Responding to an Editorial

Responding to an Editorial

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This semester, we’ve practiced several rhetorical modes: informative (Essay 1), narrative (Speech 1), and persuasive (Speech 2). For your final project, you’ll adapt this set of skills for a new rhetorical mode by writing an argumentative essay. An argumentative essay requires you to join a conversation by responding to other writers. You’ll summarize what has been written by other people and then supply your own information by either agreeing with, disagreeing with, or qualifying their claims. An argumentative essay is a sort of “debate on paper”: you need to accurately describe what has already been said, and then explain why your position is the most logical response to the issue at hand. It will require research as well as persuasive appeals to make your case as convincing as possible.

For this assignment, you’ll respond to an editorial from the University of Iowa’s newspaper, the Daily Iowan. Begin here: HYPERLINK “” From the drop-down menu on the right, choose a year between 2010-2015. Then, choose a month and a day from the next screen. This process will take you to a digital copy of that day’s issue. The editorial is usually on page 4, and is always clearly labeled. Look at several editorials in order to choose one that interests you.

Your paper should include the following:

A summary of the editorial’s position on the issue at hand. Make sure to accurately portray their position, including the evidence that they provide to support it.

Your position in relation to the claims that the editorial put forward. Do you agree? If so, what additional information can you provide to supplement what has already been said? Do you disagree? If so, how will you defend your position? Do you agree, but only partially? If so, what specific aspects about their argument do you agree with, and what do you disagree with? Use chapter 4 of They Say I Say for examples about how to frame these responses.

Evidence that provides support for your claims. After you’ve summarized the conversation and declared your position, cite outside sources in order to present the most compelling case for your argument.

Essays should incorporate material from 3 or more recent, credible sources. Sources must be appropriately documented in MLA format, with in-text citations and a “Works Cited” page.

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