>> COMS 215 Argumentative Analysis and Advocacy Download PDF file
Learning to Argue
1) Option 1: Each person will develop an oral argument (5-6minute presentation) in relation to one of the themes; following presentation/critique of that argument, it will be revised (expanded/altered) in written form for submission. In addition, a critical analysis of the argument's intended audience, and reasons for its likely response, will be formulated (approx. 2-4 pages). The purpose is to think through not only what your position is, but how that position will be received—and why it is necessary to continue even if the response is destined to be negative (not all argumentative positions can be made universally or even marginally acceptable—that does not necessarily mean they should therefore not be articulated; why an unpopular position should still be heard will be a critical element should this be the result of your analysis; in addition, using the text as a basis for evaluation will be critical).
2) Option 2: Two persons can establish agreement on an “Aff-Neg” position in relation to one of the themes and follow the analysis above—though in a more collaborative manner from oral presentation of arguments for/against the “claim” being advanced (Neg will follow Aff oral presentation) to collaboration on the “critical analysis” (approx 4-6pages).
2. Argument 2: For this assignment, students will select from one of the “themes” NOT chosen for #1; a primary focus of this experience will be cross-examination techniques. We will form 2 person teams; each team will decide on a specific claim in relation to the theme (duplication may exist), and develop in relative isolation their approach to the claim. Each will also seek to develop CX questions that seek to bolster their own position as well as illustrate weaknesses in their opponent's position. Each “side” will turn in an outline of their respective “case” and list of prepared questions following the oral presentation.
3. Argument 3: (time permitting) For this assignment, students who worked as a “team” in # 2 will switch sides and duplicate efforts in arguing for the opposite position. The same focus/responsibilities as in # 2 will apply. If time does not permit, we will substitute a written analysis assignment with same “value” toward final grade, with specifics presented in class as needed.
Oral Presentation Grades
2. Mid-term Exam: There will be a “take home” exam over text materials. Specifics will be presented in class. Value: 20%
Reminders that should go without saying
2. Participation: Attendance will be expected. A part of the success of this learning experience is in taking in ideas/observations/criticisms from peers—you can't participate in that process if you aren't in class. The effort you put forth will have an impact on a final grade—either positively or negatively (and attendance is part of a measure of “effort”). I do reserve the right to quit grading assignments in process or to be completed should you miss significant class time (as in 2-3 or more absences regardless of cause).