Week 14: Monday, December 2nd - Friday, December 6th
Goals for this Week
types of argumentative appeals and provide students with an opportunity to
practice making them. See Resources, below, for related activities.
students understand logical fallacies. Your goals is to ensure the
students understand what types of logical fallacies exist and why each is
problematic. T prepare to meet this goal, read over the fallacies
identified in PHG and highlight
the ones that you think they’ll be most likely to have trouble with in
reasoning through their arguments. Then design an activity where students
pick out logical fallacies from texts. Or, have them work in groups to
write their own logical fallacies as models to "teach" the
class. Another option is to have them look at each others' drafts of their
arguing essays in search of logical fallacies. Many GTA's have developed
useful activities for teaching logical fallacies, so ask what others are
doing and check out the sample fallacies in the appendix.
at argumentative appeals and logical fallacies in texts that contribute to
conversations about publicly debated issues.
students with an opportunity to evaluate sample argumentative essays.
the goals and expectations for the arguing essay.
Connection to Course Goals
Learning to write appeals and
to avoid logical fallacies will help students construct effective arguments. It
also serves the larger course goal of developing critical thinking skills. To
use appeals successfully, writers must have a strong sense of who their readers
are. To avoid fallacies in argumentation, writers must critically examine their
claims to ensure that they are being thorough, thoughtful, and fair.
Required Reading Assignments
- Read about types
of appeals on page 448 - 452 in the PHG
and Rogerian arguments on page 452 - 455. For additional information on
appeals, consult the Arguing writing guide on Writing@CSU.
- Write a 2 - 3
paragraph appeal for your argument. This can serve as the introduction to your
argument, or as draft work to be incorporated into the argument later on. At
the top, write down who your audience is and post your appeal to the SyllaBase
Class Discussion Forum.
- Read the appeal
posted above and below your own. Provide a paragraph response telling the
writer what is working with their appeal (be sure to consider their audience)
and what improvements could be made.
- Read about
logical fallacies on page 492 - 494 in the PHG
- Read the sample
essay(s) for essay 3.
Where to Look for Appeals:
- Product labels
(from shampoo bottles, skin creams, hair products, fancy beverages like
Odwalla, food items, etc…)
- Letters asking
for donations (environmental groups, politicians, local clubs…)
and full-page coupons
- Bribe mail from
phone, internet and credit card companies
- Arguments found
on line or in texts
A Group Activity for
Helping Students Analyze Appeals: Have students break into small groups (3-4) and give
each group one or two sample appeals to look at. Put the following questions on
an overhead for each group to address:
is the writer's purpose?
is the target audience?
types of appeals do they use?
these appeals effective? Why or why not?
these appeals accurately represent a product or a situation? Are they fair
to use? Why or why not?
could the writers do to improve their use of appeals?
Allow each group 3 minutes to
share their sample text and present some of their findings to the class. After
all groups have finished presenting, emphasize that writers should use
appeals to make effective arguments, but that they should also respect their
readers and use the appeals fairly to represent their points (not to distort
A Role Play Activity to Practice
Using Appeals: Use this activity to get students thinking about how
to appeal to an audience to meet a specific purpose. First, prepare five
different tasks that require students to develop appeals. Print the tasks out
and cut them into separate strips to distribute in class.
- Persuade your parents to give you $3,000 to start
your own T-Shirt business
- Persuade your landlord to let you have a pet goat
- Persuade your best friend to go on a date with
your 34 year old cousin
Then, break students into
small groups (4 - 5) and have each group choose one strip at random. Once
students have their strips, explain the following:
group task is written on this slip of paper. Your group will have 10 minutes to
develop an argument to persuade the rest of the class to act on. Someone from your
group will then read your task to the class (the class will role play the
designated audience) and you will have 5 - 7 minutes to present your argument
as a group. Afterwards, the class will decide if your use of appeals was strong
enough to persuade us to act on your argument. Be sure to anticipate opposing
arguments along the way (as some of your peers may raise questions and
objections to your claims). While developing appeals, also consider what your
audience will value most. What are their needs and interests and how can you
respond to these?"
Give students 10 minutes to
prepare arguments before presenting. Tell students that they are free to add
some inventive material to their situation (e.g. your cousin just got out of
jail and he's feeling very low about himself - he needs a girlfriend to make
him feel better). After each group presents, ask the class which parts of the
argument were most effective, and which of the appeals worked best. Tell
students to keep these observations in mind when writing appeals for their own