Presentation on theme: "BREAKING APART AN ARGUMENT. WHAT I’M NOTICING: Misinterpreting the prompt Poor thesis construction Lack of topic sentences/ effective organization."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT I’M NOTICING: Misinterpreting the prompt Poor thesis construction Lack of topic sentences/ effective organization Lack of evidence Lack of explaining importance/significance of evidence Unstated assumptions
PROMPT What is the prompt saying? What is the writing task? What is your initial thesis?
BACK TO SOCRATES Classic syllogism: Socrates is a man. All men are mortal. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS/ WARRANTS You often need a bridge between your evidence and your claim. Think of the “E” in ACE. Since Underlying assumptions Reason (s)So Claim
SOCRATES EXAMPLE Claim: Socrates is mortal. Reason: Socrates is a man. Underlying assumption: All men are mortal.
EXAMPLE Claim: People should not have plastic surgery. Reason: Plastic surgery is unnatural. Underlying assumption: People should become healthier naturally. Evidence: Over 300,000 people got liposuction in 2011 instead of going on a diet.
CLASS-GENERATED EXAMPLE Claim: The U.S. should withdraw all troops from the Middle East. Reason: People in the Middle East do not want U.S. troops in their countries. Underlying assumption:
EXAMPLE The mushroom is poisonous, so don’t eat it! Claim: Don’t eat the mushrooms. Evidence: Those mushrooms are poisonous. Underlying Assumption: We shouldn’t eat poisonous things. Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution because driving cars is a typical citizen’s most polluting activity. Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. Evidence: Driving a private car is a typical citizen’s most air polluting activity. Underlying Assumption: Citizens want to reduce pollution.
THE CRUCIBLE EXAMPLE In The Crucible, the people who were making false accusations were doing so to give society what they wanted to hear instead of the truth. Claim: Accusers in The Crucible told society lies because that is what society wanted to hear. Evidence: The accusers told lies. Underlying Assumption: Society was not searching for the truth (Society wants lies).
SOME MORE TIPS ABOUT UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS If your audience generally agrees with you, you can often leave these assumptions unstated. However, if they disagree with you, you should state it and make sure it is logical and reasonable. Underlying assumptions are always general categorical statements. They do not mention specifics. Underlying assumptions almost always share the same verb, or verb phrase, as claims. “should withdraw” If possible, write out your claim and evidence/reason as complete sentences that share the same subject.
FOR MY MATH PEOPLE Claim: A B Evidence: B C Warrant: A C
THE PAY OFF If your audience agrees to your underlying assumption and evidence, they must agree to your claim. If the author you’re analyzing misses this step, you can critique his argument.
OUTLINING Turn to p. 28 in your YP Sample essay outline Outline your own essay Rework it
FREDERICK DOUGLASS EXAMPLE Claim: “Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it… The manhood of the slave is conceded.” Evidence: “There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter) how ignorant he may be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment.” Underlying assumption: “What is this but the acknowledgement that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being?” Evidence: “It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments, forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read and write.” Underlying assumption: “When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave.”