ARGUMENT SYNTHESIS: INFORMED OPINION & PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE ON AN ISSUE
During this quarter we’ve discussed critical thinking, identifying
the explicit components of argument analysis, such as
the issue, the supporting evidence(including opinion), and the
. We’ve also discussed how to identify weaknesses and problems in thinking such as bias, assumptions and implications. Finally,we have studied
how to research problems and issues and to synthesize solutions and resolutions for them.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your grasp of these concepts in an 800
word essay/oral presentation on one of the films we’ve viewed and critically analyzed this quarter. Specifically, you will
1.Identify a key issueexamined by a film of your choice. Express the issue as a question; briefly explain its context; word it carefully and precisely. (5 points).
2.Research your issue:
(a)Select three credibledivergent
sources on the issue and clearly explain
theposition each takes.
(b)Use your textbook for additional supporting evidence.
(c) Evaluate the quality ofevidenceeach brings to bear on its argument. Document your sources accurately.
(d) Identify implicit components of the argument in each article that may affect the reasoning,
as appropriate. (10 points)
3.Synthesize the strongest points
of these divergent arguments with your own
personal perspectiveto arrive at your “informed
opinion” or conclusion
4.Explain your thinking and lay out the evidence in support of your
conclusion clearly: is it reliable? Relevant? Balanced? Sufficient? Your goal is to convince your audience that your conclusion is superior to others and is worth accepting. (10 points)
You are free to take leaps in your thinking and write about
any aspect of the issue as long as it relates to the general
subjects we discussed.
SELECTED FILMS(can choose any film)
Subjects related: drug addiction, leadership and education
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
Subjects related: gay rights, violence
Subjects related: teen pregnancy, society
THE HOUSE BUNNY
Subjects related: presentday feminism, sexual objectification of women, social superficiality
related: moral relativism, American corporations
Critical Thinking Student Learning Outcomes
The student will (1) demonstrate the ability, in written and oral presentations, to think critically by identifying, analyzing, and evaluating both the explicit components of arguments (i.e., issues, conclusions, supporting evidence) and the implicit components (assumptions, implicatio
ns, biases), and by
synthesizing an argument of their own to support a thesis arrived at independently (2) Understand and
apply the techniques of creative problem solving,
including the use of research, in an oral and written project, and (3) observe college
level standards of effective communication by presenting ideas in
writing (and in speech) that is clear, well organized, well developed, and errorfree.