay.  Describe your impression, and identify what in the example passage(s) cited shaped your impression. (Note:  an author may present him/herself differently and/or vary her/his tones in different parts of an argument.)

d.      Optional – but important if you want an “A” on this assignment:
Appeal(s) to Style: 
Identify/cite and analyze at least one example that either
characterizes the dominant style of this essay, or that (2) represents a particularly effective use of word choice/sentence structure.

  6.  Use of Sources and Treatment of Opposing Viewpoints

a.      Identify/cite and analyze at least one example of how the student uses her/his sources.
Tips: Consider how this address serves the student essay’s aim(s) and type(s) of argument  - see your classification and support in part 2 above - Some possible uses of sources are
to support the student author’s position, to introduce an opposing view (to be refuted), to inquire into and evaluate others’ positions, and/or to mediate among opposing viewpoints.

b.      Identify/cite and analyze at least one example of how the student author explicitly addresses opposing or alternative viewpoints--i.e. viewpoints different from the student author’s own position.
Tips: Consider the tone of the example(s), consider whether the student author is using refutation or concession, and consider how this address might serve the student essay’s aim(s) and type(s) of argument

  7.  Personal Response

a.      Briefly explain your own pre-existing knowledge and/or opinion/bias on the topic issue addressed in this essay.

b.      Comment on whether or not your opinion has been influenced by reading this essay--and, if so,  briefly explain why and/or how.

c.       Identify one aspect of this essay that you find particularly effective and that you might like to use in your own writing--then briefly explain why you think it is effective.  

Go to Example Student Argument Analysis (online only)

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Humanities Department, Central Oregon Community College
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