Your assignment for Tuesday is to read “America Skips School” and write a 2-3 page response (double-spaced, MLA format, 1-inch margins, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman). This will be worth 50 points and due at the beginning of class.
Your response should focus on how Barber makes his argument. First, define Barber’s central argument. Then, locate Barber’s secondary or supporting points. Along the way, ask yourself:
- How does Barber make his argument? Is it convincing? Why?
- Do you notice any logical flaws? What are they?
- How does Barber use numbers and statistics?
- How does Barber appeal to readers’ sense of logic?
- How does Barber appeal to readers’ ethical standards?
- How does Barber appeal to readers’ emotions?
- Who is Barber criticizing and why?
- Who is Barber’s audience?
- What is his purpose?
- What is his tone?
- How does he establish credibility with his audience?
- Who is he arguing against?
- Are his sources credible?
- What is the balance of fact and opinion in this essay?
- Are there any sentences or paragraphs that seem irrelevant?
These are just a few questions to get you started. Obviously, I do not expect you to answer all of them. Use this analysis as a way to build your own repertoire of “moves” that you can draw upon when crafting your own argumentative essay. Do your best tear apart, break down, unpack, and analyze “America Skips School.” Pay attention to every word and each minor detail. Think like a surgeon.