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Writing Workshop: Evaluating Sources That Support a Claim

An essay that effectively compares two editorials must include
a description of why the author chose each editorial.
In a compare-and-contrast essay, a strong argument must
provide support in the form of details and relevant facts.
An argument based on logic and reason rather than emotion and personal opinion is best described as
objective.
Read the paragraph.

I have been a nurse for twenty years. In that time, I have seen a great number of patients suffer because they did not have health insurance. One of the worst cases was a young mother of two who was diagnosed with early stage skin cancer. Because she could not afford treatment, the cancer spread from her skin to other parts of her body. By the time I saw her for the first time, the cancer had reached her brain and she could no longer be helped. This sort of thing should not happen to anyone. A strong universal health care system could prevent instances like this from occurring.

What makes this appeal from the paragraph convincing?

I have been a nurse for twenty years.

It shows the writer’s credibility
The thesis statement of a strong compare-and-contrast essay should combine
the topic with the writer’s viewpoint.
Which best describes the claim of a compare-and-contrast essay?
an umbrella statement that establishes the parts of the argument
An effective thesis statement establishes the focus of a compare-and-contrast essay by
orienting and engaging the audience as well as setting the tone for the piece.
As you read a potential source for a compare-and-contrast paragraph, you should first assess
its argument’s claims, reasons, and evidence.
The last step before writing a compare-and-contrast essay is
creating an outline.
Look at the outline for a compare-and-contrast essay of two editorials.

1. Introduction
A. __________

2. Editorial one
A. Evaluate the argument

3. Editorial two
A. Evaluate the argument

3. Compare and contrast
A. Which is more effective?

5. Conclusion

Which best fills in the blank in the outline?

Thesis statement
The outline for a strong compare-and-contrast essay must include
an evaluation of each editorial’s argument.
Look at the outline for a compare-and-contrast paragraph of two editorials.

1. Introduction
A. Thesis

2. Editorial one
A. Evaluate the argument

3. Editorial two
A. Evaluate the argument

3. Compare and contrast
A. Which is more effective?

5. __________

Which best fills the blank in the outline?

Conclusion
Read the paragraph.

I have been a nurse for twenty years. In that time, I have seen a great number of patients suffer because they did not have health insurance. One of the worst cases was a young mother of two who was diagnosed with early stage skin cancer. Because she could not afford treatment, the cancer spread from her skin to other parts of her body. By the time I saw her for the first time, the cancer had reached her brain and she could no longer be helped. This sort of thing should not happen to anyone. A strong universal health care system could prevent instances like this from occurring.

What makes this appeal from the paragraph convincing?

One of the worst cases was a young mother of two who was diagnosed with early stage skin cancer.

It uses a specific example as evidence.
The thesis statement of a strong compare-and-contrast essay should combine
the topic with the writer’s viewpoint.
Which is a common and effective structure for an essay that compares two editorials?
evaluating one editorial’s argument and then the other’s argument
Read the paragraph.

I have been a nurse for twenty years. In that time, I have seen a great number of patients suffer because they did not have health insurance. One of the worst cases was a young mother of two who was diagnosed with early stage skin cancer. Because she could not afford treatment, the cancer spread from her skin to other parts of her body. By the time I saw her for the first time, the cancer had reached her brain and she could no longer be helped. This sort of thing should not happen to anyone. A strong universal health care system could prevent instances like this from occurring.

Which rhetorical appeal is used in the text, “I have been a nurse for over twenty years”?

ethos, an appeal based on the author’s character