DUE DATES: ________________________

PURPOSE: This assignment allows us to continue working on close reading, critical analysis, and claim building. We are now working on what it means to build a counterclaim. This assignment is intended to aid our further exploration of the themes of gender and language, while also expanding into other important subsets of identity that include ideology.

PROMPT: Your topic for this paper is the controversial issue of abortion framed through two recent events: the Women’s March and the March for Life. Pretend you are either Linda Sarsour or Kristan Hawkins (or another major figure representing the two marches), and you have just read the other person’s article. Respond to the author of that article by writing a letter that a) articulates the author’s main claim (including acknowledging any fallacies they commit in their or their movement’s argument) b) presents your counterclaim to that claim (including addressing any fallacies present in the original claim, its subclaims, or its evidence). Be sure that, in your argument, you are aware of your own values and beliefs, and avoid committing fallacies in your effort to argue your claims.

Be sure to use at least one of the following:

  1. effectively use Aristotle’s three appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) to articulate your stance in a powerful way

  2. thoughtfully implement Toulmin’s framework (claims, qualifiers, warrants, reasons, evidence) to analyze their position/stance as well as your own

  3. recognize/acknowledge ethical, emotional, and logical fallacies in their argument and avoid them in your own


Again, you do not need to use all three of the above in your paper. However, whichever one(s) you use, capitalize on it and maximize its effectiveness. If attaching a Writer’s Memo, explain why you focus on the rhetorical strategies that you used.


GUIDING QUESTIONS: Consider these questions as you write your letter:

  • What are the main issues at hand? Which one will your paper focus on? What are the stakes involved?

  • What is the other person’s or the movement’s argument (implicit or explicit) in the article?

  • How might you thoroughly and accurately present the other side’s position? In other words, how can you avoid erecting caricatures or reinforcing stereotypes in your paper?

  • What can you add to the ongoing conversation surrounding the inclusivity of either/both marches, the entity of Planned Parenthood, the topics of women’s reproductive rights, fetal rights, etc.?

  • What specific fallacies, if any, do their arguments contain? How might you address these in your paper?

  • What personal values and beliefs does the author seem to have that are animating their arguments? Are these values and beliefs explicitly stated or merely assumed?

  • What personal values and beliefs do you have that are animating your reaction to their particular stance?

  • Have I reviewed the targeted outcome(s) for this paper? Do I have prior experience completing similar literacy tasks? What is my plan for demonstrating the outcome(s) through my writing?

  • What feedback did I receive for the previous paper that is relevant for and applicable to this paper?

  • What questions and concerns can I bring up to my Instructor and/or classmates to help me complete this paper?


LOGISTICS: Follow these guidelines to earn a “Complete” and receive written feedback. “Incomplete” papers will not receive written feedback and cannot be among the papers you revise for your Portfolio.

  • Your rhetorical situation: You are writing a letter to one of the authors on the web

  • Your heading should be single-spaced and include: Student’s Name, Instructor’s Name, Course Name/ Assignment Name, Date assignment is due

  • Your paper should: a) follow the textual conventions of a letter (heading (standard class heading), greeting, body, closing, signature, postscript) b) be 2-3 full pages c) use 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman

  • Your paper should use MLA for in-text citations and your Works Cited page

  • Save your file using the following naming convention (no spaces):



  • Submit your paper by 1) uploading your document as a .doc or .docx file on Canvas using the naming convention above and 2) copy/pasting your paper on your Shared Google Doc

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