Why should you Fear Your Toaster More Than Nuclear Power
—S4OVLOIL J. Yamamoto English 102
How to Write a: Response to an Antigu-nent Essay 7,014-e, -Pksz
adapted. from Cat Reynolds, Demand Media
Asa college assignment, responding to an argument teaches critical reading and thinking skills. In professional applications, the response to an argument serves as a check and balance that may help an organization’s leadership to make better decisions. The writer who responds to an argument looks closely at the rhetorical techniques and sources of support that another writer employs and then answers the author with an essay of her own.
The first steps in writing a response to an argument are the same as the argument analysis:
Step I Locate the thesis of the argument you are analyzing. The author or presenter will often state it in one succinct sentence close to the beginning of the article, essay or presentation.
Step 2 List each argument and piece of evidence in support of the thesis and leave space for notations.
Step Analyze the logic, facts and any data that the argument presents. Where did the facts come from? Are they reliable? Why (or why not)? Look out for emotional arguments, hasty generalizations, and red herrings, which a sound argument must omit. Also look for erroneous facts, omissions of facts that you know should be there, and data that is dated or taken out of context. Make notes as you work.
Step 4 Look at studies that the author quotes if they seem suspect. Sometimes researchers do only short studies or studies that do not in a large enough sample. Sometimes they don’t ask the right questions or the methodology is weak. Also, the references should come from credible sources; credible sources are those written by research scholars in the field or practicing experts. Make notes as you work.
Then, ask yourself these questions:
• To whom is the argument addressed? • What purpose is the writer trying to achieve? Has the writer achieved his/her purpose?
The remaining steps help you craft a response to the original argument:
Step 5 Open your analysis with a paragrapl the other person’s thesis.
fiat ends with your o
in thesis, either agreeing or disagreeing with
Address the argument point by point. Do so in the same order in which the author or speaker presented his or her points. Alternatively, you can group related points together. Concede valid points, but point out flaws in others. Save your strongest, most important point for last.
Step 7 Weave in concrete support for your analysis. Cite reliable, current eferences.
Step 8 Conclude the response with the discussion of your strongest point or with a short discussion of the subject matter as it pertains to your thesis.
Length 10004500 words (about 4 pages, doubled spaced with 1-inch margins) Rough draft due for peer editing: Final draft due: