Introduction You have learned a lot about written argumentation techniques in the chapters we have covered from Cooper and Patton (Chapters 3+4), and have studied one of the most well-known postmodern comedies in theatre, Arcadia. But, how can we connect drama to formal argumentation and critical thinking? In an odd meta twist, you will see that not only is a work of literature, such as a play, an exercise in logic, but your own essay, in proving your point with logic and reason, also demonstrates a prevalent theme in Arcadia: the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge. Because good writing of any genre is inherently logical.
Prompt You will identify what you believe to be the one most important theme in Arcadia. In the first half of your essay, you will demonstrate that this theme exists, and in the second half of your essay, you will argue why you think this theme is the keystone to Stoppards theatrical argument. In other words, you are not writing about what theme is the most valuable to you personally, but rather which theme you think Stoppard values most based on your reading of the play. As with any academic essay, you will sustain your argument with evidence from throughout Arcadia in order to drive your points home, and you will take into consideration an opposing point of view to lend your argument fairness and objectivity.
Minimum requirements Submit an outline of your argument in standard form (p. 53) Upload a rough draft of 3 full pages and then participate in peer review workshops o Identify and highlight what you believe to be the thesis, premises, counterarguments, refutations, and concessions in another peers rough draft, followed by an end note evaluating his/her work. Give readers a clear, specific thesis that states your position
Must include a counterargument paragraph (with concession and refutation, see pgs. 79-83) Must be at least 4-6 full pages, 1 margins, double-spaced in MLA Format, works cited Free of grammatical/mechanical errors A successful essay will Ensure that the argument is logically sequenced and coherent (see ch. 4) Contain two effective summaries (see ch. 3) one in the introduction briefly summarizing Arcadia, and one in the conclusion summarizing your main arguments (i.e. your essay). Be comprised of TEA/PIE paragraphs (topic-evidence-analysis/point-information-explanation) Have clearly identifiable elements of written argument (p. 85) Find numerous examples from both acts of the play to substantiate your POV Correctly use joining words to help establish your stance (p. 83) Have a reasonable counterargument that implements empathy (see Rogerian strategy, p. 81)
Readings and resources Tom Stoppard, Arcadia Our Really Exciting Textbook (AKA Writing Logically, Thinking Critically) Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting Guide
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