Evaluation Argument Claim
Write an evaluative claim about a problem; this argument must be based on three reasons. For example, argue that something is harmful, unethical, failing, backfiring, etc. based on three reasons. Determine a set of criteria you will use to argue your claim. Your thesis statement will be tailored to establish that the topic is a problem.
- X is (harmful/unjust/another adjective) because [insert three reasons based on your evaluation criteria: A, B, and C].
Be sure your topic is specific and debatable. For example, most people would agree that violence is harmful, but not everyone would agree that the death penalty is ethical. Claiming that violence is harmful to society is not only too broad a topic, but it is also not debatable. Thus, it would not make an effective claim. It would be much more manageable to argue that California’s (or another state’s) application of the death penalty is unjust or to argue that the appeals process for inmates on death row discriminates against (or disproportionately affects) a particular group. Because you will also need to introduce and respond to an opposing view in your essay, it’s especially important that you choose a topic about which there is at least some disagreement.
Read this carefully and answer the questions given.
The assignment is fairly clear but if you have any questions, please ask. You’re just being asked to write your current evaluation claim, the research you did last week. Here are a couple of points about evaluation arguments in general.
As you know, you’re identifying a problem in your claim / outline / argument. Something is not working, not effective, unjust, not adequate, etc. It’s often helpful to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions when you’re writing about any problem like this. These are simple sounding questions but they’re actually very important.
Why is this issue important?
Who’s affected by it?
Who is harmed by this problem and who will be harmed it we (society, or a school, or a state, or another institution – your x term) don’t address it?
In other words: what happens if we don’t solve it, or attempt to solve it?
You should ask yourself these questions and maybe jot down some responses. You could incorporate your ideas into your outline, or any future argument about the subject. Also, I strongly believe that the most important questions we can ask about any social issue or problem are often the most fundamental ones.
The problems and issues you’re writing about are not simple, and they’re not easy to solve. You are being asked to describe the problem and think about why it’s important. The problem of climate change and global warming is, obviously, a massively important problem. It potential affects the whole planet and everyone who lives here or who might live here in the future. The problem of economic inequality in the US probably affects everyone in the US. (Even people who don’t have to worry about money are arguably affected by the consequences of the inequality). Addiction in the US (or the world) affects not just people who are addicted, but also their friends and families and anyone who cares about them. Smoking does not just affect the smoker, it often affects the family and it certainly puts a stress on a nation’s health care system. I could come up with countless examples.
The point I’m trying to make is that these are big problems and if they were easy to solve, they’d be solved already. So if you ask yourself why the problem you’re writing about is important, who’s affected, etc. it will give you some guidance in the writing.
Thinking about who is harmed by a problem and who would benefit from addressing the problem is fundamental to this type of critical thinking and it should help you in making any argument going forward.
Just some things to keep in mind.