Fillable Advanced Argument/Reading Analysis Template – Essaylink

Fillable Advanced Argument/Reading Analysis Template
Introduction: This is a fillable argumentative reading analysis worksheet, which is meant to help you access the main ideas of a reading and determine the lines of reasoning by which the author is mounting their argument.

Student Name:

Mischa Nesic

Class Date:


Reading Title:

Hsun Tzu: Encouraging Learning

Complete the assigned reading and then respond to the following:
1.            What is the author’s argument, main idea, or thesis? Respond in two-three sentences.

The author’s main argument was that learning is forever. His thesis was that throughout your life you won’t ever stop learning until you die.

2.            Explain the author’s line of reasoning. First, identify all broad claims the author uses to build their argument. Respond in three-five sentences.

One of the broad claims that the author uses to build their argument was, “learning should never cease.” Another claim he makes was that you shouldn’t learn for others, only yourself. The author emphasizes on why learning rituals are important, and that the ones who choose to learn with rituals obtain more knowledge and are more prosperous.

3.            Identify and explain all relevant, specific evidence she used to support each of these claims. You can label these claims if you wish (Claim 1, Claim 2, Claim 3, etc.) Respond in five-seven sentences. 

For the first claim, we see this supported as the author states ideas like, “learning should never cease” as well as the example of blue coming from the indigo plant, however blue is, “bluer than the plant itself.” Now the author’s second main claim is about how one should learn for themselves and not the perception of others, using the example of the gentleman who knows he himself has knowledge, even if others may perceive him as a fool. Now the authors third claim about the importance of ritual is supported by how the author claims that ritual is the bridge between the heavens and the Earth, further stressing its importance.

4.            Is the evidence reliable and relevant to the argument? Explain your reasoning in three-five sentences.

I believe that the evidence presented by the author is relevant to the claim, because he constantly backs up how we are always bettering and improvising on old ideas, for example using the indigo and Blue situation. The author also establishes evidence relevance by using examples of powerful figures like his mention of rituals and kings, as well as highlights important documents from the time. The author also consistently relates his claims and evidence back to his central claim, about perpetual learning.

5.            Is the evidence sufficient to support the argument? Explain your reasoning in three-five sentences.

I do think that there is sufficient evidence to support the author’s argument. I think this because the author uses many difficult assets in his evidence to support the argument. He utilizes historical examples with kings, relating their status to knowledge of rituals. The author also utilizes metaphor and historical examples to support his argument, adding some credibility.

6.            Is the argument convincing? Respond in one-two sentences, explaining your evaluation.

I do not think that the argument is convincing. I believe when this article was written it was probably looked upon as convincing, however I think that today, it is not considered convincing because of vast societal differences now vs. when the author wrote this.

7.            What could the author have done to strengthen their argument? Be specific and explain why you think this. Respond in three-five sentences.

I think that using more texts would’ve helped strengthen the author’s argument. Using only two to three major texts makes the argument lack depth. I think that the author’s use of metaphor was a little excessive and he relies on his figurative language as being concrete.

8.            What questions do you have, completing the assigned reading? You must have at least one specific, relevant question.

Considering how the author barely uses direct quotations, how the Odes and the Documents really support the author’s claim.


9.            What is your overall reaction to the assigned reading? How did it make you think about social, political, interpersonal, or moral dilemmas in a different way? Respond in three-five complete sentences.

I think that this reading assignment was interesting as it was somewhat relevant to today. Some of the arguments the author had made about learning and one’s self-satisfaction can apply to today’s learning. However, a few of the author’s claims weren’t similar because of the societal differences we have today. The author’s interpretation on using knowledge to better one’s self rather than to increase status was interesting. I find this interesting because the author can have the reader examine their own thoughts or feelings on knowledge.



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