argument’s reasons,


  1. Territory without Borders” by Stuart Elden
  2. Change of Language, Change of Personality?” by François Grosjean
  3. If People Could Immigrate Anywhere, Would Poverty Be Eliminated?” by Shaun RavivRequirements

Your essay should have an original title, use 12 pt Times New Roman Font, and be double spaced. This essay will be approximately 5 pages, and any essays that do not meet the requirement will lose points. Create a properly formatted works cited page, and correctly use in-text citations.

Writing Task

Write an essay that summarizes and evaluates ONE text’s argument. Use the Brainstorming Questions to help you focus your analysis.


  • You should use ONE of the three texts listed above for this essay.
  • Carefully reading Chapters 2-4 in How Arguments Work will greatly determine your success for this essay.
  • Be sure that your essay is rooted in the text and refers back to the readings often.
  • If you have general questions about MLA format, look at Owl Purdue’s website (Links to an external site.).

Summarizing the text

Naturally, you will need to give some summary in this essay, so review Ch. 3.1-3.5 to make sure you are giving a thorough, accurate depiction of the text’s arguments. At the same time, avoid over summarizing and focus on analysis.

Brainstorm Questions

What is the main claim/argument?

  • Use the questions from Chapter 2.4 to determine the main argument:
    • What does the writer want us to believe?
    • What does the writer most want to convince us of?
    • Where is the writer going with this?
    • If the writer had to make their point in just one sentence, what would they say?
  • Is the main argument a claim of policy, fact, or value? (Ch. 2.2)

What are the argument’s reasons, counter arguments, and limits?

  • What reasons does the author give for the main claim? (Ch. 2.5)
  • What, if any, counter arguments are addressed? (Ch. 2.6)
  • Does the author respond to the counter arguments? (Ch. 2.7)
  • Does the author have any uncertainties about their claim? (Ch. 2.8)

What are the argument’s weaknesses?

  • How will you critique the author’s argument? (Ch. 4.2-4.3)
  • Does the author make any flawed assumptions? (Ch. 4.4)
  • Are there any logical fallacies? (Ch. 4.5)

Sample Analysis Essay Outline


  • The introduction should discuss the context, purpose, and audience for the text you have chosen. Give me as the reader necessary background to understand the article.
  • After you have given thorough context, give your thesis statement. An adequate thesis statement will have a clear opinion about the text’s argument. Consider the following template:
    • [TEXT] creates a [flawed/superb/mediocre/ect] depiction of [TOPIC]; thus, _____________________________.

Body Paragraph #1

This first body paragraph should give a thorough summary of the text in more detail than the introduction can hold. Provide evidence (i.e., quotes) for major points. I recommend you make a map of the text’s argument to guide your detailed summary.

Body Paragraph #2-4

You will have 2-3 body paragraphs that analyze the text’s argument and any weaknesses it has. Follow the outline below for each body paragraph.

  1. Topic sentence: each topic sentence will make a claim about the text’s argument. Begin with transition for 2nd and 3rd body paragraphs. EX: Addison uses an insufficient amount of evidence to start support her opinion; because of this, her assumptions are weakened.
  2. Provide textual evidence of strategy.
  3. Discuss and explain the textual example in relation to the strategy and claim. EX: Addison’s use of Perlstein as a counter-argument sets up her argument, but she does not spend enough time reviewing the statistics associated with her topic…
  4. Provide more textual evidence of strategy to advance the idea.
  5. Make some final connections to the thesis.


Restate the thesis statement. Remember the conclusion is your last chance of making an impact with the paper, so it is advisable that you restate the thesis in a way that brings in sophistication or digs deeper than the one in the introduction. However, DO NOT introduce any new ideas or points when writing the conclusion.