Week 11: Monday, November 4th - Friday, November 8th
Note: The beginning of Portfolio 3 marks a new
stage in your lesson planning. If you have not done so already, you should
begin creating your own activities to accomplish the course goals. To support
your efforts to accomplish this, we have provided more detailed discussion of
teaching goals and have introduced a new section entitled “Resources.” If you
have any questions about developing your lesson plans, please see Mike, Steve, Kate,
Sarah, Kerri, Sue, Paul, or Liz.
Goals for this week:
Create a transition between the second
and third portfolios. Note: Consider asking students to complete
a WTL/postscript before you collect the portfolios.
Review the Writing Situation Model (see
Resources, below) and introduce the “Great Circle of Writing” model (see
Introduce Portfolio 3 and the Context
and Audience Analysis Report.
Review techniques for Writing Arguments
(consider assigning pages 442 - 443 in the PHG and the Argument writing guide on Writing@CSU.
Brainstorm arguments, claims, readers
and contexts for Portfolio 3 (see Resources, below).
Review types of claims on pages 444 -
448 in the PHG. To accomplish
this, introduce different types of claims from the reading by designing a
discussion that highlights for students the need to have a claim that is
debatable and to understand the expectations that come with different
types of claims they might use. Have students identify the types of claims
addressed in the PHG reading
(fact, cause-effect, value, solution) and how each type implies certain
expectations for supporting it.
Discuss what claims imply about development, reasoning, and evidence.
Ask students to consider what types of evidence they’ll need based on the types
of claims they might have. For example, a claim of value would necessitate a
list of criteria, while a claim of solution would likely require evidence to
prove both that a problem exists and that this solution would work or is better
than other possibilities. Also, remind students that types of claims will
suggest different types of proof. The PHG
is set up to focus on different types of claims in different chapters. Ask
students to review the chapter that deals with their type of claim.
Type of Claim:
Value - "Evaluating" Chapter
Solution/policy "Problem-solving" Chapter
Cause-effect "Cause-effect" Chapter
Fact "Informing" Chapter
Practice unpacking claims. To accomplish
this goal, consider preparing sample claims that you can unpack as a class
to prepare students for the group activity. For instance, a claim of
solution -such asGrades
do not accurately represent a student's intelligence, therefore portfolios
should be used instead -may work well because typically it
will imply a claim of value as well. To unpack this claim, a writer would
need to address all implied claims, including:
criteria for intelligence (value)
fail at representing these criteria (fact)
will do a better job of meeting the criteria (fact)
Your discussion of a claim will depend on the audience and existing
research. For example, if research has already shown that grades don't reflect
intelligence, a writer could quickly support this sub claim and then focus on
the solution -- using portfolios instead. However, if there is no evidence to
support the claim that grades fail to represent intelligence, the focus for the
argument should be on proving this claim.
Workshop claims in class. A typical
workshop might involve asking students to determine what type of claim is
being made (fact, cause-effect, value, solution), then “unpacking” the
claim to determine how many subclaims are involved in it, identifying the
types of evidence needed to support the subclaims, considering how readers
might react to the claim and subclaims, and offering suggestions for
revising and narrowing the claim.
Provide students with an example of a Context
and Audience Analysis Report and review it in class.
Work on Context and Audience Analysis Reports
in class (due at the beginning of Week 12 - Mon., November 11th
or Tuesday, November 12th).
Connection to Course Goals
The two main
objectives for this week are to have students construct their claims and
arguments and to have students think critically about how their target audience
and context will influence the choices they make when writing their arguments. The
techniques listed in the PHG will
introduce students to classical forms of argumentation, but instructors should
emphasize that audience and context are just as important as "forms"
when making choices about content and organization. To write successfully,
students will need to think about their readers' needs and interests and shape
their arguments accordingly. The Context and Audience Analysis Report is
designed to help students write for real world audiences. It serves the overall
goals of encouraging students to be active participants in culture and enabling
them to write for audiences beyond academia.
Required Reading and Assignments
Read the beginning of the
"Arguing" chapter on pg. 441 - 444 in the PHG
Read the Arguing writing guide on
Read about types of claims on pg. 444 -
448 in the PHG
Draft a claim for your argument and post
it to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum
Read and respond to the claim posted
above and below your own. Is it clear narrow and debatable? What advice
can you give to improve the writer's claim?
