I have never written a paper before in mla format and am so nervous. I need help. It will be on Escape from the Western Diet”, p. 420-427 in “They say, I say, with readings.”
Argument Analysis Paper
For this assignment, you will need to write a 2-3 page analysis of one of the essays listed below, following the guidelines provided in the course notes:
· “Escape from the Western Diet”, p. 420-427
· “What Are You Buying When You Buy Organic”, p. 428-441
· “Don’t Blame the Eater”, p. 462-465;
· “What you Eat is your Business”, p. 466-470
Your job in the paper is to analyze the chosen essay, focusing on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the author’s argument. There are several ways to go about writing such a paper, but your thesis will be based on your judgment of the essay.
Develop a Clear Thesis
Develop the thesis for your paper based on your answer to this question: Does the author of your chosen essay make an effective argument in his or her essay?
Consider some of the following questions as you develop ideas for your analysis.
Examine the Author’s Thesis and Purpose
· Identify the author’s stance on the topic. Does the author establish a clear position on the issue? What is that stance?
· What is the author’s purpose? Is he trying to convince you to support a specific position? Does the author accomplish that goal?
· You may also want to consider some of the guidance from They Say, I Say “What’s Motivating this Writer”, p. 173-183
Examine the Author’s Methods
· What techniques does the author use to develop the essay? Does the author use statistics, examples, personal testimony, expert testimony, analogies, or some other technique to convince the reader?
· How effective do you find the author’s strategies? Is the information convincing? Why or why not?
· Do you see any weaknesses in the author’s arguments? If so, where?
· If the argument is particularly effective, why is it effective? What convinces you? Be specific.
· Has the writer considered all relevant factors, or do other issues need to be discussed? Has the author considered opposing arguments? If not, does that weaken the argument?
Examine the Author’s Persona
· Consider the author’s persona (the author’s self-presentation). Does the author appear to be well informed and believable? Fair and open minded? Why or why not?
· What tone does the author use? Does the author use sarcasm or ridicule in addressing objections to his or her position? If so, does that weaken or strengthen the essay?
There are several ways to develop this paper, but you may want to consider using the structure listed below.
Clearly introduce the chosen essay by mentioning the name of the author and the article title. You may also want to provide some general background information on the author.
Clearly establish your argument by answering this question: Does the author of your chosen essay make an effective argument in his or her essay? The answer to this question can become your thesis.
Body (At least three paragraphs)
Focus on three or four points of analysis in the body of your paper. Make sure you develop each point in its own paragraph. You should have at least a five paragraph essay. The specific points of focus are up to you. Just make sure you avoid writing a summary paper. You will need to summarize some points from the essay, but do so to make a specific point. Follow points of summary with discussion. You may also want to quote to call attention to specific sentences within the author’s essay. You can then follow those quotes with analysis.
Reiterate your final judgment of the essay you are analyzing. Try to end with an interesting statement.
· 2-3 Pages in MLA format. See section 56c and d in LB Brief for guidance. DO NOT go over the maximum page length. Doing so will result in a 5 point deduction from your paper grade.
· Works Cited Page (this does not count toward your 2-3 pages. You could have 3 pages and a WC page). Cite your source in MLA format as a selection from an anthology. Use the Pearson Guide to the 2016 MLA Handbook, and the MLA files on Blackboard to help.
· In-text citations in MLA format. Cite by author’s last name and page number. Review section 56a in LB Brief and the Pearson Guide to the 2016 MLA Handbook for specific guidance.
Evaluation Criteria for Argument Analysis
Very Good (9-8)
MLA basic paper format: 1” inch margins, double space, last name and page number in the top right, student’s name and class info on the first page
MLA in-text documentation and appropriate quoting or paraphrasing.
MLA formatted WC page
Paper has a clear introduction which introduces the author, article, and has a clear thesis.
Paper is organized effectively with clear transitions and/or topic sentences. Each paragraph has a clear focus.
Sentence Structure and Grammar,
Tone and Style.
(-2 for each major error)
Very Good (17-16)
Author clearly critiques the article’s content.
Author effectively critiques “how” the argument is made, with emphasis on use of language, word choice, sentence structure, use of examples, argumentative techniques, etc.
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