Unit 2: Argumentation & Research
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Effective argument is not "yelling"--it is "a reasoned, logical way of asserting the soundness of a position, belief, or conclusion," and we will explore the manifestations of effective argument in this unit of study in AP English 11. You will study Stephen Toulmin's Claim-Support-Warrant argumentation model; Aristotle's appeals to Logos, Pathos, and Ethos; identifying and avoiding logical fallacies; and other argumentation-related topics. You will read and analyze several argumentative essays and write at least two of your own.

1. What is Argumentation?

Introduction to Chapter 12, PATTERNS FOR COLLEGE WRITING, pp. 529-544.

2. Argumentative Readings

“The Threat of National ID” by William Safire “Why Fear National ID Cards?” by Alan Dershowitz “Memo to John Grisham…” by Oliver Stone “Violent Films Cry “Fire”…” by Michael Zimecki “Whodunit—The Media?” by Maggie Cutler “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift editorials from New York Times and other news publications

3. Literary Analysis/Poetry Readings

“What is Poetry?" “Reading the Poem” “The Nature of Proof in the Interpretation of Poetry” and “Writing About Poetry” by Laurence Perrine

4. Longer Reading in American Literature


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5. Argumentative Writing Assignments

a. Paper #3: Poem Analysis or Explication

Write an analysis or explication of a poem of your choice from Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry. Develop a viable interpretation of the poem you choose, and support your argument for this interpretation using evidence from the text of the poem. Refer carefully to information given in Sound and Sense Part II: "Writing About Poetry." 3-5 typed, size 10-12 font, DS pages.

b. Paper #4: Researched Argumentative Essay

Build a logical argument supporting a debatable position of your choice drawing information from 8-15 well-chosen outside sources. Avoid logical fallacies as discussed in class, and strive for an effective balance of logos, ethos, and pathos in your composition. Sources must include at least one print text and at least one Internet-accessed source (Internet site or online database). Give MLA-style in-text, parenthetical notation, and include a Works Cited page. Document references to any outside sources you use with parenthetical referencing/MLA style. 8-10 typed, size 10-12 font, DS pages of text plus title page and list of works cited.


Most class readings are taken from PATTERNS FOR COLLEGE WRITING, 9th Ed. (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004)