Public 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.
Writer: Please add any questions you would like your partner to consider in addition to the questions asked in the workshop.
1. Briefly state the writer's claim. Is it clear, narrow and debatable? Is it clearest from the beginning of the text and/or is it placed accordingly in terms of the publication's style? (e.g. an editorial may have the claim clearest at the end of the text)
2. How well does the writer demonstrate understanding of his/her audience? identify locations where the writer shows awareness of the audience's existing awareness of or knowledge on the issue
identify 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 for making audience awareness sharper/better in this argument
3. What reasons does the writer provide to support the overall claim? To what extent do those reasons correlate with the audience's beliefs, values, needs or expectations? Explain. Which reasons are less effective? Why?
4. What evidence does the writer give to support their claims and reasons? Which pieces of evidence are going to be most convincing or compelling for the audience? Which are less convincing? Why?
5. Connection with the audience is of the utmost importance in this argument. Where has the writer effectively used appeals to logic, emotion and values (ethics)? Where could the writer use more appeals or revise existing appeals?
6. How well does the writer respond to or address the objections that the audience is most likely raise based on their values and beliefs? Where does the writer fail to address an opposing argument you think is important?
7. How effectively has the writer incorporated visual elements to augment the argument? Where is the use of a visual element most effective? Least effective? To what extent are the visual elements consistent with the publication the writer has chosen?
8. Overall, how appropriate do you feel the writer's choice of public context is for h/er argument? Why?
9. Answer the questions the writer has asked you.