Portfolio 3: Making Your Contribution to a Publicly Debated Issue
Portfolio 3: Overview
portfolio culminates in a pair of Arguing Essays that contribute
to the publicly debated issue you analyzed in Portfolio 2.
complete work on this portfolio, you will:
out a series of homework activities
the PHG chapter on arguing (Chapter 10) in its entirety
an academic audience for your academic context argument
a rough and final draft of your argument for an academic context
to read the NYT, now with an emphasis on the Editorial and Op-Ed
pages as well as on visual/graphic forms of communication and
choosea new context and audience for a revised arguing essay
analyze a publication for your argument for a public context
and contrast the similarities and differences between the contexts
of the two arguments you are completing for this portfolio
a rough and final draft of your argument for a public context
of participation in all these items will be compiled in your folder,
turned in, graded.
your Academic Context Argument, you will analyze the expectations
of an academic argument (from the PHG) and apply strategies of
academic argumentation to your writing.
your Public Context Argument, if you targeted your article for
Parents’ Magazine, you would write for a general audience
of parents of young children. Similarly, if you were writing for
a journal or magazine published on a Web site, such as National
Review Online, you would write for the readers of that publication.
The final draft of this argumentative essay must include a cover
page that clarifies the audience and purpose you have in mind
for your essay.
this portfolio helps you add your voice to the public conversation
you analyzed in your second portfolio. Now that you have learned
what other members of that conversation have been saying about
the issue, you are qualified to make your own contributions. The
first essay, targeting a publication of your choosing, and the
second one (a substantial revision) targeting the most read newspaper
opinion page in the world, will allow you differing opportunities
to stake your claim as well as two distinct opportunities to showcase
your talents as a flexible writer—that is, one who is adaptable
to differing contexts. In making your own contribution to the
conversation on your selected issue, your goal will be to add
something new to the discussion while also acknowledging the contributions
of authors who have already contributed ideas and information.
You may wish to go back to your notes on the idea of "newness"
from the beginning of the course to recall the range of ways a
paper than stake new ground.
grade for this portfolio will be based on the quality of your
academic and public context arguments. Your success on both arguments,
however, will be determined largely by the work you do on your
homework assignments and especially the Publication Analysis and
Context Comparison. It might be helpful, as a result, to imagine
the homework assignments (including the News Clippings) and the
Context Comparison as prewriting for your arguments.
Worth:35% of the course grade
for this Portfolio: To learn how to contribute to a debate about a
public issue; to learn strategies for designing effective documents;
to think critically about writing situations and to strengthen
your understanding of writing for specific audiences, to demonstrate
your flexibility in writing for differing contexts.
Audience:Your arguments will be directed toward two differing audiences.
First, an academic audience that consists of our class and the
people in academia discussing and writing about your issue. Second,
the audience of a publication (magazine, journal, newspaper, Web
site) of your choosing. The academic context argument will be
a minimum of six double-spaced, typed pages or 1500-1800 words.
The public context argument will be of a length appropriate for
the publication—probably 650-800 words. Your instructor must approve
your choice of target publication for the first arguing essay.
Up of Final Portfolios: You can pick up your portfolio at
the beginning of next semester (after contacting your instructor
ahead of time). Alternatively, if you would like to have your
portfolio returned sooner, you must include with your final folder
a self-addressed, stamped envelope that has been metered for the
full weight of your completed portfolio.