MWA2: An Analysis of an Argument
Purpose:
The goal of this assignment is to help you understand and evaluate someone else’s argument – regardless of whether you agree with the argument itself. As a result, you should improve your ability to read and think critically. Evaluating the argumentative strategies of other writers should better prepare you to write your own argument in this course and others.
Task:
Read and annotate Simon Marginson’s “And the Sky is Grey: the Ambivalent Outcomes of the California Master Plan for Higher Education.”
Analyze the argument he makes by evaluating his claim, reasons, evidence, treatment of counterarguments, and use of rhetorical strategies.
Look for flaws in the argument that may come from hidden assumptions, fallacies, or other problems.
Then, demonstrate to your readers (USA college students or another of your choice) what an effective argument is and how he creates a strong argument for her readers. Your thesis might begin like this: This is a good argument because…(it meets expectations for argumentation, purpose, audience, style, etc…whatever you want to prove in your analysis)
Evaluation:
For this assignment, development and support means more than simply repeating the essay you evaluate. In fact, a mere summary will normally lead to a failing grade. More specifically, development and support will come through your explanation and judgment of specific examples in the essay.
Be careful to clearly demarcate your source material throughout your analysis, i.e. all source material must be “bookended” or “fenced off” from your ideas and evaluations. We accomplish this by using signal phrases and parenthetical citations to show where the material begins and ends. Use the checklist provided for this assignment to create an outline of your essay before you write your first draft.
Process Requirement: As a Major Writing Assignment (MWA), this essay must go through the Thinkingstorm or University Writing Center review process.
Late work will be penalized one-half letter grade for each day the essay is late. This includes draft due dates, which are the first deadline for the completed assignment. Draft dates are very important, and it is essential that students participate in peer reviews with their drafts.
Format:
The final copy should be a minimum of four full pages, plus your Work Cited page. It is likely that you will need to go over four pages, and this is fine; you may not go under.
Follow MLA format.
Submit your preliminary drafts to Canvas/Assignments/MWA2 as many times as you would like to review your Turnitin reports. A new Turnitin report is generated for each upload you make.
Use the University Writing Center and/or ThinkingStorm for proofreading and editing services at any point, but you are required to submit at least once before submitting your final draft. Submit their feedback when you submit your final draft; you can upload both files at once.
Due Dates:
Draft #1: Tuesday, March 15: Minimum requirements: a FULL THREE PAGE essay with source bookends in a MICROSOFT WORD FILE; all four pages would be best. This does not include your Work Cited page. We will peer review your work in class on this day, so bring your laptop for best results.
Draft #2: Thursday, March 17: Peer Review #2: upload your REVISED Draft before class begins; this draft should be a FULL FOUR PAGES at this point. You will be assigned new peer review partners for this review. Bring your laptop to class for best results.
Final Draft Due: Tuesday, March 22 by 11:59 pm. I will update you on requirements for class this day after I see how the first two peer reviews go.

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