Paper 2 guideline

Paper 2
Assignment Description:
The essay will consist of an evaluative essay that demonstrates your ability to comprehend
and apply all eight of Nosich’s Standards of Reasoning, discussed at length in chapter four of
Learning to Think Things Through and summarized on pages 158 – 159. Your essay should
have a clear, specific, and precise thesis, and should fully prove your thesis through careful
analysis and through specific evidence (concrete examples, quotations, paraphrases, etc.).
Your paper should be four to six pages in length, should be typed in 12 point Times New
Roman font, and should adhere to MLA formatting guidelines.
Assignment Topic:
Choose one news show to watch, analyze, and evaluate based on Nosich’s concepts of the
Standards of Reasoning. It may help to tape the show in order to watch it multiple times or
to take written notes during your viewing of the show. You may choose any type of show
that presents the “news of the day,” including shows that are known to be more liberal
(Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, for instance) or more conservative (Rush
Limbaugh on the radio or Sean Hannity on Fox News, for instance). You may also wish to
choose a local morning news show or a focused news program such as 60 Minutes. Please
try to choose a show that attempts to present itself primarily as “news” rather than
Apply the standards of reasoning in an attempt to determine how well or accurately
material is presented. Is the information clear, precise, or accurate? Do some quick research
to find out what details, perspectives, and information are NOT included or shared. How
sufficiently is the news covered? How sufficiently supported are the claims? Are topics
covered broadly and deeply? Give concrete examples and explain your responses. How
important or relevant are the news items, examples, or claims? Is there a sense of coherence
or purpose to the message? Is the presentation reasonable, logical? Are there any overt
biases present? Are there any obvious logical fallacies, disconnects, or errors in the
Although this paper topic is focused on the standards of reasoning, you will need to
integrate some of the elements into your analysis by discussing the show’s purpose,
conclusions, assumptions, information, etc. Make sure that you have a clear, focused, unified
thesis statement (stance, or argument) that clarifies your evaluation of the news show when
applying the standards to the show.
Requirements and Grading Criteria:
Each time you introduce a new standard in your paper, put that standard in bold face type.
When citing Nosich or your news show, use correct MLA documentation (see P-H Guide for
information on how to cite TV shows).
You must include all eight standards, and I will grade your paper on how thoughtfully,
sufficiently, and clearly you address each standard; how sufficiently you support your
assertions with concrete details; and on how coherently you present your ideas.
(Based on material from CRTW 201 Winthrop faculty resources)