English essay 5 pages

Essay 1: Evaluating an Argument

o You are expected to turn in your timed write (first draft), peer workshop rough draft, and your final draft to Canvas.

o Your essay is considered incomplete if it is missing any of these components. I will not accept late or incomplete essays without an extension.

Objectives: Use all phases of the writing process to create a largely error free essay; avoid plagiarism; employ a variety of organizational patterns to support or advance central ideas (theses/claims).

Minimum Length: 4-5 pages

Essay Prompt: For this assignment, you will read the article titled, Coddling of the American Mind.

Then, you will write an essay in which you evaluate the author’s argument.

This does NOT mean that you should agree or disagree with the author (his or her actual point); you are NOTcommenting on the author’s opinion. You will need to restate his thesis/argument in your own words and from then on, show how he or she did an effective or ineffective job at convincing the audience (meaning you have to identify it). Identify the argument and audience in your introduction. Then, write your own thesis, which should state whether the presented argument is effective or not and why, and then, spend the body paragraphs focusing on the different strategies and how they are being used.

You are analyzing the way the author presented his or her argument to argue whether it is an effective or ineffective argument.

o Your thesis should be an analysis that resembles a “the author effectively argues/does not effectively argue that [the author’s argument] with the use of [rhetorical strategies/devices]” statement.

In order to analyze the argument, you will consider the author’s use of any of the rhetorical strategies or devices including any of the following:





Logical fallacies


Types/Strength of evidence


OR any other points you saw in the powerpoints.

Ask yourself, what makes for an effective argument? How and in what ways is the argument convincing?

*Remember that the author can use one rhetorical strategy effectively while failing to use others effectively.


You will need to

1) Point out any instances where the author used one of these elements by providing a quote from the text, and

2) Comment on whether or not the author did so well/whether the use of this strategy contributed to effectiveness of his or her argument.

You do NOT have to address each of these elements, but you must pick a minimum of FOUR (4). Each of the five can be presented in its own separate paragraph or you may combine any as you see fit.

3) This is optional, but you may use evidence from the TED Talk of the Week to support your evaluation or analysis of the article.


Length: 4-5 pages (This does not include your Works Cited page)

You will need

o Introduction (including a hook, background information, the author’s thesis and his audience and your thesis)

o Up to four body paragraphs (including examples from the text as well as your analysis of effectiveness)

o Counterargument & Refutation where you address an opposing viewpoint and show how that argument is incomplete, inconsequential or doesn’t stand up.

o Conclusion where you restate your thesis, summarize your key points, and leave your audience with a final thought.

o If you have questions about structure or format of introduction, body, or conclusion paragraphs, please see the Essay Format and Tips for Writing PowerPoint)

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