Homework Assignment: Analyzing Inductive Arguments

Homework Assignment 1 requires you to answer a series of questions about two polls of your choosing, one of which you consider a well-conducted and reliable poll (strong), the other of which you consider a badly conducted or otherwise unreliable poll (weak). Answer all questions completely. You must answer the questions in essay form, providing an ARGUMENT for why your “strong” poll should be considered strong, and why your “weak” poll should be considered weak. The polls do NOT need to be about the same topic. Read the rest of the assignment instructions below for more information about this assignment. 1) What is the property in question (what question is asked of the sample population)? 2)What is the sample size, and is the sample size large enough to avoid hastiness? 3) From where was the sample population taken (what types of people are included in the sample)? 4) What was the methodology in selecting the sample? Was it randomly selected? If so, explain the precise method of random selection (Do not simply say “telephone survey.” Do not simply say “randomly selected telephone survey. Be specific! Do not say “the survey did not say how the sample was selected.” Choose a survey from a polling organization that does reveal the method of selecting the sample, or do research on the survey or polling organization by going to their web site. You must have a precise and detailed answer to this question! See the sample assignment submission PDF for an example of how this question can be answered relatively successfully.) Or was the sample selected in some other way, i.e. self-selection? 5) Were there any opportunities for bias (as defined in Module 4- “biased generalizations”) to creep into the sample? Explain. 6) What is the target population? 7) On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being very weak, 10 being very strong), what numerical value would you assign to the poll? Briefly explain your answer. 8) Provide a Works Cited area at the bottom of your essay, in MLA format, to indicate where you got the surveys, and any other information pertaining to the surveys. You must also cite your sources in the text of your essay, in MLA format.

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