The goal of the final project for this course involves applying the material learned over the course of the semester in generating an analysis of an opinion piece. Here are the steps to follow in accomplishing this goal.
First, identify the thesis of the piece. Make sure to apply your understanding of conclusion indicator terms and premise indicator terms so that you don’t confuse the thesis with the argument for it.
Second, identify the argument for the thesis. You should be able to state the argument using no more than five premises. (If you are using more than this, you are probably confusing the argument for the thesis with a subargument for one of the premises in the main argument.) You should be able to exploit your knowledge of propositional and predicate logic to identify the main argument, and you can do this by looking for logical connectives as well as quantifiers. Make sure not to underrepresent the reasoning, leaving out claims that the author treats as central and important.
Third, analyze the argument, using the tools we have developed in this course. Can you represent the argument so that it is a valid propositional argument? If not, can you see how using the resources of predicate logic might help? If neither of these can help you find a valid argument in the piece, what additional claims would have to be added to make the argument valid?
Finally, after working with the formal structure of the argument, you may engage with the piece critically. Which premise or premises do you find questionable, and why?