Research Analyses

These short assignments (300-500 words) each focus on a single article or source that you discover through your research. The source should make an argument or offer a perspective in response to your controversy. The main goal of the Research Analysis is to analyze the various components of the author’s argument and to show how these pieces fit together. This paper can also serve as an opportunity to begin reflecting on the debate overall and its influence on the community. Be sure to include an MLA or APA citation for the source. You should submit these papers to me via email as attachments. You should also bring either a hard or electronic copy with you to class.

The first section of your analysis (probably one or two or three paragraphs) should focus on the main argument(s) made in the article. You should identify the main claim(s) and the reasons and evidence supporting these claims, showing how these various pieces fit together. If the author addresses any counterarguments, identify these as well. Be mindful of Toulmin‘s terminology here as well: what warrants (assumptions) underlie the claims and evidence? Does the author offer any data to further support these warrants? Your summary should include quotes from the source to help clarify and support your account of the argument.

The second section should situate this argument within the larger conversation around your controversy. What is the author’s relationship to the community? How does this perspective compare to others in response to the controversy? How would you assess the argument in terms of its effectiveness or ineffectiveness, its benefits or limits? How can we classify the argument drawing on stasis theory? Ultimately, we’ll want to be able to reflect on the points of intersection and divergence of different perspectives in the debate.

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