Major Assignment #1


Evaluation Criteria
Due Dates


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In successfully completing this evaluation assignment, you will be able to:

  • Make a claim and argue it effectively, using the elements of the Toulmin strategy.
  • Communicate clearly the basis, reasoning, and support for the claim in writing.
  • Plan, organize, draft, and revise a paper.

In this paper, you will write an evaluation that makes and defends a claim.
For the purposes of this assignment, choose one of the following three frameworks for the basis of your argument:

  • Evaluate the best X you’ve ever seen/heard/done/experienced/etc.
  • Despite popular opinion, X isn’t that bad.
  • X is better than/worse than Y

Note: Since the above statements are just frameworks, you shouldn’t use just plug in words and use one of them as your claim. They’re just starting points designed to help you form your own argument.

You may write on any of the following topics:

  • Movies
  • Books
  • Music
  • Art
  • Cars
  • Sports
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Vacation Spots
  • Technology
  • Purdue

Assignment Requirements:

  • A specific claim
  • An explanation or defense of the criteria
  • An examination of the claim in terms of the stated criteria
  • Evidence for every part of the argument
  • Consideration of alternative views and counterarguments


  • Font must be 12 pt. and one of the following: Times New Roman, Arial, Palatino, or Garamond.
  • Margins must 1 inch all the way around (headers are ½ inch)
  • All material from outside sources (direct quotations, paraphrases, etc.) MUST be cited properly using MLA guidelines. Remember that if you don’t credit the original source, you have committed plagiarism.
  • The paper should be no less than 800 words and no more than 1000 (Going over the maximum I have set does not impress me!)

Evaluation Criteria
The assignment’s point value (out of a maximum of 250 points) will be based on how successfully you meet the previously mentioned essay requirements. Papers that meet these requirements will demonstrate:

  • Effective incorporation of the Toulmin elements of argument as a foundation and guide for the evaluation
  • A clear and specific statement of claim
  • A clear statement and explanation the criteria that is the basis for the evaluation
  • Support that is well-reasoned and includes sufficient development (backing, evidence, logic, etc.)
  • Clear connections of each support to the claim
  • Logical structure and organization of ideas
  • Appropriate identification and approach to the evaluation’s specific audience

Due Dates and Point Values:

Adapted from M.W. Zoetewey

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