Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can work on a Touchstone anytime, but you can’t submit it until you have completed the units Challenges. Once you’ve submitted a Touchstone, it will be graded and counted toward your final course score.
Touchstone 3.1: Construct a Rogerian Argument
ASSIGNMENT: As you learned in this unit, a Rogerian argument is one that presents two sides of a debate and argues for a solution that will satisfy both sides. Given the two articles linked below that present opposing sides of an issue (mandatory uniforms in schools vs. some kind of dress code), construct your own 2-3 page Rogerian argument essay in which you attempt to arrive at a concrete, workable solution or “middle ground.”
The essay should contain the following components:
- 1. An introduction that accurately presents both sources (i.e., author, title, year of publication, and their relative position in the debate), as well as your middle ground thesis statement.
- 2. A body paragraph that summarizes the pro-uniform rationales. (Both articles can be used, but focus on Anderson).
- 3. A body paragraph that summarizes the anti-uniform/pro-dress code rationales. (Both articles can be used, but focus on Deane).
- 4. A body paragraph that critically compares and contrasts both sides of the debate.
- 5. A conclusion that further develops your proposed middle-ground solution and demonstrates how it satisfies both sides of the debate.
In order to foster learning and growth, all work you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any plagiarized or recycled work will result in a Plagiarism Detected alert. Review for more about plagiarism and the Plagiarism Detected alert. For guidance on the use of generative AI technology, review .
A. Assignment Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: Refer to the list below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines. Refer to the Sample Touchstone for additional guidance on structure, formatting, and citation.
- Have you briefly and accurately introduced the author, title, and publication context (year, journal, etc.) of Article 1?
- Have you briefly and accurately introduced the author, title, and publication context (year, journal, etc.) of Article 2?
- Have you ended the introduction with a thesis statement/claim that presents a clear, workable solution that could be viewed as a “middle ground” between the two sides?
2. Body Paragraphs
- Have you included a summary of the pro-uniform stances in the first body paragraph (including accurate page-numbered citations)?
- Have you included a summary of the anti-uniform stances in the second body paragraph (including accurate page-numbered citations)?
- Have you included at least three direct quotations, supplementing them with your own explanation of their relevance?
- Have you adequately compared and contrasted both sides of the debate (with cited examples from the articles) in the third body paragraph?
- Does your expanded claim address both sides of the issue, including specific points raised in the articles?
- Have you backed up your claim using cited facts from both sides of the argument?
- Have you answered all reflection questions including specific and concrete examples that provide thoughtful insight in all responses?
- Are your answers included on a separate page below the main assignment?
DIRECTIONS: Below your assignment, include answers to all of the following reflection questions.
- How does the Rogerian model of argument help you better understand the topic thats being discussed? Why is it a good practice to acknowledge both sides of the argument? (3-4 sentences)
- How might the Rogerian approach help you gain insight into your own argumentative essay? (2-3 sentences)
|Needs Improvement (50%)
Summary of Positions (10 points)
Introduce the two sources and summarize each side of the argument.
|Effectively and correctly introduces both authors/articles and provides a complete, accurate, and concise summary of both positions presented in the articles (including citations) with at least three direct quotations included.
|Correctly introduces both authors/articles and provides an accurate and concise summary of both positions presented in the articles (including citations) with at least three direct quotations included.
|Provides a correct introduction of the authors/articles and a brief overview of positions (including citations), but key details of the positions may be inaccurate or missing and/or 1-2 direct quotations might be missing.
|Correctly introduces both authors/articles, but does not provide a complete or mostly-accurate summary of positions presented in the articles. A few accurate citations are still included but the direct quotations might be missing.
|Does not correctly introduce both authors/articles and/or provides a totally inaccurate summary of each position presented in the articles (including any citations).
Thesis/Claim (20 points)
Present a thesis that advocates for a solution to satisfy both sides of the argument.
|Provides a thesis in the introduction that clearly and effectively advocates for a concrete, detailed solution to satisfy both sides of the argument, and this stance is robustly developed in the concluding paragraph.
|Provides a thesis in the introduction that clearly advocates for a concrete solution to satisfy both sides of the argument, and this stance is developed further in the concluding paragraph.
|Provides a thesis; however, it is not located in the introduction OR it is not developed in a way which suggests a solution to satisfy both sides of the argument that is entirely clear or concrete.
|Provides a thesis; however, it is not located in the introduction AND/OR it is not developed in a way which suggests a solution to satisfy both sides of the argument that is entirely clear or concrete.
|No clear thesis has been presented anywhere in the essay OR it is entirely generic, repetitive, and/or vague, lacking in any concrete detail.
Organization (5 points)
Exhibit competent organization and writing techniques.
|Includes all of the required components of a Rogerian argument paper, including an engaging introduction with source summaries and a claim, body paragraphs with topic sentences, and a conclusion with a concluding statement.
|Includes all of the required components of a Rogerian argument paper, including an introduction with source summaries and a claim, body paragraphs with topic sentences, and a conclusion with a concluding statement.
|Includes nearly all of the required components of a Rogerian argument paper; however, one component is missing.
|Includes most of the required components of a Rogerian argument paper, but is lacking two components. Sequences ideas and paragraphs such that the connections between ideas (within and between paragraphs) are sometimes unclear and the reader may have difficulty following the progression of the argument.
|Lacks several or all of the components of a Rogerian argument paper. Sequences ideas and paragraphs such that the connections between ideas (within and between paragraphs) are often unclear and the reader has difficulty following the progression of the argument.
Style (5 points)
Establish a consistent, informative tone and make thoughtful stylistic choices.
|Demonstrates thoughtful and effective word choices, avoids redundancy and imprecise language, and uses a wide variety of sentence structures.
|Demonstrates effective word choices, primarily avoids redundancy and imprecise language, and uses a variety of sentence structures.
|Demonstrates generally effective style choices, but may include occasional redundancies, imprecise language, poor word choice, and/or repetitive sentence structures.
|Frequently includes poor word choices, redundancies, imprecise language, and/or repetitive sentence structures.
|Consistently demonstrates poor word choices, redundancies, imprecise language, and/or repetitive sentence structures.
Conventions (5 points)
Follow conventions for standard English.
|There are only a few, if any, negligible errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
|There are occasional minor errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
|There are some significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
|There are frequent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
|There are consistent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.
Reflection (5 points)
Reflect on progression and development throughout the course.
|Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; consistently includes specific and concrete examples that provide thoughtful insight, following or exceeding response length guidelines.
|Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; includes multiple specific and concrete examples that provide thoughtful insight, following response length guidelines.
|Primarily demonstrates thoughtful reflection, but some responses are lacking in detail or insight; primarily follows response length guidelines.
|Shows limited reflection; the majority of responses are lacking in detail or insight, with some questions left unanswered or falling short of response length guidelines.
|No reflection responses are present.
The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:
- Composition must be 2-3 pages (approximately 500-750 words).
- Double-space the composition and use one-inch margins.
- Use a readable 12-point font.
- All writing must be appropriate for an academic context.
- Composition must be original and written for this assignment.
- Use of generative chatbot artificial intelligence tools (ChatGPT, Bing Chat, Bard) in place of original writing is strictly prohibited for this assignment.
- Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
- Submission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your composition.
- Include all of the assignment components in a single file.
- Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx.
E. Additional Resources
The following resources will be helpful to you as you work on this assignment:
- This site includes a comprehensive overview of APA style, as well as individual pages with guidelines for specific citation types.
- This page on the official APA website addresses common questions related to APA formatting. The “References,” “Punctuation,” and “Grammar and Writing Style” sections will be the most useful to your work in this course.
- This page on the official APA Style website provides numerous examples of reference list formatting for various source types.
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