Agonism in the Academy: Surviving the Argument Culture by Deborah Tannen
Begin: Identify what the author is doing, how article is constructed, what the author’s purpose is and how the author connects to audience (rhetorical précis).
Define: “agonism” – the dictionary (denotation) and in context to Tannen’s article. What connotations may be in play? How does this position the argument Tannenmakes?
Consider these terms and identify them within the text: claim (the arguable assertion); reasons/support (evidence and information given to support claim); problem/solution; common ground; appeals – ethos, pathos, logos; rhetorical strategies – narration, description, cause/effect, rhetorical questioning, compare/contrast, definition, listing, etc.
Your writing task:
In a three to five page essay (MLA format) analyzeTannen’sargument. In your paper, make clear the development of her argument, how she appeals to the audience and uses strategies to gain a certain result, aka, persuade her readers (consider is this a pragmatic or conceptual call for change … or both).
Successful papers will:
• Describe for a reader unfamiliar with this text Tannen’s argument, showing how she asserts thatthe “battle metaphor” promotes an “atmosphere of animosity” andwhat her central claim is;
• Show both what is the “problem” (rhetorical situation) and how she thinks academia can address this;
• Explain how Tannenappeals to the readers in order to persuade them;
• Explore the effectiveness of the argument and overall purpose;
• Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the next;
• Be thoroughly edited so that sentences are readable and appropriate for an academic audience.
Learning Outcomes addressed in this assignment encourages Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4
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