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Mar 16th, 2015
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Question description

Critical Evaluation Essay

The goal of this essay is to evaluate how well these authors used rhetorical techniques to build an argument.

The thesis statement should look something like this:

Pres. Obama effectively used pathos to make us proud of our country and he has strong ethos as evidenced by his role as Commander in Chief, but close scrutiny reveals weaknesses in his use of logos.

The author makes effective use of logos and pathos to build an argument, but the argument falls apart when we consider his lack of credibility (weak ethos).

Consider these kinds of questions:

Is the argument logical? Does it seem reasonable? In the real world, would this work? (logos)

Is the author trying to make us feel a certain way? Does this emotional response feel compelling? (pathos)

Does the author have the professional experience to back what he or she is saying? Do we trust him or her? Is he or she spinning a yarn or telling us the truth? (ethos)

Choose one argument from the historic American or global works listed below. Decide whether this argument is successful or not. If you decide this essay is successful, discuss why. You may use the structure of the argument, the tone, and the various types of support (ethos, pathos, and logos) as proof of the argument’s success. Make sure that your thesis has an introduction that contains a hook and a thesis, body paragraphs that discuss one proof at a time (one paragraph per example), and a conclusion. If you decide that the essay is not successful, then discuss the fallacies that the argument makes. You are still required to have a strong introduction (hook and thesis), body paragraphs that discuss one fallacy at a time, and a conclusion. You may also discuss how the essay is successful with reservations. In this case, point to both the support and the fallacies you have found in the work.

This paper should be at least 700 words, but no more than 850. The paper should be formatted correctly MLA style and written in third person (do not use the words I, me, us, we, or you).  The essay should also contain citations and a works cited list. Formulate the structured response from your own close reading of the text. Do not use outside sources without explicit permission from the instructor.

Pick one of these for the essay.

Jefferson, Thomas. “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.” National Archives. n.d. Web. 11 May 2012.

Twain, Mark. “The Damned Human Race.” n.d. Web. 11 May 2012.

Szilard, Leo and Cosigners. “A Petition to the President of the United States.” 2011. Web. 11 May 2012.

Hamilton, Alexander. “The Federalist No. 6 – Concerning Dangers from Dissensions between the States.” Constitution Society. Nov. 11, 2011. Web. 11 May 2012.

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Mar 20th, 2015
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