Week 8: Monday, October 13th - Friday, October 17th

Week 10:  Overview


Weekly Notes and Advice

The beginning of Portfolio 3 marks a new stage in your lesson planning.  You are now responsible for creating nearly all your activities to accomplish course goals.  As with Portfolio 2, there are some activity ideas provided and you may consult the Activity Bank in the Teaching Resources section of Writing@CSU.  We encourage you to integrate the course texts (The Prentice Hall Guide and the New York Times) as well as technology components (Writing@CSU and the Writing Studio) into your lesson planning.  If you have any questions about developing your lesson plans, please see Mike, Steve, Kate, Sarah or any of the lecturers.

Please remember to provide lesson and course connections each class day and to introduce and conclude your lessons along with providing transitions between activities.


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.


Goals for this Week

  • Consider asking students to complete a Postscript for Portfolio 2 before you collect the portfolios.
Activity Ideas:  Postscript
  • Introduce Portfolio 3 and its components.
  • Create a transition between the second and third portfolios by reviewing the Writing Situation Model and introduce the Great Circle of Writing.
Activity Ideas:  Transitioning
  • Discuss the contexts of Portfolio 3.
Activity Ideas:  Contexts of Portfolio 3
  • Get students reading nearly all of Chapter 10 in the PHG.  Particularly discuss the basis for argumentation this week (connecting to Deborah Tannen's article from Portfolio 2 is also a good idea).
  • Brainstorm claims and discuss the "types of claims" described in the PHG for the academic audience argument.
Activity Ideas:  Claims
  • Review unpacking claims and apply to argument claims for Portfolio 3.
Activity Ideas:  Claims
  • Engage students in reading and collecting editorials and op-ed pieces from the NYT as well as graphics, photos, and other visual forms of story and argumentation.


Required Readings and Assignments

Assign the following to students this week:

  • Read pages 441-448 in the PHG.
  • Read the Writing Argument Guide on Writing@CSU.
  • 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?
    *If you are the first person posted, respond to the person below you and the last person posted.  If you are the last person posted, respond to the person above you and the first person posted.
  • Read 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 in your News Clippings Journal. 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.

Additional Teaching Resources


Dartmouth's Teaching Argument guide discusses some of the challenges first-year writing students often face at the university level. The primary solution provided for how teachers can help students overcome these challenges is cited as moving students through a cognitive shift from dualism to relativism to reflectivism (based on William Perry's work on intellectual stages). Examples of how teachers have incorporated this solution into their classes are provided. The page also suggests a strong connection between teaching logic and successful argument writing.

The guides Arguments and Elements of Argument are both geared toward student writers, but the information therein could be adapted to lesson plans.  Definitions of argument purposes and types, ideas for planning, and a useful distinction between a "bias" and a "position" are just some of the useful concepts discussed here.