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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Argumentation ICE – Outliers . The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. What were you SUPPOSED to do…. Step One: Determine the provided quote’s central argument/claim Step Two: Develop YOUR OWN stance (argument) either supporting, refuting, or qualifying the quote’s central argument/claim

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what were you supposed to do
What were you SUPPOSED to do…

Step One: Determine the provided quote’s central argument/claim

Step Two: Develop YOUR OWN stance (argument) either supporting, refuting, or qualifying the quote’s central argument/claim

Step Three: Support YOURSTANCE

period 1 prompt
Period 1 Prompt
  • According to famed Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci, “…people of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.” Using Malcolm Gladwell’sOutliers as your primary means of support, write an essay in which you either agree with, disagree with, or qualify da Vinci’s statement on success.
period 4 prompt
Period 4 Prompt
  • According to American President Abraham Lincoln, one must “…always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Using Malcolm Gladwell’sOutliers as your primary means of support, write an essay in which you either agree with, disagree with, or qualify Lincoln’s statement on success.
the good
  • Almost every essay displayed a concerted effort to employ the AP Mantra and answer the prompt question. This is a fundamental mistake that many past years have made.
the good1
  • I read a number of clever examples…as well as noted several essays already employing variety in their argumentation. These are a valuable forms of support that demonstrate your ethos and depth as a student author.
the bad
  • Almost everyone opened their essay with either a piece of summary or a simple re-copying of the quote—don’t do this! Focus on making intuitive, sophisticated comments on the human condition in this section of your essay and avoiding generalizations that display lack of imagination. Consider the unstated argument of the prompt “text” with this opening sentence.
the bad1
  • Though many responded to the prompt, essays often mischaracterized, misread, or over-simplified claim of the quotes. For you to respond with greater precision on future essays, you must recognize each claim of an argument and its full implications. It would also assist you to infer exigence.
the bad2
  • Questions to ask yourself in the future…What do you know of the author’s time period? What PRECISELY is the prompt asking you to do? What types of arguments has the author employed or implied? What are the implications of his definitions? What is the unstated argument of the piece? With what would the author agree and disagree?
the bad3
  • The purpose of a TOPIC SENTENCE is to preview the analytical focus of the coming paragraph—NOT TO SUMMARIZE THE FORTHCOMING SUPPORT.
the bad4
  • Your support must be precise and appropriate. Vary your support—review the forms of support handout and begin working on precision and sophistication in your own writing! Each body paragraph should be an essay unto itself, with a unique form(s) of support.
more on this
More on this…
  • The weaker essays relied almost exclusively on explaining to form an argument. This was often done vaguely and without clear connections. Over-relying on explaining leads to pedantic, repetitive essays that are easily disproved.
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More on this…
  • Examples are a stronger form of support, but carry with them certain risks. One of the most common errors is oversimplification. Here, the arguer oversimplifies the nature of the example in an attempt to demonstrate a relationship between his/her analysis and his/her thesis. The result is an essay that lacks nuance and sophistication; it forces a connection where a finer distinction is appropriate.
  • For example:

The recent issue with Vice-President Joe Biden’s off the record comment is an example of privacy rights.

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  • If a text is available to you there is NO FORGIVABLE REASON for not utilizing a DIRECT QUOTE!
    • Efficiency
    • Effectiveness
    • Analysis
the ugly
  • Nothing kills your ethos more quickly than the ignorant use of examples:

Success is an important part of American culture; success is when you are successful.

the ugly1
  • In the future, consider writing about people OTHER than the following: Bill Clinton, Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, the Founding Fathers, Barack Obama, or George Bush. Of course, these are appropriate examples in certain instances, but too often we use these guys when we can’t think of anything, so we plug them in broadly and vaguely. Know more!
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More on this…
  • Memorize quotes, consider implanting anecdotes or analogies in your writing, pay attention in other classes that will offer you insight on a variety of people and societies (history, sociology, psychology, foreign language, etc.), read a variety of texts, turn on Discovery or the History Channel!!!
the ugly2
  • If you do not know the difference by now between there/their/they’re and loose/lose, how to appropriately use apostrophes in your writing, or when and how to cite a quote… you will never convince an AP reader that you have anything intelligent to say.
  • Don’t hijack your own ethos with these very fixable errors!
revision requirements
  • Anything under a C+ MUST be revised!
  • If you have scored below a C+ and DO NOT revise, your grade will drop to failing.
  • If your revisions are NOT PROOFREAD, your grade will remain as it is…no third chances for laziness!
  • Revisions MUST employ the comments discussed here…if they don’t, you’ll do it again.
  • Revisions due NEXT TUESDAY—typed!