Theory Analysis Assignment

In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined that Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who shot and killed President Kennedy. However, the committee also concluded that even though Oswald was the shooter, he conspired with others to kill the president. The committee then went on to assert that it did not believe that some groups/countries (e.g. Mafia, Cuba, Soviets, FBI/CIA/Secret Service, anti-Castroites) were involved in the conspiracy. According to the committee, while some groups were probably not involved, individuals in various groups may have been involved—particularly with regards to the Mafia and anti-Castro Cuban groups.

For whatever reason, the findings of the HSCA did not quell the suspicions regarding the conspiracy.

There are a number of different conspiracy theories out there with regards to the JFK Assassination. Here are a few of the major ones:

• The Shadow Government Theory
• The Vietnam Theory
• Friendly Fire Theory
• Cuban Exiles Theory
• The Castro Theory
• The FBI Theory
• The KGB Theory (a.k.a. the Soviet Theory)
• The LBJ Theory (a.k.a. the Texas Oilmen Theory)
• The Mafia Connection (a.k.a. the Mob Theory)
• The CIA Theory
• The Lone Assassin Theory

In addition, there are a number of different theories with regards to the various pieces of evidence from the actual crime scene:
• Acoustic Evidence
• Zapruder Film
• The Single/Magic Bullet
• Officer Tippit
• The Security Detail
• The Motorcade Route
• The Witnesses

For this assignment, you are to pick one from either set of theories and analyze the various parts of that particular theory to determine whether or not it is an effective theory. An Argument Analysis worksheet has been provided to assist your critical thinking process.

You are writing a persuasive paper of at least 700-900 words in which you describe a particular theory, outline the arguments for and against that theory, and evaluate the claims as well as method of construction and support for that theory. The assignment objective is to give you practice critiquing other writers' arguments so that you will be prepared to develop your own.

The paper should include at least four (4) sources on the theory of choice. It should be 700-900 words, typed, double spaced with 12 pt Times New Roman font. Both your works cited and in-text citations should be in MLA format.

Due Dates:
First Draft:
Rough Draft Workshop:
Final Draft:
Analysis Worksheet
Use this analysis worksheet as you work on analyzing an argument or a theory.

What is the theory in question? Who are the major players involved?
As a whole is the theory effective/ineffective? (your thesis)

How is the theory structured/organized? (Placement and content of proposition, arguments, counterarguments, refutation)
Is this strategy effective, considering intended audience? Why or why not?

Are all parts of the theory addressed?
Is sufficient background information provided for audience to understand the theory? Abstract terms defined?
Are all possible argument/counterarguments addressed? What is overlooked?
Are all counterarguments adequately refuted? Which are not and why not?
Are all points well supported (adequate and specific examples and relevant facts and figures and qualified authorities rather than author's opinion only)? Which are not? Why not?
Do the authors of these theories establish their credibility? How?
Are examples/evidence cited appropriate for intended audience? Why/why not?

Are introductions and conclusions effective? Why or why not? How could they have been improved?
Are sentence structure/word choice appropriate for intended audience? Why or why not?