Week 10: Monday, October 27th - Friday, October 31st
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Week 10: Monday, October 27 - Friday, October 31
Note: The beginning
of Portfolio 3 marks a new stage in your lesson planning. You are now
responsible for creating nearly all of your own activities to accomplish the
course goals. To support your efforts to accomplish this task, we have provided
detailed discussion of teaching goals. Also, you may consult the “Activity
Bank,” which is offered as a supplemental source in the materials for this
course and also will be available (and continuously enlarged upon) in the
Teacher Resources of the Online Writing
Center. We encourage you to
integrate the course texts, the PHG and the New York Times, as
well as technology components--the Online
Writing Studio and Syllabase--into your lesson planning If you have any
questions about developing your lesson plans, please see Mike, Steve, Kate,
Sarah, Kerri, Paul, Liz or Sue.
Please remember to provide
lesson and course connections each class day and to introduce and conclude your
lessons along with providing helpful transitions between activities.
Goals for this week:
- Create a
transition between the second and third portfolios.Consider
asking students to complete a WTL/postscript for Portfolio 2 before you
collect the portfolios.
students reading nearly all of Chapter 10 of the PHG. Start
with pages 441-455.
students in reading and collecting the Editorial and Op-Ed pages
from the New York Times as well as examples of graphics, photos,
and other visual forms of story and argument development as demonstrated
in the Times. Here you are continuing the News Clip Journal,
with an emphasis on (1) argumentation and (2) the use of visuals or
graphics for story/argument development.
- Review the
Writing Situation Model (see Resources, below) and introduce the “Great Circle of
Writing” model (see Resources, below).
- Introduce Portfolio
3 and the Context Comparison.
techniques for Writing Arguments (consider assigning pages 442
- 443 in the PHG and the
Argument writing guide on Writing@CSU.
arguments, claims, readers and contexts for Portfolio 3 (see
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 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.
what claims imply about development, reasoning, and evidence. Ask
students to consider the 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: See "Evaluating"
Cause-effect: See "Cause-effect"
Fact: See "Informing"
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 as Grades
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
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 sub-claims are involved in it, identifying the types of evidence
needed to support the sub-claims, considering how readers might react to
the claim and sub-claims, and offering suggestions for revising and
narrowing the claim.
students with an example of a single Context and Audience Analysis
(see appendix) and review it in class. Suggest the differences
involved when analyzing two differing contexts.
- Work on the Context Comparison in class (due
at the beginning of Week 11 - Mon., November 3 or Tuesday, November 4).
Connection to Course Goals
After creating a transition between Portfolios 2 and 3 and
connecting these 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. Use the PHG to introduce students to classical forms of argumentation, but
also emphasize that audience and context are 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 Comparison is designed to help
students analyze writing for two different, 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
the beginning of the Arguing chapter in the PHG, pages 441-455
the Arguing writing guide on Writing@CSU
a claim for your argument and post it to the SyllaBase Class Discussion
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
a sample (from the appendix) of a Context and Audience Analysis applied to
a single publication. As a class or in groups, have students discuss the
effectiveness of the sample and ask them to explain how it would need to
be altered for the demands of the comparison they’re being asked to do.
The goal is to set a standard for the Context Comparison (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.
investigation into publications for the Context Comparison (due Week 11).
and clip editorials and op-ed pieces as well as graphics and visuals from
the Times with a goal of including 10 Editorials/Op-Ed pieces and
10 examples of visual storytelling or argumentation. Begin analyzing the
editorial/op-ed pieces for argumentative elements and structures. Also, as
you search the Times for examples of visual argumentation and story
development, ask yourself: How does this visual enhance or alter my
understanding of the story? What message do I take from it? How does my
interpretation differ from others’ interpretations? Connect visuals to the
current assignment, asking yourself whether tables, graphs, photos, etc.
would be useful and appropriate argumentative tools for the publication
you have in mind.
Review 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):
Writers have purposes for writing
These purposes usually emerge from the writer's
cultural or social context (something happens outside the writer that creates a
need to write - something to respond to)
Writes 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 writer.
In addition to context, writers also need to
think about readers.
Readers have various needs and interests, which
are likewise determined by their contexts (their background, environment and
In order to communicate effectively, a writer
must anticipate what their readers' needs and interests are.
Cultural 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 Range).
“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 now
contribute to a conversation about a publicly debated issue.
Points to bring
up about the Great Circle of Writing Model:
begin as readers who encounter texts as a way to learn
explore what is happing culturally and socially. (Portfolio 1)
we become informed readers - drawn to certain specific
that we want to learn more about. That is, we became accountable members
of the conversation. (Portfolio 2)
read 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).
we 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)
write 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 3)
- 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
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:
government needs to impose stricter laws to deter child abuse.
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: Use
this activity to model approaches to choosing a context and audience for the
first arguing essay. 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 criterion. 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
at 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).
After discussing these points, shift the
discussion to an analysis of the Editorial page of the New York Times.
in a few examples of the editorial and op-ed pages and discuss them
shifts in thinking will you as a writer be required to do when considering
often urban, but largely inclusive audience of the Times?
Help students understand how to analyze a target
publication. They will need to select a publication to target for their
argument (If possible avoid general news sources such as TIME and Newsweek as well as the
Coloradoan, and the Collegian. A scholarly publication such as College English, various professional or
trade publication, even Web sites, would be better. Emphasize that you want
them to showcase their talents by selecting a publication that is unlike the Times
Editorial context they’ll use for the second arguing essay). To select an
appropriate publication, they should review and, ultimately, subject likely
candidates to a careful analysis. The results of the analysis will provide them
with enough information to help them determine whether the publication is
appropriate for their writing situation. A good place to start would be to
examine sources cited in the News and Issue Analysis. Analyzing the targeted
publication will also provide students with insights into the typical
organization, layout, and types of evidence used by articles in the
publication. When you assign the activity to help students conduct this
analysis, stress that they should also be aware of the use of visuals in the
publication, since graphics often play an important role in conveying
information and ideas to readers.