Choose an article from The Purposeful Argument text that examines an issue of interest to you. You may choose any article from this text that has not been assigned for class discussion. Read the article carefully and analyze the author?s main claim?his or her position on the issue being discussed. Determine what kinds of evidence and examples the author is using to support his or her claim. What is the author trying to persuade readers to believe about the issue under consideration and what are its possible implications? Make sure there is a balance between the evidence you provide about the author?s claims and your own assertions.
Next, use Ablah Library?s electronic databases and/or consult reference librarians to locate a second article that explores the same issue as your first article. Choose an article in which the author offers a contrasting perspective to that of your first article. Follow the procedure described above to analyze the second article. Remember, both of your sources should be argumentative. You should be able to identify a central claim, the author?s thesis.
When you have completed your analysis of both articles, you are ready to compare and contrast the respective positions of both authors on the issue with which they are dealing. On what points do the claims they make overlap? How do their arguments differ? Are there ways in which they interact?
In the concluding paragraphs of your analytical comparison, express your own point of view about the articles (without the use of ?I?). Here are some questions to keep in mind: Which of your authors offers the most valid or compelling argument, and what attributes of the essay made this possible? (Why do you find his or her perspective more persuasive? Even if you are equally convinced by both authors? claims, you can still evaluate the relative quality of their evidence and the effectiveness of their appeals.)