3, Part B: Contributing to the Debate about a Public Issue
a Public Context
Part B of Portfolio 3, you will revise your argument from Part A to
create an argument that is most appropriate for a public audience
of your choice. To do so, you will need to choose an audience that
needs to hear your argument.* You will also need to choose a publication
that you feel will most effectively bring your argument to your audience.
For example, if you are arguing about whether or not parents should
put their children in day care, you will need to choose a publication
that parents are likely to encounter in the public domain (e.g. Parents
Once you choose your publication, you will need to analyze the publication
in terms of its conventions and what limitations and opportunities
accompany the publication so that you can revise your previous argument
to accommodate them. You will also need to analyze the needs and expectations
of your audience members to determine what part(s) of your argument
are most important in convincing or persuading them of your argument.
For this part of Portfolio 3 you will need to draw on our discussions
from Part A as well as our new discussions about visual argumentation
strategies. Since visual arguments often rely on emotional or ethical
appeals to take the place of words, you will need to find graphics
to incorporate into your argument to help you evoke those appeals.
might consider the following questions to help you begin:
Who needs to hear my argument the most?*
Where does my audience go for information about the issue (e.g. library,
Internet, magazines or journals)?
What kinds of publications concerning the issue does my audience most
frequently encounter in those places?
What choices (both written and visual) will help me highlight the
most important part(s) of my argument for my audience members according
to what they value, believe, need and expect?
The most appropriate audience for your argument may still be an
academic one. If so, you will need to choose a specific type
of text (e.g. an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education
or an education website) and tailor your argument to that text.
Your argument must be appropriate for your audience and the
publication you are using to help you reach that audience. You should
accompany your argument with a cover page that explains who your audience
is, what your purpose for writing to that audience is, and the title
of the publication you analyzed. While there is no set length for
your argument, it should be similar to the length of the articles
in the publication you analyzed. Moreover, your argument should clearly
capture and communicate the most significant parts from your academic
context argument as well as display the use of appeals and visual
Dates: Rough Draft-
Part B is worth 40% of your grade for this portfolio, and
Portfolio 3 is worth 35% of your overall grade for the course. It
will be graded on a +/- scale. The most effective argument for a public
context will display the same skills and strategies for argumentation
as we discussed in Part A of Portfolio 3, but it will tailor those
choices according to the needs and expectations of the audience and
the conventions of the publication you analyzed. It will contain a
clear claim that indicates your purpose for arguing. The development
of the claim will rely on sound and responsible reasoning and will
amply develop that reasoning with evidence. Lastly, this argument
will effectively incorporate visual elements to augment the argument's