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CMST& 220: Public Speaking (Wednesday 6-8:10PM) with Bridget Sutherland: Library Activity

Library Activity: Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

For this activity, you will work in pairs to evaluate and discuss two articles with opposing views on whether the voting age be lowered to 16 years of age.

The goals of this activity are to help you learn to:

- Identify arguments presented in an opinion piece
- Evaluate how an argument is supported
- Critique the effectiveness of the argument

Before you begin:

You may already have an opinion on whether the voting age should be lowered to 16.  However, for this activity, try, as best you can, to put aside your opinion so you can thoroughly and objectively critique the article.  You want to consider the issue based on the merits and strength of the arguments presented in each article.  So, while you may not agree with the author's conclusion, you may still decide that their argument and supporting evidence is stronger and more convincing than the other one.

Get started:

Step 1. Check your Canvas class for the name of your partner for the activity.

Step 2. With your partner, decide who will read which article:  One of you will read the article in favor of lowering the voting age ("Why We Should Lower the Voting Age to 16") and the other person will read the article against lowering it ("Sweet Sixteens Are Not Yet Qualified to Vote in Elections").  You each read only one article.  Here are the articles:

Step 3. After you have read your article, answer the questions on the worksheet.  Each students should fill out their own worksheet.  The worksheet is attached below.


Step 4. Share and discuss your answers with your partner. 

Step 5. Post on the Canvas discussion board:  Which argument do you think is more convincing?  Be specific!  Be sure to provide examples to support your answer.

Step 6. Post a response to at least one other pair of students.

If you have any questions about the assignment, contact me at

Your librarian

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Meryl Geffner