1. Choose a current issue that is in the media. 2. Find two essays, editorials etc. on the issue that oppose one another. (must be from professional writers–no \”letters to the editor\”!) 3. Complete the \”Close Analysis Paper\” according to the syllabus schedule. 4. Be sure to explain the chosen issue, as the commentators discuss it, as clearly and distinctly as possible. 5. Be sure to give as complete a close analysis, as shown in the text book, as possible for each of the commentaries–see chapter 4. 6. Be sure to include a copy of both commentaries with your Close Analysis Paper.
Term Paper Outline Format This is a suggested format for outlining your term paper; it is not a mandatory format. Remember, the outline will be graded on the amount of detail and organization you have included. Many students tell me they do not like outlines because they prefer to write papers as they think about the subject. While this method might work elsewhere, it is a recipe for disaster an argument/analysis paper where such a premium is placed on clarifying and analyzing difficult or controversial concepts. The outline allows you to lay out your argument in advance and check for validity, definitions, etc. before working it into your prose. While the same might be accomplished with rough drafts, rough drafts do not present the opportunity to look at just the organization of your arguments. Rough drafts contain everything and thus concerns of organization, validity, and detail can get lost in the overabundance of matter for judging. Those who do not take their outline seriously risk losing sight of the very clarity on which this assignment will be judged. Notice how this outline divides the paper by its two objectives: the Commentators\’ positions that you must explain in detail and your reasoned response to their views and arguments. Each part of the paper requires detailed argument and analysis. You must decide what terms require definition and what premises require an argumentative defense. Carefully analyze the arguments. Which premises might someone not agree with? Which terms might be confusing? What are some obvious objections to the argument (by now you should realize there is always an objection)? As always, if you use an example, analogy, metaphor, etc., you must explain to the reader what conclusion to draw from it–do not leave it to the reader\’s imagination! The more detail you put into this organization now, the less work and risk you\’ll have later when working on your first draft. Good luck and don\’t hesitate to contact me with further questions.
Suggested Outline Form I) Introduction Anecdote or other lead-in material. Identification of the chosen issue. Identification of the commentators and their positions.
II) The Issue Explain the issue in detail Why is it controversial? What are its greater implications? The intelligent but uninformed reader!
III) Argument for the first editorialists thesis–the deep analysis Statement and explanation of the commentators thesis Identify suppressed premises, contingent facts etc. Reconstruction of the argument in standard argument form . IV) Argument for the second editorialists thesis–the deep analysis Statement and explanation of the commentators thesis Identify suppressed premises, contingent facts etc. Reconstruction of the argument in standard argument form.
V) Explanation of your position on this issue–the deep analysis Clear statement and explanation of your view (thesis) Clarification of your position
VI) Argument for your position Construction of the argument in standard argument form (including supporting and branching sub-arguments) Identify suppressed premises, contingent facts etc. Check for fallacies and validity.
VII) Response to commentaries How your argument responds to the first commentary How your argument responds to the second commentary Other views?
VIII) Possible responses and objections to your position Possible response from first commentator Possible response from second commentator Other possible responses or objections Your response to possible objection (if any)
IX) Concluding Summary of the issue and your position.
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