correcting 2 body paragraphs

Argument Analysis


By writing this assignment, students write a well-developed argument analysis. To complete the assignment, they will learn essential writing strategies: summarizing, presenting a well-supported argument, analyzing rhetorical devices, and responding to a text. In doing so, they will practice the skills of condensing ideas to summarize, incorporating and documenting quotes to support a main idea, choosing precise words, including vivid details, and creating smooth transitions.In addition to essential writing skills, this assignment helps students practice effective reading strategies through annotating and analyzing.

Description of the Assignment:

In “The Moral Instinct,” Harvard University psychology professor Stephen Pinker explores the “new science” that has developed around morality, as well as the various implications it has for us as a culture and as individuals. For this paper, you will write a formal academic essay of approximately 4-5 pages where you analyze Pinker’s argument.

An analysis is NOT the same as a summary (although you will need to do some summary). Your goal is to show how the author’s use of specific kinds of evidence supports the argument, to explain how the argument is constructed and why it is effective.


Successful papers will

  1. Describe Pinker’s overall argument, and what you see as his most important claims, explaining how these claims relate to the argument.
  2. Analyze the ways in which he supports his claims (evidence) and the moves or strategies he employs to advance these claims. Be specific and use examples from the text to clarify your explanations.
  3. Write the paper as if addressing an academic audience unfamiliar with Pinker’s text.
  4. Comment on the overall effectiveness of the text.
  5. Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the next, and be thoroughly edited so that sentences are readable and appropriate for an academic audience.
  6. Writing mechanics:
    1. Paragraphs focus on single ideas; transitions between paragraphs are smooth
    2. Quotations and references from text are properly integrated and cited.
    3. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct
    4. Paper utilizes proper MLA format

Suggested Breakdown / Organization of Essay 1:

Possible Outline (optional): This may give you an idea of what I think goes into a solidly structured paper and helpful for those who are having trouble beginning.

Intro (1 paragraph): Note how much of this was already covered in your summary/response, so this should be fairly easy for you to write. Think of the introduction as an inverted triangle; you’re starting broad, and whittling down to a specific point: your thesis statement.

  • Identify the author’s purpose (optional)
  • What is the author’s goal behind writing this article?
  • Identify what the author’s argument is
  • What is the author trying to persuade us to believe?
  • Define your paper so as to guide you as the writer as well as your audience.
    • Example Thesis:Pinker’s text is (in)effective in persuading his intended audience [because of the rhetorical strategies used]
  • Make a clear Thesis Statement”

Part 2. The Body, in which you present your central analysis

In this section, you will provide 3 or 4 major claims that support the author’s argument. For each claim, you will:

  • Identify the claim, in your own words, that you will discuss in this section.
  • Identify the evidence the author presents to support this claim, taking examples from the text to illustrate your explanation.
  • Describe rhetorical strategies he uses in an attempt to persuade the reader of the validity of his argument.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *