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Assignment 1: Discussion—Prescriptive and Descriptive Arguments

Descriptions “describe”—they depict the “what is” of a statement. Prescriptions “prescribe”—they express the “what ought to be” of a statement. When approaching controversial or emotionally charged subjects, critical thinkers are mindful of the different roles that facts and values play in people’s judgments and the different roles they play in different kinds of judgments. This assignment will help deepen your understanding of those distinctions.

To see how an issue can be approached using a descriptive or prescriptive argument, review  these examples. Descriptive and prescriptive arguments are considered in the lecture pages for  Module 3.

Based on your understanding of descriptive and prescriptive arguments, respond to the following:

  • Identify a topic of interest for which arguments of different perspectives can be created.
  • Construct one original descriptive argument and one original prescriptive argument for the topic you select.

Support your arguments with scholarly references. Be sure to provide citations for your sources as well as citations for a premise you state to be a fact.

Write your initial response in a total of 200–300 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

By  Saturday, December 3, 2016, post your response to the appropriate  Discussion Area. Through  Wednesday, December 7, 2016, review at least two peers’ responses. Each response should be at least 75 words in length. Critically comment on how they have used evidence in different types of arguments. Be sure to address the following:

  • Identify the supporting evidence for their arguments.
  • Offer an assessment of the strength of the evidence provided in support of the argument. Include a rationale for your statements. You may offer a suggestion for improved supporting evidence.

Grading Criteria and Rubric

Assignment 1 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Initial Discussion Response 16
Discussion Participation 16
Writing Craftsmanship and Ethical Scholarship 8
Total: 40

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