Overview of Major Assignments in CO150

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Portfolio 3:  Part B


Portfolio 3 Guidelines

Portfolio 3, Part B: Contributing to the Debate about a Public Issue

in a Public Context


  In 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 magazine).

  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.

You 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?

*Note: 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.


Requirements: 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 argument strategies.


Due Dates: Rough Draft-

                      Final Draft-

Grading: 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 strength.