writing assignment #2: crappy draft

This week we started talking about logic, and how and why people should argue. Here are some slides about that:

How and Why to Argue

We’ve also started reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As we read we’re trying to see if our ideas about logic and reasoning help us understand what the hell(ck) Charles Dodgson was thinking when he wrote this. I really hope they do because I haven’t read this book since I was 10, so I’m not really sure if there’s anything in it of actual educational value. But people say there is, and I definitely trust people!

So today we’re going to try applying all this to writing. Here’s the assignment:

Writing Assignment #2: A persuasive argument

Think of something you need or want and a person or organization that can get you that thing. Write a business-type letter (or email) to that person or organization laying out a formal argument why they should do this thing for you.

  • Brainstorm a list of all the stuff you want/need and all the people that could get it for you. Here are some reminders about brainstorming: Argument brainstorm
  • Outline your argument by writing down your basic premises and conclusion. (The conclusion to your paper is easy: “Therefore, you should give me X.”) Make sure that the argument follows logically from one premise to the next, and think about how you can convince the reader that each premise is true.

Show your premises and conclusion to Matt before you proceed.

  • Each premise you wrote down on your argument outline will need its own paragraph to support the premise and provide convincing evidence that each of your premises is true. This “evidence” can take the form of examples, hypotheticals, logical reasoning, etc. Include whatever evidence your particular audience will find most convincing.
  • Write your letter in the standard format for business letters. Write it using a word processing program, even if you’re going to eventually email it. A portion of your grade depends on how closely you follow the exact format of this document: sample business letter
  • Your rough draft is due Monday, April 21.



How and Why to Argue

Argument brainstorm

sample business letter


2 responses to “writing assignment #2: crappy draft

  1. Why’d you stop doing quotes of the day at the end of each post? I liked those.

  2. I haven’t done those since like the first week I ever blogged this class. It just takes so much energy…

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