Critical Thinking 103

English 103 Take-home essay prompt

The article is Locavore Myth…

Essay #1: Identifying and Evaluating Arguments

Toulmin Diagrams allow readers to identify parts of arguments (or analyze/break them down) so that

they can more easily and critically evaluate them, which is one of the highest forms of critical thinking.

Since these are such important components of critical thinking, you’ll be practicing these skills all

semester and will have the chance to demonstrate your proficiency in them on quizzes and the final

exam as well. This essay then will serve as a good introduction to and foundation for many of the

concepts the class will focus on.

Length requirements:

3-4 pages (at least 3 full pages)

Source requirements:

You may use the assigned article, Current Issues, and any reliable sources that

help you describe the rhetorical situation for your article.

Originality requirements:

There should be no instances of plagiarism. Your originality score through should be between 10%-20%. To achieve this percent, summarize and paraphrase sources

most often, quote when it makes sense to do so (e.g., exact words are important, you want to show that

someone actually said something, etc.), submit your essay early to check your originality score, and

revise and resubmit as needed.

Format requirements

: MLA format with a works cited page (not included in page count)—make sure

your works cited is on the final page of the electronic file you submit to Canvas

Things to Shoot for:

Accurate application of the Toulmin Diagram (i.e., accurately identifying the parts in the article)

Clear and accurate summaries, paraphrases, quotations, and mixes of quotations and

paraphrases from the article

Accurate citations for every somewhat specific idea that came from the article or another

source—there should be a lot of citations in this essay!

A reasonable evaluation of the arguments/article that is explained with reasons and support

A clear description of the rhetorical situation

An essay that is organized, clear, and edited enough to understand

The Prompt

Write a

3-4 page essay


identifies the components of the Toulmin Diagram in an assigned



evaluates how convincing the argument is

. In the


, describe the rhetorical

context of the article—tell us about the author and his/her purpose, the source or publication, the

audience, and the genre. Do not include a thesis. The

main body paragraphs

of your essay should

describe and explain the claims and reasons, grounds, warrants (at least 2 must be described and

explained), and any qualifiers or rebuttals that the author includes in the article. If the article does

not include any qualifiers or rebuttals, you should add some of your own. You may also add any

backing that’s included in the article, but you are not required to do so.

The final paragraph or two

of your essay should evaluate how convincing the argument and article is. After you evaluate the

argument and article, you may include your own opinion and why you feel that way.

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