u Exercise #1: Argument and Analysis
The purpose of this first exercise is to encourage you to practice an open-minded but cautious way of engaging with the claims of other scholars.
► For this exercise you will turn a curious yet skeptical gaze onto one of the essays that you have read for this progression. First, even if you have reservations about the author’s ideas, make sense of her/his argument by explaining it in your own words. What is the writer’s position? What are the essential claims here? What evidence does the author offer for these claims? Next play devil’s advocate: which aspects of the essay sound wrong to you? Does the evidence persuade you? Which assumptions or conclusions strike you as problematic or unreasonable?
Manuscript Notes: Your response should be two pages and calls for MLA documentation. Avoid large block quotations and use this exercise as an opportunity to refine your ability to weave together short quotations, paraphrases, and your own prose.