English 5 – BCC
Major Assignment #2:
Analysis of Trump and Clinton’s Economic Arguments
We’ve been exploring the arguments of the two major presidential candidates about how they would work to address the needs of the American economy. This is a central issue that is being debated as a result of the challenges posed by Great Recession, the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the growth of libertarian and protectionist economic agendas.
In order to think critically about these significant economic issues, we have to analyze the arguments put forward by the mainstream candidates and identify how they construct their arguments, and how effective they are at addressing the American people’s economic concerns.
Use the following concepts that we’ve been exploring in our discussion forum:
● classical argument structure
● classical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos)
● main claim and supporting reasons
Using these concepts, analyze the debate between Clinton and Trump about how to address the needs of the American economy. Please choose two or three central themes and explore how the candidates address these themes.
I will be assessing you on the extent to which you do the following:
● Accurately and thoughtfully summarize the arguments of each candidate on each economic theme you choose, namely their main claims and supporting reasons.
● Accurately and thoughtfully examine the way in which they make their arguments – namely, the identification of classical argument structure and classical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos.)
● Thoughtfully reflect on what you find effective or ineffective about each candidate’s arguments.
● Thoughtfully reflect on your own position on the economic themes you’ve chosen.
Please use at least 6 pieces of textual evidence in your analysis. This means that for each theme you pick, you should use between 1-2 pieces of textual evidence from each candidate, for each theme.
Your direct readers for this argument analysis will be your peers. This means that you don’t have to define the concepts of ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos because at this point we should all be familiar with them. What we need, as your audience, is to see your use of these concepts as tools to interpret and analyze the debate between Clinton and Trump on the pressing issues and needs of the economy.
You might format your paper in the following way:
● Introduction – 1-3 paragraphs
○ Background Information
○ Thesis (your thesis might be something like, “Clinton and Trump both focus on the economic themes of trade agreements, tax policy, and job development and use a variety of appeals in order to convince the American public that their claims and reasons are the most legitimate way to address the needs of the economy.) Notice that this example thesis highlights the three themes and gives an indication that the appeals that they use will be under examination.
● Presentation of Arguments – 2-3 body paragraphs for **each theme**
○ For each theme, summarize the main claim and supporting reasons that one of the candidate proposes in order to address that theme (for example, Trump argues that trade deals are job killers, and provides a variety of reasons why this is. His main claim is that trade deals should be abolished or radically renegotiated, and he provides a variety of reasons why this is so.) This could be 1-2 paragraphs. Use textual evidence.
○ After summarizing the main claim and reasons, explore the candidate’s use of classical appeals in order to win over their audience. (For example, Trump describes the effects of deindustrialization that he argues has occurred as a result of trade deals in a way that appeals to his audience’s concern for working class cities [pathos]) This could be 1-2 paragraphs. Use textual evidence.
○ Repeat this for each of the two candidates, for each of the themes you explore.
● Reflection on Effectiveness of Arguments – 2-3 paragraphs
○ Please reflect on which arguments you found most effective, and why. Specifically focus on the structure of each person’s argument, their use of classical appeals, and their main claims and supporting reasons. Please feel free to agree/disagree partially with both candidates. This is also a good place to bring in the arguments of third party candidates if you would like to, as well as reflecting on your own arguments related to the themes that you identified above.
This will be a major part of your grade for this paper. You will receive full credit for this assignment as long as the draft is complete, with a good-faith effort at completing the writing task listed above.
please comment on the two people’s Argument Analyses, providing them feedback on the extent to which their analysis of the argument is complete. If you feel that they are missing a key aspect of the debate, please let them know. If you feel that they haven’t considered how the authors have used classical appeals, or identified the features of classical argument structure, then please let them know.
Please review the comments left to you by your peers and by me. Use these comments as a guide to revise your paper so that your analysis of the argument is as thorough as possible. Please also consider the posts that you gave comments to and consider how you can revise your paper using the insights of your classmates.
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