always, remember to introduce and conclude your lessons with previews
and reviews. Use transitions to maintain a connection between
daily classroom activities, assignments, and portfolio and course
the possibilities for organizing arguments on pages 487-488 in
the PHG. Remind students that the way they organize their
argument should be primarily based on the audience--which way
will be most effective for it?
activities that cover the following:
different Arguing Approaches (from PHG - more traditional vs.
discussion should give students more of a sense of the different
approaches or strategies available to them beyond traditional
argumentative methods. Emphasize to students that their argument
doesn't have to be completely traditional or Rogerian. Instead,
they might use Rogerian techniques for the most sensitive points
in an argument that is otherwise more traditional.
where your argument fits into the larger, ongoing discussion about
your issue. Then, provide some setting to show readers what you're
responding to so that your essay isn't floating in space. The
narration can be personal (a story that you've experienced) cultural
(recent trends in society, or a speech or text that you're responding
to) or political (recent government-supported actions). By connecting
your issue to a something concrete, readers will realize its significance
and see the reason for your argument.
and group your notes and sources using one or a combination of
multiple approaches or viewpoints
connections between your purpose, your claim, your reasons and
your evidence and group these ideas accordingly
or create a visual scheme where you sketch out the relationships
between your claim, your reason and your evidence.
your audience. What reasons and evidence should they hear first?
What reasons and evidence should you save for later? Will they
be able to follow your organization given what they know about
your issue? How much narration or background will they need? What
structure lends itself to the greater focus and coherency?
out a very rough draft and then read through it, drawing lines
between related ideas. Use scissors to cut up your draft and try
rearranging paragraphs in various orders on the floor. Also, try
looking at the argument from the point of view of your readers
and ask, which order seems most logical and fitting to their needs
Writing an Argumentative
One way to show students
that organization is flexible and that we can organize according
to an audience is to have students create an argumentative brief. Your goal here is to help students see that they can block out their arguments
(and play with organization and development) before they draft.
The brief makes an argument visible while also offering high levels
of flexibility for easy revision before whole paragraphs are committed.
Argument briefs are most effective if written in full sentence
form, compelling the writer to assert his or her argument points
(thesis, reasons, and evidence).
Once the brief is written, you can pair up students so that they get feedback
from a potential audience member.
Essay Title (Working): Return the Right to Forego Treatment of Neonates
to Parents and Their Physicians
Thesis: The decision whether to treat or not treat a neonate
with a serious medical condition, when combined with significant
handicaps and abnormalities, should be left to the parents’ discretion—supplemented
by consultation with a family physician and an ethics board.
I.Introduction/Background: Neonatology has resulted in
remarkable advances in the care of very ill newborns, but the
costs of such care are not fully recognized.
a.The most significant development in neonatal
care after WWII was the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the
capabilities of which have grown steadily since its inception.
b.Advancements in medical
technology have resulted in babies surviving at ever smaller birth
c.The costs associated with
care of the very small neonate are often not considered, either
from the point of view of immediate family costs or long-term
d.The costs of such care
are also measured in terms of the long-term prognosis of surviving
babies, which in general is not particularly good since care and
illness do not end when sick babies go home.
II.Legalities and Ethics: Both legal and ethical dilemmas
are associated with advances in neonatology.
a.It is illegal to deny treatment
to any infant.
b.However, it is unethical
to require treatment for newborns whose prognosis is poor and
for whom suffering is inevitable and without end.
c.Without reliable data about
the long-term effects of many treatments currently available,
vegetative "new species of human beings" are being created—at
great cost to society, which absorbs the expenses of such care
through increased insurance and medical care costs.
III.Ethics Committees: Ethics committees may offer a reasonable
way for hospitals, parents, and physicians to make logical decisions
about ill neonates’ lives.
a.In many place, ethics committees
have been developed for helping with decisions about ill neonates.
b.Such committees, made up
of religious counselors, physicians, nurses, social workers, and
legal counsel, exist for the sole purpose of informing parents
and usually are without institutional affiliation.
c.There is little data (research)
to suggest how well these committees are working, and many hospitals
do not employ them.
