For this assignment, you will compose two short critical essays explaining

For this assignment, you will compose two short critical essays explaining and evaluating arguments by other authors. This assignment allows you to analyze an issue from a variety of perspectives and assess arguments for or against the issue. By focusing your attention on how the original authors use evidence and reasoning to construct and support their positions, you can recognize the value of critical thinking in public discourse.

Read the two articles “Predictive Probes”, and “New Test Tells Whom a Crippling Disease Will Hit—and When” from the textbook and write two separate analytical summaries. These articles can be found in the chapter titled: Deciding to accept an argument: Compare the evidence.


This assignment has two parts.



Part 1—First Article

Write an analytical summary of the article focusing on the article’s main claims. Include the following:

·                     Identify the three ways the author uses evidence to support assertions.

·                     Identify the places where evidence is employed as well as how the author uses this evidence. Discuss evidence “as the reason” vs. “the support for the reason.” Also discuss evidence as dependent on the issue/context.

·                     Analyze how the author signals this usage through elements such as word choices, transitions, or logical connections.


Predictive Probes


by Jerry E. Bishop


Several years ago, Nancy Wexler’s mother died of Huntington’s disease, a hereditary and always-fatal affliction that strikes in midlife. Since then, Ms. Wexler, the 38-year-old president of the Hereditary Diseases Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif., has lived with the uncertainty of whether she, too, inherited the deadly gene.


That uncertainty may soon be resolved. A few months ago, scientists announced they were on the verge of completing a new test to detect the gene for Huntington’s disease (formerly called Huntington’s chorea). But deciding whether to submit herself to the test is an anguishing choice for Ms. Wexler. “If I came out lucky, taking the test would be terrific, of course,” she says. “But if I came out unlucky, well …”


Her dilemma is an extreme example of the kind thousands of Americans will face in the not-too-distant future as scientists learn how to pinpoint genes that cause or predispose a person to a future illness.


The test to detect the Huntington’s disease gene should be ready within one to two years. Researchers already have detected some of the genes that can lead to premature heart attacks and, in the near future, hope to spot those that could predispose a person to breast or colon cancer. Eventually, scientists believe they will be able to detect genes leading to diabetes, depression, schizophrenia and the premature senility called Alzheimer’s disease.



Part 2—Second Article

Write an analytical summary of the article focusing on the article’s main claims. Include the following:

·                     Identify the author’s use of the three elements: experiment, correlation, and speculation to support assertions.

·                     Analyze how the author signals the use of these elements through language. For example, word choices, transitions, or logical connections.

Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M3_A2.doc.

By Wednesday, September 18, 2013, deliver your assignment to the M3: Assignment 2 Dropbox.


New Test Tells Whom a Crippling Disease Will Hit—and When


Amy Jo Snider, a college senior, has put her career plans and romantic life on hold until she settles a gnawing question about her genetic legacy.


During her Christmas break, the Charleston, SC, student plans to be tested for a gene that causes ataxia, a disease without a cure that destroys the brain cells governing muscle control. The disorder crippled and ultimately killed her father in middle age. Because of a recent breakthrough in genetic research, the 21-year-old Miss Snider will be able to find out whether she inherited the disease, and, if so, how soon and how hard ataxia may strike her.


“I want to be tested before I start to show symptoms,” she says unflinchingly. “I’m graduating in May, and I have to start planning my life.” As agonizing as the knowledge might be, she says the uncertainty is worse. “If I’m in limbo, it’s not fair to people around me,” she says. “I can’t deal with not knowing.”





















Grading Criteria and Rubric

Assignment 2 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Article One Summary:
Summarize the article and identify three ways evidence is used to support assertions. 20
Evaluate how the author uses the evidence (i.e., as the reason, as the support for the reason, and as dependent on the context/situation). 40
Evaluate how language is used to effectively employ this use of evidence such as through word choice, transition, and logical connections. 20
Article Two Summary:
Summarize the article and identify the author’s use of the three elements (i.e., experiment, correlation, and speculation) to support his/her assertions. 40
Analyze how the author uses language to effectively employ these elements (word choice, transition, logical connections). 40
Presentation Components:

Organization (12)

Style (8)

Usage and Mechanics (12)

APA Elements (8)


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