this paper should focus three points:
1.What is your chosen text arguing?
2. What is potentially controversial about the
argument, its underlying implications, or the way the argument is presented?
3. How does the author persuade readers to accept his or her controversial claims?
Arundhati Roy, “The Algebra of Infinite Justice”
Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics”
Samuel P. Huntington, “The Hispanic Challenge”
For your first major essay, choose one of the texts we have examined in this unit and
compose a paper that responds to the following questions:
What is your chosen text arguing? What is potentially controversial about the
argument, its underlying implications, or the way the argument is presented? How
does the author persuade readers to accept his or her controversial claims?
As you approach this assignment, bear in mind that you will need to begin by providing an
overview of what your chosen text argues. Don’t stop there, however. As readers of
political essays, we must always ask what ideas – about power, justice, culture, and so forth –
the author wants to “sell.” Once you have clarified what the text is really doing, and why
that might be a source of controversy, focus on how the author supports his or her claims.
That is, offer close analysis of another writer’s craft, highlighting things like word choice, use
of metaphors, paragraph structure, evidence (or lack thereof), reliance on assumptions, and
Your paper should be 5 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1-
inch margins. Document all quotations according to the methods explained by the APA
Learning Goals ~or~ Why You Are Being Asked To Do This
Close reading. Strong writers are strong readers, and strong readers are, first and foremost,
detail-oriented. Strong readers understand how small details, like word choice and metaphor
selection, contribute to a text’s larger argument. Learning how to evaluate and put pressure
upon another person’s arguments will serve as the foundation for all future writing.
Things To Remember While Writing
Evidence. Stay close to your chosen text, quoting it when appropriate and paraphrasing in
other spots. Avoid the “helicopter view,” where you describe your chosen text in broad and
vague terms, as if you are seeing it from 30,000 feet above ground.
Analysis. As you write, push yourself to look closely at your chosen text. Take individual
sentences and paragraphs apart and ask questions. Why did the author choose this word
instead of a synonym? How does this example support the argument, and are there other
WRIT 150, S2015
examples that the author sidesteps or overlooks? How does the author structure his/her
argument, and what do you make of the movement from paragraph to paragraph? How did
the author introduce and conclude the essay, and what lasting impact do the opening and
closing moves make? Obviously, you must tell us what your chosen text means; however,
this assignment asks you to focus – above all – on how texts make meaning.