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Toulmin Argument and Comedy, Love, Sex, and Romantic Relationships in Literature

Assignment Overview

The Toulmin Argument and Comedy, Love, Sex, and Romantic Relationships: Write a Toulmin argument (rebuttal not required) on one or two of the literary works in Unit 2: “Happy Endings,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” “How Do I Love Thee?“Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds,” “My Life with the Wave,” Manhattan, “Marriage,” Post-its (Notes on a Marriage), “To Celia,” “The Taxi,” You Fit Into Me,” “What We Talk about When We Talk About Love.” The focus of this assignment will be on your claim (thesis) and your critical analysis of a literary work(s), focusing that claim on a specific topic about comedy, love, sex, or romantic relationships within the literary work itself. Your specific claim and focus must be instructor pre-approved in writing. Review the online Class 10 mini-lecture on the Toulmin argument.

structure (also on page 2 of this assignment). You may also find these readings from our Literature book helpful: 19-52 “Major Stages in Thinking and Writing about Literary Topics: Discovering Ideas, Preparing to Write, Making an Initial Draft of Your Essay and Completing the Essay” 19-52; “Writing a Research Essay on Fiction” 500-502; “Writing a Research Essay on Poetry” 951-958; Writing about Realistic and Nonrealistic Drama” 1476-1477; and “Writing about 
Film” 1638-1639.

Literary Critical Analysis: Your essay should support your claim (detailed above) with your critical literary analysis of the work(s), using examples from the literature such as character, setting, symbol, tone, theme.Grammar/Mechanics Plus Style & Vocabulary: Use correct English grammar, spelling, and mechanics; usecollege-level vocabulary, employ varioussentencestructures,demonstrate a distinctive voice/style. Research/Your Critical Analysis Balance: Your critical literary analysis should be about 60%-75% your own critical thinking and in-depth analysis, and about 25%-40% outside, credible research from the OCC Library. MLA Citing & Documentation:

1. Brainstorming of essay and topic ideas: Canvas Class 10, Oct. 2-6
2. Final claim & topic: Zoom Class 13, Oct. 14
3. Toulmin outline plan & workshop: Zoom Class 15, Oct. 21
4. Toulmin plan & instructor conference: Canvas Class 16, some via Zoom, Oct. 23-27
5. Final Essay Due: Submit by October 31, 11:59 PM, in “Essay 2: Toulmin Argument Essay Submission Area” as a single Word or PDF file (no Google or Cloud attachments). Your essay may be returned if it is not adequately cited. Essays returned for citation problems may incur a late penalty; class 14 will help prevent or remedy those issues.

Research Requirements

Four to eight OCC Library sources only; contact the professor if you are having problems finding sources. If you need to use more 
sources, that is acceptable as long as you keep your research to 40% or less. Once you have met the minimum OCC Library 
requirements, you may use other instructor-approved internet sources. Honors students may use Beginning Theory, if relevant.
Research Support for Your Essay (some may be relevant, some may not be): Most important will be the expertise of professionals, in particular, literary or film critics or professors in literary journals or books. You may or may not have a need for research specifically on statistics, numbers, graphs; cause-and-effect analysis; laws, regulations, and precedents; 

Research Requirements

ethical or philosophical analysis; love, romance, comedy, sex, marriage, relationships; history, culture, or psychology.Below are the four research-type requirements you should meet; note that one source may meet more than one, that is fine as long as all four are met and you have four to eight OCC Library sources overall.

1. Book Source: Any highly credible/credible hard copy or online circulating or reference book—some articles in the OCC Library’s 
online databases, are from edited books—mostly the eBooks databases.

2. Journal Source: Any highly credible/credible print or online journal. The best sources for literature are JSTOR, MLA International 
Bibliography with Full Text, and Literature Resource Center. You may need other journals for your particular work or topic.

3. Historical Source—Any Date up to 2015: Any highly credible/credible source that provides history or information.

4. Current Source—2016 or After: Any highly credible/credible source that provides current facts or information about the issue.

Toulmin/Classic Argument Format: 

Grounds/Data: The grounds are the information/research that lead you to think about an issue and begin toform your claim. 

Claim (Thesis): The claim is the thesis of your argument. It must be an argument position that a reasonable person would disagree with or see slight differences.

Warrant: The warrant is the “because” clause that explains/defends the reason for your claim. 
Qualifier: The qualifier is the part of your argument that narrows down your claim and makes it clearer and much more specific. The qualifier may be separated from the claim but will be logically tied to it. Backing/Support: The backing is comprised of a combination of outside credible research and your own critical analysis that is supporting your claim/warrant. Rebuttal (not required for this essay): The rebuttal is comprised of two parts: (1) opposition: your fair presentation of one of the opposition’s credible points of disagreement and (2) rebuttal: your fair and respectful  acknowledgement of that point and your direct and logical rebuttal of it (not the person). For its placement, the  rebuttal section is usually located about three-fourths into the essay, and some writers place it at or near the beginning of their arguments for a sharp, confrontative introductory style. Never place the rebuttal section at the  end of your argument; always follow it with your own backing.

Using Writing Skills Garnered from English 100

If you learned composition from a rhetoric-style perspective (narration, description, examples, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, process analysis, definition, analogy, etc.) then you already know a lot about how to put the pieces of an essay or an argument together.

1. Human interest (pathos) can be provided with an example from the literary work which is a natural in literary analysis

2. Need to explain an essential term in your essay that might be interpreted differently by another reader? Try definition to clarify

(called a stipulated definition when you state and provide parameters for your own definition). Never use a Wikipedia or dictionary definition in a college essay.

3. Need more style and appeal? Use an analogy or simile for a comparison or find one or more in the literary work/works.

4. Compare and contrast is a useful analytical tool when examining two or more of anything: characters, settings, symbols, etc.

5. Cause and effect is a critical tool when analyzing a situation or behavior in the essay. You may even find psychological or scientific research on love, sex, or romance helpful.

6. Philosophical or ethical analysis may be necessary in the analyses of some works.

7. Historical, cultural, or psychological research may be helpful in some types of literary interpretations

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