Cooperative Argumentation
Final Argumentative Essay Assignment

Note: This assignment is the last in the series designed to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with argumentative writing.

Below is the full text of the Argumentative Essay Assignment:

Write an argumentative essay in which you demonstrate your understanding of and sensitivity to key points of controversy on a selected issue related to family life. Your essay should include a clear articulation of your point of view, and should provide compelling support for that perspective. The essay should demonstrate thoughtful reflection regarding why members of the deliberative community (including class members and authors of relevant e-reserve readings, among others) may disagree with you. Be sure to provide a clear, concise, logically coherent, and thoughtful exploration of the most compelling arguments available for differing points of view. A successful argumentative essay will sustain audience attention, communicate clearly and effectively, enhance the possibility for building community across difference, reflect responsiveness to multiple perspectives on the topic, and provide thoughtful, reasonable grounds in support of your perspective.

Be sure to review Chapters 4-7 (pp. 111-285) of the text, relevant e-reserve readings, and your class notes in preparation for fulfillment of this assignment.

Criteria for Assessment:
• Provides clear and concise overview of the central issue and related subordinate issues
• Identifies and explains key points of controversy among multiple perspectives
• Thoughtful and appropriate integration of key commonplaces throughout the essay
• Clear and concise articulation of the author’s perspective
• Provides compelling, relevant, and comprehensive support for key claims and for potentially controversial assumptions
• Provides reasoned assessment of beliefs, values, assumptions, and emotions inherent to arguments in support of diverse perspectives
• Provides logically coherent and internally consistent arguments
• Avoids fallacies of argument
• Identifies a range of ethical alternatives and their anticipated consequences
• Builds on the contributions of dissenting and supporting views
• Reflects careful consideration of dissenting voices and divergent means of support
• Provides a means of accountability for those affected by the author’s perspective
• Demonstrates sensitivity and responsiveness to interests, needs, beliefs, and values of the broader deliberative community
• Clear, concise communication of ideas and perspectives
• Sustains audience interest and attention throughout
• Adherence to appropriate and relevant standards of communication, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling



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