Assignment 1: Argument Mapping
Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 1 for criteria 1-3.)
Along with other policy-analytic methods discussed earlier in this chapter (Figure 1.1), the influence diagram and decision tree are useful tools for structuring policy problems.52 The influence diagram (Figure C1.3) displays the policy, the National Maximum Speed Limit, as a rectangle. A rectangle always refers to a policy choice or decision node, which in this case is the choice between adopting and not adopting the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph. To the right and above the decision node are uncertain events, represented as ovals, which are connected to the decision node with arrows showing how the speed limit affects or is affected by them. The rectangles with shaved corners represent valued policy outcomes or objectives. The objectives are to lower fuel consumption, reduce travel time, reduce injuries, and avert traffic fatalities. To the right of the objectives is another shaved rectangle, which designates the net benefits (benefits less costs) of the four objectives. The surprising result of using the influence diagram for problem structuring is the discovery of causally relevant economic events, such as the recession and unemployment, which affect miles driven, which in turn affect all four objectives. The “root cause” appears to be the OPEC oil embargo.
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criterion 4.)
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 4 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criteria 5-7.)
1.Obtain an online or hard copy of the international affairs section of a newspaper. Identify and describe as many modes of argument as you can. Would you expect to find different modes of argument in academic journals than in newspapers? Explain.
2.Read the letters to the editor in a newspaper, magazine, or online bulletin board or blog. Find as many examples of formal and informal fallacies as you can. A variation of this exercise is to break into groups to complete the assignment.
3.Read Case 8.1 (Pros and Cons of Balkan Intervention), which is drawn from an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Use the argument-mapping procedures presented in this chapter to analyze the pros and cons (or strengths and weaknesses) of the recommendation that the United States should not intervene in the Balkans. In doing this exercise, either display the elements of argument with Microsoft Draw or use Rationale, the special computer program for mapping the structure of policy arguments.
4.Write a one-page analysis in which you assess the overall plausibility of the claim “The conflict in Bosnia is somebody else’s trouble. The United States should not intervene militarily.” Prepare an argument map and hand it in with your one-page analysis.
5.Following is an argument map in which the warrants, backings, objections, rebuttals, and qualifiers have been scrambled.57 Rearrange the elements to make a persuasive argument and counterargument. Study Case 8.2 as an example.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
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