Academic Context Argument
Writer: Write your questions about this draft on the back of this sheet.
Reader: As you read the draft, you should assume the role of the target audience and keep in mind the specific values, interests, and concerns of that audience. Remember to follow the protocol established in earlier workshops. Read through your partner's paper first without making any comments. Just look at ideas and get a general understanding of their essay. Then, read through it again addressing the following questions. Write comments on the draft or on a separate sheet of paper. Remember to be specific, honest, and thoughtful.
1. Briefly state the writer's claim. Is it clear, narrow and debatable?
2. How well does the writer demonstrate understanding of his/her audience?
circle specific locations where the writer shows awareness of the audience's existing awareness of or knowledge on the issue
put a box around specific locations where the writer addresses the audience's predispositions or existing beliefs and answers (or “deals with”) them, pushing the audience to new understanding rather than attacking or mirroring their current beliefs
note any recommendations you have making audience awareness sharper/better in this argument
3. What reasons does the writer provide to support the overall claim? Which particular reasons in this draft do you find most convincing? Which reasons are less effective? Why?
4. What evidence does the writer give to support their claims and reasons? Which pieces of evidence are convincing or compelling to you? Which are less convincing? Why?
5. How could the writer have made the organization of this argument clearer or more effective? That is, where do you start to get lost or confused?
6. How focused is the argument (clear, logical connections between the claim, reasons, and evidence)? Which parts don't seem to relate as much to the claim or to what you think is important in the argument?
7. How well does the writer respond to or address the objections that are raised in your mind as you consider this argument? Where does the writer fail to address an opposing argument you think is important?
8. How credible does the writer seem to you? What makes the writer seem trustworthy? What makes the writer seem less trustworthy? How could the writer gain more credibility, in your opinion?
9. Where has the writer effectively used appeals to logic, emotion and values (ethics)? Where could the writer use more appeals or revise existing appeals?
10. To what extent has the writer avoided fallacies of argumentation?
11. Check to see that the writer has used proper documentation and edited for grammatical and sentence level errors (do not edit the paper for the writer - just point to areas that need more consideration).12. To what extent is the argument creative and original with its ideas and approach? Does it add something to the conversation rather than just repeating what others are saying? Where might the writer need to be more creative or inventive?