IV.The Courts: Legislation has eroded local decision-making
regarding neonate life decision.
a.The 1982 Baby Doe case
was a landmark Supreme Court ruling in which The National Right
to Life Association petitioned the Courts to allow Baby Doe to
be adopted rather than allowed to forego surgery and die, as requested
by the parents. Baby Doe died before the case reached conclusion.
b.Regulations followed the
Baby Doe petition specifically seeking that parents not be allowed
to deny their children treatment.
c.The receipt of federal
funding would be jeopardized if hospitals failed to comply.
d.The U.S. Court of Appeals
replied saying that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was
"intended to assure the disabled equality such as housing and
employment" and was not intended to address the medical treatment
e.On October 9, 1984, President Reagan signed a Senate bill which amended
the Child Abuse regulations to include non-treatment of neonates
as child abuse and neglect.
V.Physicians and Parents: Both parents of ill neonates
and their physicians are frustrated by current laws that prevent
a.A survey of pediatricians
showed that most doctors believe that current regulations "encourage
or require the over-treatment of infants."
b.A survey of parents of
ill neonates showed that most believe current regulations cause
unnecessary pain and suffering to both neonates and their families.
VI.Conclusion: Decisions about newborns with poor prognosis should be
returned to families and their physicians. Hospitals should seek
legal protection by instituting ethics boards comprised of persons
without hospital affiliation.
·Letters asking for donations (environmental
groups, politicians, local clubs…)
·Advertisements and full-page coupons*
·Bribe mail from phone, internet and credit
·Arguments found on line or in texts
*The New York Times
is a good resource for ads. Students may enjoy analyzing the advertising
that is done by a national newspaper whose readership is largely
located in a well-heeled and quite provincial urban center like
New York City.
There are a variety of activities you can
construct using products or ads/commercials. You can have
students write out commercials for the products or ads.
Or have students write out mini-arguments for them. Keep
your eyes on the presidential campaign as it unfolds, too!
for Written Appeals
Have students break
into small groups (3-4) and give each group one or two sample
written appeals to look at. Put the following questions on an
overhead for each group to address:
What is the writer's
Who is the target audience?
What types of appeals
do they use?
Are these appeals effective?
Why or why not?
Do these appeals accurately
represent a product or a situation? Are they fair to use? Why
or why not?
What 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 reality).
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
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
Internet: A Clear and Present Danger?" by Cathleen A. Cleaver
Damnation of A Canyon" by Edward Abbey page 464
Tolerance in America" by Dudley Erskine Devlin
Tres Riches Heures de Martha Stewart" by Margaret Talbot
capital punishment series: "Death and Justice" by
Edward Koch page 472; "Death Be Not Proud" by Robert
Badinter page 477; and "Death and Justice" by John
O'Sullivan page 479.
you are using two or more of the "Death Penalty" essays,
consider also assigning the introduction on page 471. Also, in
the questions section following the readings, you can find Internet
addresses for other related arguments.
should have students identify the aspects of argumentation you
are discussing (or have discussed) and determine the effectiveness
of that strategy in the argument.
Have students complete
this activity using a sample argument. (It is best not to
use a lengthy argument, though.)
a sheet of paper, write down the author's main claim or the controlling
idea in the essay. Divide the rest of the paper into three columns.
Then complete the following tasks, one by one.
the left-hand column, write a brief summary of the content and
purpose of each paragraph (e.g. Suzy Q example to support argument
about body image). If there are two distinct ideas or purposes
in the paragraph, write a brief phrase for each.
the middle column, write a sentence that explains the connection
between what this paragraph says/does and the overall claim at
the top. If you don't know or it isn't clear, write a question
the third column, write a sentence that explains the connection
between the paragraphs (i.e. paragraph one and paragraph two;
paragraph two and paragraph three, and so on). If there is no
clear connection, put a question mark in the third column.
conclusions can you draw about the effectiveness of the focus,
development or organization of the argument based on this activity?
the day’s activities (3 minutes)
you or a student does this, take special care to make clear their
connection to both Portfolio 2 and larger course goals. Take care
to provide some sort of conclusion to each class.