Read the Sample Context and Audience
Analysis Report on GMO's. As a class or in groups, have students discuss
the effectiveness of the sample essay. Ask them to example how well it
meets the demands of this assignment, where it is effective, and where it
falls short. The goal is to set a standard for the Context and Audience
Analysis Report (since too many students will skim over the questions
without enough thought if you don't set a high expectation). Emphasize
that students will need to do substantial research in order to succeed on
this assignment. Their efforts here will contribute to their success with
the final argumentative essay.
Begin research for the Context and
Audience Analysis Report (due Week 12).
The Writing Situation Model:
Key points from the Writing Situation Model: Be sure to cover the following points (in
whatever order feels right for you):
have purposes for writing
these purposes emerge from the writer's cultural or social context (something
happens outside the writer that creates a need to write - something to respond
make choices based on the context they are writing for (writing a letter home
to your parents asking for money is a different than writing a letter to an
organization to ask for contributions for a good cause). Therefore, different
contexts will pose different requirements, limitations, and opportunities for a
addition to context, writers also need to think about readers.
have various needs and interests which are likewise determined by their
contexts (their background, environment and experience).
to communicate effectively, a writer must anticipate what their readers' needs
and interests are.
and social contexts shape the writing situation, acting on both writers and
readers. Key elements of cultural context include language/media, government,
shared values and beliefs, historical events. Key elements of social context
include organizations, universities, schools, churches, businesses,
environmental groups; family, friends, and neighbors; local events and
traditions; community concerns (such as planning for growth along the Front
The “Great Circle of Writing” Model: This model helps students see the shift in
their roles as writers that takes place as they join, learn about, and
eventually contribute to a conversation about a publicly debated issue.
Points to bring up
about the Great Circle of Writing Model:
as readers who encounter texts as a way to learn and explore what is happing
culturally and socially. (Portfolio 1)
become informed readers - drawn to certain specific issue that we want to learn
more about. That is, we became accountable members of the conversation. (Portfolio
and research various texts to locate the "conversation" that
surrounds the issue we're interested in (find out what groups or individuals,
who are active in writing about the issue, are saying). (Portfolio 2)
analyze these texts to figure out how they are shaped by cultural and social
influences. And in turn, we consider how the texts that get produced are
shaping society and culture. (Portfolio 2)
we've critically examined the existing viewpoints on an issue, we become
critical thinkers and informed writers. We then use our observations and
critical thinking skills to construct new arguments. (Portfolio 3)
our own arguments for public discourse (a specific group of readers in society)
in the hope that our opinions and views will influence society and culture. (Portfolio
·Through this process, we become active participants in
society and culture. (Portfolio 3)
Sample Brainstorming Activity for Developing Claims and
Arguments: The goal of this
activity is to help students formulate possible arguments and claims for their
issue. This activity takes place in front of the class using the white board.
Lead students through one of the following strategies.
Strategy 1: Answer the question that you explored in Portfolio
II to form an argument for Portfolio 3. For example:
If your research question for Portfolio II was:
> Who is responsible for intervening
when child abuse is suspected?
argumentative claim for Portfolio III might be:
> The government needs to impose
stricter laws to deter child abuse.
> Teachers need to play a more active
role in preventing child abuse.
Strategy 2: Brainstorm possible arguments by describing
which parts of your issue you feel most strongly about. Then, imagine that you
were involved in a conversation surrounding these aspects with some friends;
what viewpoints might you offer? Which positions would you agree/disagree with?
What overall arguments would you make?
Discuss Audience and Context for Arguments (15 - 20
minutes): Use this activity to
model approaches to choosing a context and audience. Ask two or three students
to put their claims up on the board (ask for volunteers - try pitching it as
"free help" with their essay). Then, check to see if these claims are
narrow and debatable. If they aren't, have students revise them to meet this
criteria. If they are, use them as models for argumentation. Ask the class to
brainstorm a list of possible audiences for each claim.
Use these points
as a guide for this discussion:
the claim and ask - who needs to hear this argument?
would be most interested in this argument?
would be the most realistic audience to target (those who would actually read
it and be affected by it)?
how the argument would look differently based on each group of readers and
their various needs and interests.
might these different readers encounter this argument? Where would they be
likely to read about it? (If students have difficulty generating specific
contexts, tell them they'll need to do more research in this area to find out
which contexts are available. One way to do learn about contexts is to look
back at the journals they encountered when researching their issues in Portfolio
II. Also, tell them to do some topic searches to find out where their issue is
being talked about).
** Repeat the above
process using 2 -3 sample claims.