“Handout 1: Evaluating Arguments”

 This is an evaluative paper, meaning that you will be required to both explain an argument and evaluate it. Evaluating an argument requires that you give your own reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the specific argument that you choose to explain. This means that merely giving your own reasons for agreeing or agreeing with the conclusion of an argument is not adequate; you must give reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with a specific argument per se – i.e. for agreeing or disagreeing with its premises and/or its inference. The handout entitled “Handout 1: Evaluating Arguments” covers in detail what it means to critically evaluate a specific argument and not simply evaluate a conclusion of an argument. (Although all papers are graded with the VALUE rubric, evaluative papers are graded on all of its 5 criteria. The expository papers are graded on only 4 of them: the “Sources and Evidence” criterion is not used for grading expository papers.) Requirements: Your paper must use a readable 12-point font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria), be double-spaced, and have 1-inch margins. It should be formatted in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style (or some similar format); the most important part of formatting is that you cite the original source whenever you mention an idea that’s not yours, cite any page numbers that are relevant, and always use quotations marks for direct quotations. The paper should be 900-1200 words in length (approximately 3-4 pages).