Analysis of your chosen debate
For this essay you will choose a topic and write a critical analysis of your chosen topic. I have
uploaded 10 choices under the folder ‘Essay Topic’ on Learning Web. Each choice is an episode of the NPR show Intelligence² Debates.
Each debate is centered on a specific motion. Two teams, one for the motion and one against the motion, present their viewpoints and argue for their respective sides. A more detailed description of the show can be found at its website http://intelligencesquaredus.org/about.
Your essay will be an analysis of your chosen debate. In this analysis you must present a particular side’s argument and then provide your own argument in response to the presented side. Your argument should take a stand within the given debate. Below I have listed some suggestions that will help you determine what format your own argument might follow.
• Criticize that argument; or show that certain arguments for the thesis are no good.
• Defend the argument or thesis against someone else’s criticism.
• Offer reasons to believe the thesis.
• Offer counter-examples to the thesis.
• Contrast the strengths and weaknesses of two opposing views about the thesis.
• Give examples which help explain the thesis, or which help to make the thesis more plausible.
• Come out and explicitly endorse the thesis.
• Discuss what consequences the thesis would have, if it were true.
• Revise the thesis, in the light of some objection.
You are not required to use any or all of the above suggestions. You are only required to present a particular side’s argument and then provide your own well-reasoned argument in response to that presented side.
Your grade will be determined on the basis of the strength of the presentation of your chosen topic and the strength of your argument in response to your presentation.
Spelling and grammar count, so edit and proofread!