Argument Summary and Evaluation Assignment
What issue is the author addressing?
Why is this issue important/controversial/interesting?
What position does the author take on this issue?
What is the author’s thesis (i.e., central point, general conclusion)?
What reasons does the author give to support this thesis?
This may include both arguments against alternative views and arguments in favor of his or her own view.
For the purposes of your argument summary assignment, your explanation of the author’s argument must: identify three claims or reasons given to support the thesis, and use an example (of your own) to illustrate one of these claims
This could include:
Criticize the author’s argument. In your assessment, keep in mind the issues of validity and soundness that we discussed in the first week of class.
Defend the author’s argument against an objection (either an objection you come up with or from the criticism of someone else we have read). This might involve an explanation of why the objection won’t work to damage the argument or offering a revised version of the thesis/argument that can withstand the challenge.
Offer independent reasons in support of the author’s thesis (i.e. reasons not offered in the reading, but additional factors you think promote the same conclusion).
Offer a counterexample.
Give examples that help to explain the thesis or which help to make the thesis more plausible.
Discuss the consequences the author’s thesis would have if it were true.