Argumentative Article for a Professional Journal,

Popular Magazine, or Newspaper

Overview: Your overall purpose is to provide a public response to a publicly debated issue. To accomplish this goal, you will

1.     assess and work within the complexities of the writing situation surrounding a publicly debated issue;

2.     evaluate and choose appropriate sources to support your argument;

3.     synthesize material from a variety of sources, including written texts, personal experience, and field research;

4.     and make a sufficiently narrow argumentative claim and support that claim with sound reasoning and evidence.

Purposes for Working on this Assignment: Although your overall purpose is explained above, you should also consider your personal purposes for working on this assignment. Consider what you hope to learn from this assignment, what you might do with this assignment beyond the scope of this class, and how you can personally invest yourself in this assignment.

Your Readers: Address your argumentative article to readers of a publication that has published work about your issue.

For part of this assignment, you need to analyze

bullet the publication,
bullet its readers (specifically, their needs, interests, experiences, assumptions, and values),
bullet and the writing situation that has shaped the overall conversation about this issue.

In general, your audience is likely to expect you to thoroughly explain the points you are making and support your argument using appropriate forms of evidence.

In addition, they will likely expect you to use a reasonable tone, to respect your readers and sources, and to avoid slang.

Your readers are also likely to expect you to acknowledge and cite your sources in a manner consistent with other sources published by your target publication and to use a design consistent with that publication.

The final version of your argumentative article should


Be formatted with one-inch margins, double-spaced lines, and Courier New, 12-point font


Include a list of additional sources you consulted as you created your article


Be submitted to Blackboard/WebCT before or by the due date posted.

Argumentative Article Requirements: Your argumentative article should be between 3,000 and 3750 words in length (12-15 pages) not including graphics, notes, or reference list, using a minimum of ten sources. Sources must include

bullet An academic article, whether from a printed journal or from the Internet
bullet An academic book, whether monograph or collection of essays
bullet Statistics or other factual information
bullet An article from the popular press, whether from a printed source, the Internet or the media
bullet A newspaper article from a national newspaper
bullet An interview with someone knowledgeable in the field, whether personal, telephone, e-mail, or chat-room
bullet Other sources could include web sites, local newspapers, lectures, etc.

In your article, clearly identify (following a style consistent with that used in your target publication) the sources to which you refer. You should support your points with evidence (personal experience, information from sources).

Writing Strategies: To begin work on your argumentative article, you should

·        Locate relevant sources. To learn more about conducting electronic and print research, consult chapters 5, 6, and 7 in Handbook of College Research.

·        Summarize each source by reporting as objectively as possible what the author wrote; use sufficient references to the author/source (tags) that you will have no problems later distinguishing your ideas and evidence from those provided by the source. For information on summarizing, read chapter 10, pp. 116-117.

·        Quote key terms and phrases and paraphrase accurately and concisely. For help with quoting and paraphrasing, see chapter 10, pp. 117-119.

In your argumentative article, you should

·        Introduce the issue you are addressing by providing appropriate context to the readers (e.g., an introduction that frames the issue and shows your interest in it).

·        Show that you are accountable to your readers (and to the issue) by identifying and briefly defining the key approaches to the issue.

·        Briefly critique the approaches with which you disagree.

·        Contribute something new to the conversation (the debates that have been taking place in the sources you’ve read) by identifying and defining your position on the issue. In general, taking a position on an issue can involve activities such as suggesting a new approach to the issue, offering a solution to a problem, suggesting that writers have misconceptualized the problem, offering a new definition of the problem or issue, or clarifying a position taken by other authors. Your position should, regardless of the form it takes, bring something new to the conversation.

·        Develop your contribution/position with appropriate evidence and support. For instance, if you are suggesting a solution to a problem, indicate what it would take to implement the solution. Use the following types of support, as appropriate: personal experience, evidence from your sources, and evidence from other sources.

·        Select and use an organization that is appropriate for your audience and purpose.

·        Conclude your article by doing more than simply summarizing what you’ve said so far. In general, try to leave your reader with something to think about after they’ve read your article.

·        Design your document so that it is consistent with the design of your target document, so that its effect on your readers is enhanced and your argument is easy to follow.

·        Document your sources using a style consistent with that used in the target publication. For this assignment APA style of documentation will be used.

·        Revise to clarify and strengthen your argument and edit to remove errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics so that your writing is clear and readable.

Grading Criteria: The final portfolio is worth 40% of your grade for this class. I will check your portfolio for completeness. I will ask the following questions as I read your argumentative article:

1.              Have you created an introduction that frames the issue effectively?

2.              Have you identified and briefly defined the key approaches to the issue?

3.              Have you cited relevant sources in your definitions of the key approaches?

4.              Have you briefly critiqued the key approaches that you disagree with?

5.              Have you cited relevant sources in your critiques of those approaches?

6.              Have you identified the approach with which you agree?

7.              Have you identified your own position within that approach?

8.              Does your position make a contribution to the discussion of the issue?

9.              Have you provided reasons to support your position and backed up those reasons with evidence and analysis?

10.         Have you used quotations and paraphrases effectively to support your position?

11.         Have you attributed information to the authors you draw upon? (For example, have you used author tags and proper citation methods?)

12.         Have you provided (if appropriate) personal experience as evidence to support your argument?

13.         Have you organized your article in a reasonable and effective manner? (In other words, is it organized in a manner that your readers will find easy to follow?)

14.         Have you considered and addressed reasonable counterarguments?

15.         How effectively does your article consider your audience?

16.         Does your conclusion offer something beyond a simple summary of your article?

17.         Is the design of your document consistent with that of the target publication?

18.         Is it appropriate for your audience? Does it help readers follow your argument?

19.         Is your article written in a form that conforms to standard American English? (In other words, is it generally free of grammatical, mechanical, and spelling errors?)