Portfolio 3, Part B: Writing an Argument for a Public Audience

Overview: In P3B, you will revise your argument from P3A to create a letter to the editor for a major publication. To do so, you will need to choose an audience. You will also 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 Congress should approve new tax credits for owners of hybrid vehicles, you will want to choose a publication context that the parties interested in this debate will be likely to encounter - perhaps an environmental magazine like Sierra or a national newspaper like The Washington Post.

Purpose: To revise your argument for a public audience. Your specific purpose for writing will vary depending on your chosen audience.

Audience: You will determine the audience. Begin by asking: Who needs to hear my argument? Who do I want to make this argument for? Perhaps you'd like to target a specific group of people such as parents, teachers, scientists, college students, Republicans, Democrats, etc…. If this is the case, you'll want to choose a publication that members of that group are likely to encounter. If you're targeting a wider, more general audience, do you want to write to a local audience (voters in Ft. Collins who read The Coloradoan)? Or, do you want to write to a larger general audience (those who read the New York Times)?

Publication Context: Once you choose your publication, you will need to analyze the publication in terms of its editorial requirements and conventions so that you can revise your previous argument to accommodate them. What type of language and tone are appropriate? What types of evidence are commonly used? Are there any specific length requirements or limitations? You will need to shape your own essay to fit these expectations.


Paper Length: While there is no set length for your argument, it should be similar to the length of the articles in the publication you analyzed.
Due Date: See TR or MWF Syllabus for due dates
Worth: 10% of your final grade