Writing a Response to an Argument
For this task, you must read a “modest proposal” related to the “potential for educational,
political, or ideological influence of the media” (Language A1 Guidelines). You should
annotate and analyze the rhetorical devices and techniques used to persuade the audience.
As you analyze persuasive techniques, you should also note any fallacies and/or
doublespeak present in the piece.
THEN, you will write a response related to the piece you read. Your response may take
any form you would like: letter, opinion/editorial, article, blog, etc. You should select
the mode of communication and format that best fits your subject, response, purpose, and
audience. You may agree with, support, and reinforce the opinions presented in the
piece, or you may choose to attack, refute, and negate the opinions. Providing you
remain focused on “an awareness of the potential for educational, political, or ideological
influence of the media,” you may select this piece to revise for your Written Task.
As pre IB requirements, your written piece must be between 800-1000 words. You must
also have a 200-300 word rationale. This rationale should explain your selection of the
piece you read as well as the style and register of your response. Please include a word
count for BOTH items. Please staple your paper on top of your rationale.
Things to keep in mind as you write your response:
Your written work should reference the article (“proposal”) you read for the
assignment; if necessary you should also work in a brief summary of the author’s
opinion and the presentation thereof. It should also include the author’s name,
title of article/proposal, and media source.
Responses should also include details and perhaps quotes from the text to which
you are responding/reacting. Help your reader understand your reaction to the
opinions presented in the proposal.
Be sure to use effective organization for the media form you have selected for
your response. You may create a blog response, a “proposal” in response to the
one you have read to be published in a print or online magazine or journal, a letter
to the editor of the source of information, a speech that acts as support or rebuttal.
Carefully choose your tone to either emulate that of the original proposal, or to
most effectively communicate your opinions regarding the subject matter itself as
well as the writer’s treatment of it. Although we have studied satire recently and
the “proposal” you read was probably satiric as well, you need not employ satire
as your method of argumentation.
Watch for fallacies, both in the proposal you read and in your own work. If you
choose to use them intentionally in your own work for stylistic effect, please
address that in your rationale.
At the bottom of the page, give “Sources Cited” information. Be sure you have
the FULL source citation. Include author’s name, title of piece, and where it was
published, with dates and page numbers, and website URLs. Remember, exact
punctuation and order matters.