Now that you have seen the over overall structure of an argument, and applied the elements to a a famous argument, The Declaration of Independence, you now will apply your understanding by comparing two related, contrasting arguments. Compare one set of paired essays from the “Debating the Issues” section of the text: “Rating Your Professors,” “Public Restrooms,” “Trigger Warnings,” or “Gender Stereotypes.” To be clear, you are selecting a single topic, not comparing two different topics. In your comparison you should consider such elements the claims the authors make, how they support them, and what warrants or assumptions underlie their support. Consider also the authors’ choice of language, types of examples and application of logic. Your ultimate purpose is to evaluate the elements of each argument, and draw a conclusion as to how each is or is not effectively presented. Do not express agreement or disagreement. Your purpose is to objectively evaluate the two arguments as arguments, without taking a side on the issue. Be sure to cite sources for all supporting information you provide, along with the two arguments themselves, using the MLA format.
The recommended length is 4-6 pages not including the list of works cited; this is a guideline, a target, not an absolute figure. If you have fewer pages than the suggested minimum, you probably haven’t developed your essay sufficiently; if you have more than the suggested maximum, you have probably lost focus and need some editing. But this is only a guide. If you need seven pages to do this well, then write seven pages, but be sure every page is necessary.