Steps for evaluating an argument;The Bill Cosby Rape scandal

Steps for evaluating an argument
Steps for evaluating an argument

Steps for evaluating an argument

Steps for evaluating an argument

Order Instructions:

Choose an argument that you found online (you may utilize an argument from a video posted online, a blog, a news source, a political website, or any other resource that will allow you to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the assignment). You may also select from this week’s relevant recommended resources.

Once you have selected your source, you will then evaluate the argument being presented in the source in an essay of 400 words. In your evaluation:
Identify the issue, the premises, and conclusions of the argument.
Determine whether the argument is sound or unsound (deductive), valid or invalid (deductive), or strong or weak (inductive).
Explain why you have chosen to label it as sound or unsound, valid or invalid, and/or strong or weak.

Use the “Steps for evaluating an argument” template for assistance with structuring your evaluation; however, you should construct and submit your evaluation in an essay format. Do not merely turn in a bulleted outline.

The essay must be 400 words in length, excluding title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style. For information regarding APA formatting, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course. The only required resource for this assignment is the media object or written work you analyze. This should be the piece that you primarily use to complete this assignment. Secondary sources are welcome but not necessary, and they should not be used in place of the argument piece you analyze.


The Bill Cosby Rape scandal gained national notoriety because of his name recognition.  All along Bill Cosby in additions to being a comedian, had been casted in roles where he represented a stable family and an honest hardworking dad and man who the American man could look up to.  Thus when the allegations first broke, it was a shock to most people.  The issue thus is ‘did Bill Cosby rape the women who alleged he did?’  From the evidence available, it is up to the consumer of the information to decide which side presents a strong argument.

In this argument are two sides of the story.  On one side are the women who claim to have been raped by Bill Cosby on diverse dates.  On the other hand there is Bill Cosby who claims that all this allegations are nothing but a witch hunt and have no truth in basis.  What Giles and Jones (2014) have done is to chronologically capture all the happenings that have surrounded the scandal.  They have developed a timeline that traces the scandal back from the day it broke to present – all arguments for and counter arguments against are all captured.

It has been argued by supporters of Bill Cosby and by the man himself that these allegations are nothing better than a witch hunt.

However, the women who have leveled these allegations cannot just be dismissed as noises of disgruntled women.  From the time the allegations first appeared in Jan 2005, the women keep emerging and the similarities of their stories and the details that they have demands that their allegations be investigated deeper.  Similarly, the details that they reveal are such that they cannot have been fabricated.

On his part, Bill Cosby and his supporters argue that should these allegations hold some truth, they should have emerged earlier – preferably when they happened.  Similarly, they argue that should the allegations hold value, then Bill needs to be charged in a court of law and given his day to present his side of the story.

Both sides present a compelling and valid argument. What Giles and Jones (2014) have done is offer a platform where both sided of the story may be tracked.  They have collected all arguments as presented by both sides of the argument when they were argued and presented them in a chronological order allowing a first time reader follow the story from when it broke to present.  They have made sure not to come out as being biased towards one side and have presented both arguments as they have been put forth by each side.

Both sides of the argument present strong cases that are not based on hearsay or generalization but on claims of facts that each side claims are verifiable.  The women bringing the allegations offer compelling arguments which do not have logical fallacies.  The case is the same for Bill Cosby side.  This thus offers the reader compelling arguments that they can thus use to come up with their own conclusion based on information available.  Giles and Jones (2014) thus make for a good read.  By offering both sides of the argument, they allow the reader to come to an informed conclusion.


Giles, M & Jones, N (2014)  A Timeline of the Abuse Charged Against Bill Cosby, retrieved March 3, 2015 from

Larson, A. A., Britt, M. A & Kurby, C. A (2009)  Improving Students Evaluation of Informal Arguments, Journal of Experiential Education, Vol. 77, No. 4, pp. 339-345

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