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MTH Assignments Playbook

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Assignment: Argument Evaluation

For this assignment, you will find and read 3-5 articles addressing multiple perspectives on the topic of government response to disasters over the years. You will then select the argument you consider the best.

You will post your response to a discussion board. Your response must address the following questions:

  • What evidence do the writers use for their claims?
  • Do you agree with the claims?
  • What do you think might have been the reasons the government responded differently to some disasters than to others?

You will cite sources using the APA citation style.

Find Articles Using EBSCO

  • The EBSCO portal allows you to search multiple databases at the same time. These databases cover a wide range of subjects, including history, communications, sociology, religion, biology etc.  See a tutorial on how to search EBSCO.
  • Use Boolean AND to connect words and run more targeted searches.  To run a Boolean AND search, simply place the word AND (in capitals) between two other words.
  • To begin your search, use general keywords such as
    • government AND response AND natural disasters
    • government AND natural disasters
    • natural disasters AND government policy
    • federal government AND natural disasters AND crisis management
    • natural disasters AND government AND management
  • You can also focus on specific disaster types or specific disasters:
    • hurricane Katrina AND government AND management
    • government AND response AND California AND wildfires
    • government AND response AND power AND outages
  • Your results will be from periodicals, academic journals, and news sources. 
  • These results can be available in full text (this means the whole article is available), or you may only see an abstract (summary).  If you see an article you like and it is not available in full text, request the article by filling out this form. The library will attempt to obtain the article from another library.

Evaluating the Evidence

  • Your task for this assignment is to evaluate the validity of the arguments presented in the sources, and to decide which argument is the best in terms of logical sense, development, evidence, etc. To evaluate an argument, you will follow these three steps:
  • Step 1 -- analyze the argument and its parts
    • Identify the point the author is trying to make (the claim)
    • Identify the specific facts the author gives to support the claim, and
    • Explain how the evidence relates to the claim.
  • Step 2 -- evaluate the argument by answering the following questions:
    • Is the argument sufficient?
    • Is the argument relevant?
    • Is the argument representative?
  • Step 3 -- Provide an explanation (reasons) for your answers.

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