Throughout this course, we have learned about what constitutes a good and bad argument. We have also learned about ambiguity, whether it is within a specific argument displayed publicly by the media. Through this knowledge, we are better able to critically think about the world around us. Now, let’s apply it.
Select a current rhetorical dilemma from pop culture or current events.
Write a 5–7 page research paper through which you apply critical reasoning to analyze and explain it. In your paper, you will:
Introduce and fully elaborate on the topic you have selected.
Provide a summary of the situation by giving relevant background to establish the context.
Provide a balanced discussion of both sides of the issue:
Determine what argument is being made. What are we supposed to conclude about this situation?
Choose 3–5 examples of rhetorical devices discussed in class, which apply to the way in which the situation is presented by the media to the public on both sides. Provide an example and explanation of each rhetorical device. Strive for a balanced discussion of language, arguments presented, and evidence used to support an argument (formally or informally).
A discussion of the gatekeepers influences the way in which the audience understands the situation.
A discussion of biases (cultural and personal) that influence the way in which the audience interprets the situation.
A discussion of at least 3 fallacies that are used. Define and discuss.
An analysis of how a critical thinker should approach interpreting and using the information available regarding the situation to make an informed decision or form an informed opinion.
Note: This is not an opinion paper. You are not stating whether or not you agree or disagree with a position; rather, you are presenting both sides of the issue, analyzing the rhetoric use, and determining what a critical thinker needs to know before drawing a conclusion.
Structure of research paper:
Your paper must be written in the current APA style.
You must have a minimum of 6 sources (at least 3 academics). You may use your book as one source.
You are discussing your topic through the lens of critical reasoning. Keep in mind that you are demonstrating competence, so imagine that you are going to present this paper to a group of educated adults. Do not assume that anyone knows anything about this topic.
Write in a professional, third person-tone (do not use “I”; no grammar or punctuation errors).
A Turn-it-in score of 20% or less is required.
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