Respond Question Series
Social Causes of Teen Violence
Complete the following questions for our selected reading, offering full responses to these questions. (You can copy and paste these questions into your word processor and type your responses and print them out, or you can hand-write your responses on separate paper.)
1. What does the author identify as the social cause of teen violence?
(Further explanation: The author might offer one, two, or more social causes for teen violence: poor parenting, or poor parenting and social class, for instance.)
2. What sub-claims (reasons) does the author offer in support of his or her main claim (your response to #1)? Create a working thesis statement for the author's argument.
(Further explanation: A working thesis statement lists the author's main claim and sub-claims (reasons) as a "because statement." For instance, after reading the essay, you might discover that the author's working thesis claim might read: "Poor parenting causes teen violence because studies show parents are the main influence over their children's behavior, parents often keep guns unlocked in the home, and those kids who have killed classmates had parents who weren't involved in their lives." You may locate a "because statement" in the essays you're reading, but it's more likely that you'll have to assemble it yourself after reading the author's argument.)
3. Identify one piece of evidence that you found persuasive and one piece that didn't persuade you and explain why.
4. Look under the essay title and note the original audience for the essay. How effective is the author in using audience-based reasoning, of tailoring the argument to his or her readers? Offer one example to support your response.
5. How might you refute the author's argument?
(Further explanation: Consider the main claim, the sub-claims (reasons), the warrant (underlying assumptions, beliefs and values of the main claim), and the evidence presented: How could you play "devil's advocate" and refute one or more of these areas of the argument?)
Return to ENGL 200 (Spring 2002)