For this assignment, students choose two poems from a given list and pit them against each other, arguing that one ranks over the other due to its superior literary merit. This requires the students to brainstorm, evaluate, and decide on criteria for what it means to be merit-worthy, to articulate their criteria clearly, and to gather evidence to defend a position. The assignment concludes in an outline, which asks students to provide a thesis, topic sentences, cited evidence, and a "so what" closing statement. One fun variation of this activity involves assigning two students to the same two poems and having them argue against one another. A rubric is included.