For this 3-4-page essay, you will analyze two sources with different takes on one issue. An effective analysis describes the arguments of others and their strategies to make these arguments. Through this analysis, you will be creating an argument about the writing—not the issue. So, remember: for this essay, you will not take a stance on the issue itself. Instead, you will analyze what others are saying about the issue and how they are saying it.
PURPOSE: The purpose is two-fold: to explore an issue in your field and to learn to read and write about others’ arguments in a clear manner. You should gain some insight into significant issues facing your career field and/or major. You should also learn how to pick apart others’ arguments to understand how they make them. This essay asks you to research the issue, to analyze the writing of others, and to paint a clear picture of these arguments in your writing.
APPROACH: You will choose an issue and the find two outside sources that differ in some way. Once you decide on an issue, then you’ll conduct research through GALILEO. You’ll want to find support that considers at least two sides of the issue; by looking at different perspectives, you will have a well-rounded outlook on the issue. After you have found your sources, make sure you answer these questions in your analysis:
1. What is the issue? Make sure you offer some definition and explanation of the issue.
2. Who is the author? What is their background? What makes them an expert (or not) on this issue?
3. When were these articles published? Who published them? (Was it a journal, university, corporation, organization?) What does this tell you about the essays?
4. Who is the audience for these articles? Who do you think the authors want to reach?
5. What perspective does each article take on the issue? (What is the thesis or argument?)
6. What kind of support is offered for the arguments? Facts, statistics, studies, stories, etc? Provide specifics—in the form of quotes—in your analysis.
7. How does the author of each article make their argument? Are they using a certain appeal? Are there any logical fallacies present?
8. Are the arguments effective—meaning, do you find them to be persuasive? Why or why not? (This is where you express your opinion on the writing, NOT the issue itself).
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