Critical Evaluation Essay

Instructions: Your first essay – the critical evaluation essay – is due at the end of week three. In this essay, you will be critically evaluating a classic argument.

Choose one argument from the historic American or global works listed in the “Supplemental Readings” section of the course lessons. Decide whether this argument is successful or not. If you decide this essay is successful, discuss why. You may use the structure of the argument, the tone, and the various types of support (ethos, pathos, and logos) as proof of the argument’s success. Make sure that your thesis has an introduction that contains a hook and a thesis, body paragraphs that discuss one proof at a time (one paragraph per example), and a conclusion. If you decide that the essay is not successful, then discuss the fallacies that the argument makes. You are still required to have a strong introduction (hook and thesis), body paragraphs that discuss one fallacy at a time, and a conclusion. You may also discuss how the essay is successful with reservations. In this case, point to both the support and the fallacies you have found in the work.

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This paper should be at least 700 words, but no more than 850. The paper should be formatted correctly MLA style and written in third person (do not use the words I, me, us, we, or you).  The essay should also contain citations and a works cited list. 

Part 1

Thesis statement:  As blacks moved into the 20th Century, two great leaders debated the plight of the Negro race.   W.E.B. Du Bois’ uses pathos and logos to create a compelling argument in his “of Mr. Booker T. Washington and others” essay.


Introduction:   This essay will examine and discuss the contradictory philosophy between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.   It will also compare and contrast the leadership style of both great leaders and show how they helped shape the future for the Negro race.

Thesis statement:  W.E.B. Du Bois’ uses pathos and logos to create a compelling argument in his “of Mr. Booker T. Washington and others” essay.

Par. 2

1.            Topic sentence :  Born a slave, Booker T. Washington became an influential  leader among blacks and whites.

2.            Supporting details:  He was criticized for compromising with white southerners and failing to fight for the civil rights of the Negro people.

Par. 3

1.            Topic sentence:  W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African American to earn a Ph. D at Harvard.

2.            Supporting details:  Dr. Du Bois contributed greatly to debates about race, politics and history as the United States moved into the 20th century.


1.            Topic sentence:    Dr. Du Bois insist that in order for the Negro race to advance, the nation must give them three things; the  right to vote, civic equality and education for the youth according to their ability.

2.            Supporting details:  He called Washington’s compromise “the old attitude of adjustment and submission.”


Part 2



Logos example :  “In failing thus to state plainly and unequivocally the legitimate demands of their people, even at the cost of opposing an honored leader, the thinking classes of American Negroes would shirk a heavy responsibility,–a responsibility to themselves, a responsibility to the struggling masses, a responsibility to the darker races of men whose future depends so largely on this American experiment, but especially a responsibility to this nation,–this common Fatherland.” 

In this outtake from, “Of Mr. Washington and others,” the author tells the reader that Booker T. Washington has fundamentally failed them as a leader.  Instead of striking a compromise with white southerner, he should have demanded the equal rights for the Negro people.  Dr. Du Bois use of logos shows that his feeling toward the Atlanta Compromise is not personal, but is in the best interest of the Negro race as they move into the 20th century.   When making this argument, it works for Dr. Du Bois because he appeals to the logic and emotion of the reader.

Dr. Du Bois, although an educated man, never brings of the fact that he was the first black to earn a Ph. D at Harvard.  Nor does he use the fact the he was a professor of economics and history.  Ethos was rarely used in the writing.  Instead, he effectively uses pathos and logos to convince his audience.

Part 3

This is the first of several writing classes that I will take with AMU.  This critical evaluation essay will help me as I advance towards my bachelor’s degree in business.   It serves as a great tool for making an effective and persuasive argument.   It can also be used to show contradictory points of view.  Most of all, it give me a tool to assess my own work. 

Work Cited

Nordquist, Richard. n.d. essay. 15 January 2014.

Du Bois, W.E.B. “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others.” Grammar &

Composition. 2012. Web. 11 May 2012

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