Your Argument: What issues do YOU care about?
CRT 100/ Prof. Barnes
Why are you constructing and presenting an argument? We are surrounded by arguments. This is why much of the work you do as a college student requires you to read and construct arguments. Think about it: even a toilet paper ad argues that “you deserve a little luxury in your life, and so does your bottom.” Since you are pursuing your undergraduate studies at BMCC, you probably believe that college education is valuable. As a mechanical engineer, you may have to convince a sponsor that the machine you designed is safe and efficient. In your social life, you may disagree with a friend who thinks that “Game of Thrones” is the best TV show ever made. All of those positions are arguable—we can agree or disagree with them and present reasons and evidence to support our position. For this assignment, you are asked to find, evaluate, and synthesize the ideas of experts in order to present your own compelling argument. Those are skills that you will likely use in any profession you might eventually pursue, as well as in your personal life. And since in real life you present arguments to real people, I ask that for this assignment you direct your argument to a specific individual/ audience. This can be a friend, an author, a celebrity, a Facebook group, anyone you’d like to convince that you are right.
Select your own topic from a list of topics on CQ Researcher (a database available via BMCC library), research the topic, and then construct an argument about it. Your final product should include at least 4 secondary sources, including at least 2 from CQ Researcher.
Final Product: present your argument to your audience and to the class in a format that you think is best. Here are some options:
- a podcast
- a YouTube video
- a blog
- a letter
- a visual arts project
Do you have a better idea for presenting your argument? Let me know, and I will add it to the list of options.
How you will be evaluated
|Summary and Response||5%|
|Final Product + Outline||15%|
|Total||40% of your final grade!|
Steps and Assignments
Summary and Response, 250 words +
Once you conduct some research on your topic for the argumentative essay, select one article from CQ Researcher and do the following:
- provide a brief summary of the article, including the main idea and supporting details
- respond to the article: why you selected it, what you learned, how you might use it
For your secondary responses, comment on at least two classmates’ articles. Each reply should be at least 50 words long.
You are writing an annotated bibliography as an indication of the sources you intend to use for your essay. The goal here is to continue thinking critically about your topic and the sources you decide to incorporate into your essay. Your annotated bibliography must include at least 5 sources relevant to your topic. For each source,
- write 3-5 sentences summarizing or describing content, including the main idea/ argument
- 1-2 sentences providing an evaluation of the source’s usefulness: why the source is interesting or helpful to you.
I encourage you to (re)use your source from the Summary and Response assignment here.
- Your outline: conclusion + at least 3 claims, each with a premise and supporting evidence, including one counterargument with your rebuttal
- Your idea for the final product
Extra Credit: Peer Review Response, 200 words+
Once you have received feedback from classmates, think about how you may want to revise your outline and/ or idea. Address the following questions: What, according to your critics, are the strengths of your idea? Do you agree? What, according to your critics, might you need to work on? Do you agree? How do you plan to revise and improve your idea? Be specific. Extra 25 points on Peer Review.
The final product should be accompanied by an outline (see sample outline attached).
By now, you will be an expert on your topic. Now share what you learned with your classmates.
Post your video presentation on Flipgrid, and comment on at least 5 of your classmates’ presentations, also via video.
I look forward to admiring your work!