CLASSICAL ARGUMENT ESSAY ASSIGNMENT

Classical Argument Assignment

 

 

Write a classical essay on your chosen research topic, using all 5 components of classical argument. Limit yourself to 6-7 pages of essay and 1 page of references.

 

                     Exordium (Introduction):    (establishes good rapport and proves exigence of topic)

                                          Exigence is relevance and timeliness.

 

                     Narratio  (background):   (provides relevant background, laws, definitions, history, common logical       

                     fallacies associated with the topic, etc.)

                     Confirmatio  (Confirmation):  (provides 2 or 3 examples of reputable evidence to support).

                     Refutatio (Refutation & Concession):  (prove that you are aware of the opposing viewpoint                                             and identify some problems with that side’s evidence or logic or “normal science.”  Check the course                         Facebook page for some tips on this.)

                     Peroratio  (Summation/Conclusion):  (concludes with a summary and a specific call to action for

                     the general public or for the responsible party.)

 

Include 4 types of evidence in your essay:  anecdotal, expert or eyewitness testimony, analogous, qualitative and/or  quantitative /determinative or quantitative/stochastic).  If one of your sources is a meta-analysis* you are eligible to make an A. Re-use your original, corrected citations from your Annotated Biblography if possible.

 

Use APA style to document your sources. All quotations must be correctly formatted with signal phrases, quotation marks, and in-text citations.

Any of these are grounds for failure of assignment: 

  • If you insult your audience or call them names or fall short of civil discourse.

  • If you substitute anger or righteous wrath for evidence.
  • If you fall short of 4 different types of evidence.
  • If you don’t proofread for common spellings or “fatal flaw” grammatical errors.
  • 15 points off for each comma splice, fused sentence, or sentence fragment. 3 = failure.
  • If you omit any of the 5-part criteria for classical argument (above).
  • If you rely on your own personal anecdotes or testimony rather than evidence.
  • If you rely on logical fallacies or cognitive biases rather than evidence.

 

*A meta-analysis is a comprehensive study and summary of what we know about a certain topic, up to the date it was published.  They usually refer to multiple studies and cite multiple sources of evidence. They are sometimes referred to as “white papers,” “working papers,” or “in-depth” articles.  You can find them on major newspaper websites, on the web pages of think tanks, on many federal websites, and in many scientific journals.  

Classical Argument  Grading Checklist

 

An “A” paper:

  • Establishes good rapport with and goodwill towards target audience.

  • States a clear thesis.

  • Proves exigence (relevance and timeliness) of the topic.

  • Prioritizes evidence at the meta-analytic level.

  • Uses a variety of types of evidence to accommodate a “general” audience of laymen.

  • Uses expert testimony from a reputable source.

  • Demonstrates in rebuttal an awareness of flaws in opposing evidence.

  • Demonstrates awareness of 5 parts of classical argument.

  • Relies on logos, expert testimony, good quantitative data.

  • Has only minor errors in APA style of attribution/documentation.

  • Contains only one or two minor grammatical or spelling errors.

  • Demonstrates a high degree of scientific integrity (Feynman’s definition) in gathering and reporting data.

 

A “B” paper:

  • Establishes good rapport with and goodwill towards target audience.

  • States a clear thesis, but doesn’t request a specific action or response.

  • Makes an effort to prove the exigence of the topic.

  • Demonstrates awareness of 5 parts of classical argument.

  • Uses at least 3 types of evidence to support the claim.

  • Has many errors in APA style of attribution/documentation.

  • Has many (4+) minor grammatical/spelling errors.

  • Demonstrates limited awareness of scientific integrity in gathering and reporting data and evidence.

A “C” paper:

  • Omits a specific call to action; shows unawareness of target audience.

  • Does not attempt to prove exigence of the topic.

  • Omits one or more of the 5 parts of classical argument.

  • Uses only 2 types of evidence, or incomplete faulty evidence.

  • Relies more on a single pilot or minor study rather than meta-analyses.

  • Relies heavily on anecdotal or eyewitness evidence, with low scientific integrity.

  • Relies heavily on pathos or logical fallacies, with low scientific integrity.

  • Contains at least one “gross” grammatical error: fragments, s/v agreement, comma splices.

A “D” paper

  • Makes a clear claim, naming the responsible party.

  • Does not prove exigence of the topic.

  • Omits one or more of the 5 parts of classical argument (narration & rebuttal).

  • Uses incomplete or faulty evidence; fails to attribute evidence.

  • Relies heavily on anecdotal or eyewitness evidence.

  • Relies heavily on pathos or personal testimony rather than careful research.

  • Substitutes logical fallacies for quantitative evidence.

  • Contains 2+ “gross” grammatical errors: fragments, s/v agreement, comma splices.

 

An “F” paper:

  • Does not make a claim, name a responsible party, or request a specific action.

  • Does not prove exigence of topic.

  • Makes no attempt to use the 5 parts of classical argument (lacks narration & rebuttal).

  • Relies heavily on pathos or personal testimony rather than careful research.

  • Fails to attribute evidence to a source.

  • Contains 3+ “gross” grammatical errors:  fragments, s/v agreement, comma splices.