The first is the suggestions we covered in the class about how to articulately analyze your articles. Your assignment is not to determine which argument you side with. Your assignment is to determine which article does a better job of making its argument. To articulate your ideas, you can discuss any of the following:
– Does the article give specific examples to back its claims? Are those examples effective?
– Does the article take sides? If it does, does that stop it from presenting the opposition fairly? Can the author back up his/her opinion, or is it merely stated?
– Is the article organized effectively? Can you clearly determine the argument the author wants to make? Do you have to do too much work as a reader to figure out what the author wants you to believe or do?
– Can you easily identify the article’s thesis, including its claim and grounds?
– Does the article utilize any particular strategy?
– Does the article present a mature argument, or is it merely a person’s rant that has been typed up with no support or backing? (Hopefully, you won’t find any of these in a scholarly journal…)
– Does the article include citations so that you can verify its facts, statistics, and so forth?
– Does the article include facts, statistics, expert testimony, research, evidence? If it uses these things, are they outdated? If they are, is it enough for them to be irrelevant? (Keep in mind that if an article is written in 2001, then a study conducted in 1999 would still be relevant for the article at the time it was published.)
– Are there any questions the article fails to address? Does it present its opposition fairly? Does it avoid certain topics because it may not be able to rebut them?
– Does the article use sound reasoning or is its logic flawed in places?
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