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EDFL 3240 - Media Bias Assignment

Strong / Weak Argument

An opinion is an emotional claim without evidence - determine if your claim is an opinion or an argument.
An argument is a claim using evidence - measure the strength / weakness of the argument.

Deciding if an argument is strong or weak.

Strong Argument Traits

Weak Argument Traits

1. Uses multiple sources of evidence.

1. Uses few/limited number of evidence sources.

2. Uses different kinds of evidence:

·     personal accounts

·     images

·     statistics

·     historical facts

·     studies/research

·     Quotes from authoritative sources

·     News accounts

2. Uses one kind of evidence.

3. Fully cites or links to information sources used as evidence in order to allow the reader to see the source for yourself.

3. Doesn’t fully explain, cite or link to the original information source used as evidence in the argument.

4. Author respectfully acknowledges other points of view, but is able to explain why his/her claim is the best answer.

4. Author does not acknowledge other points of view OR is very dismissive of other points of view without explaining why his/her claim is the “best”.

5. Author doesn’t “cherry pick” or misconstrue the content in the information sources used as evidence.

5. Author “twists” or “cherry picks” information sources, changing their meaning to suit the author’s argument.

Strong Argument Example

Kansas Basketball is the most historic and prestigious college basketball program in the United States due to the number of national and conference championships they have won and the fact that the inventor of the game, James Naismith, was a coach for KU.

Some people claim the University of Kentucky is the best team, because they have won more national championships. However, the KU team has been successful in a historically tougher conference, began playing basketball five years before Kentucky and their two most famous coaches, Adolph Rupp and John Calipari, were at KU prior to being at Kentucky (Rupp as a player and Calipari as an assistant coach).

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball.

Rains, R. & Carpenter, H. (2009). James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball.

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Adolph Rupp. (2015).John Calipari The Official Website of John Calipari - About Cal.