Monday, September 11th

Day 9 - Monday, September 11th

Note to GTAs: You will notice that each of the lecturers has chosen a different set of articles to focus on for P1B. We've done this for a couple of reasons. First, having CO150 students work with different texts in different sections helps cut down on any potential academic integrity issues. Second, we want to illustrate that just as you will all develop unique teaching styles, each of the lecturers approaches this material in slightly different ways. Finally, we want to encourage you to begin making choices about how to shape your class, so we've provided four different sets of articles (one from each lecturer) for you to choose from. It's important to us that, while we do teach CO150 from a common syllabus, we neither expect nor want all CO150 classes to be exactly the same - each teacher is different, each set of students is different, and so each section of CO150 is unique.

Note to MWF instructors: If workshop on Friday, Sept. 8th, seems rushed, you might consider taking all or part of Day 9 to extend workshop for your class. There’s enough room in this section of the syllabus to allow for an extra day spent on workshop now; alternatively, you can move ahead and save the extra time for later in the semester. If you do take an extra day for workshop, make sure your students know to bring their P1A drafts back to class today, and adjust the final due date for P1A accordingly.

Lesson Objectives

To wrap up and collect P1A. To introduce analysis and evaluation; to analyze and evaluate sample texts; to begin work on P1B.

Connection to Course Goals

Teaching students to write evaluative responses contributes to their “tool box” of response approaches. It also helps them become critical readers by asking them to examine a text closely and evaluate its parts.

Complete a Postscript for Portfolio I (10 minutes)

While you take attendance, have students complete a postscript (reflective writing) for Portfolio I - Part A. Ask them to comment on what they view as the most successful part of their portfolio and what areas could still use improvement. If they had more time to complete the portfolio, what would they work on? What did they learn from completing this portfolio? Which assignments or class discussions were most helpful? You might also ask them to comment on the usefulness of the workshop.

Collect P1A (Explain that you will return portfolios next Thursday so they may take your feedback into account as they're polishing P1B).

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Introduce Portfolio I - Part B (5 - 10 minutes)

Distribute the assignment sheet for Portfolio I - Part B and ask students to read through it. Take any questions they have and highlight important parts. Ask them to compare the similarities and differences to Part A. What skills have they already gained? What skills/concepts will they need to learn to complete this portfolio?

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Define "Analysis" and "Evaluation" (20-25 minutes)

You might begin by putting both terms on the board and asking students to explain the difference between them. Try listing things in everyday life that we analyze (relationships, TV shows, problems, etc.) and things that we evaluate (products, media, classwork, etc.) The key here is to emphasize that there are two separate processes at work in this type of response: first, when we analyze a text, we look at its component pieces, which then leads us to an evaluation of its effectiveness.

One approach to introducing these concepts is to bring in either a page of movie reviews or classified auto ads (the Collegian is a great source for material like this). Tell students that you are looking to purchase a used car (or choose a movie to see with your significant other). Ask the class what aspects of a car you should look at (or analyze) and then list their responses on the board. Then, ask them how you should evaluate potential vehicles based on the factors (or criteria) listed on the board. Some questions should come up about your particular needs in a vehicle; answer them however you like, but make sure to point out that thinking about the reader's context is part of the process of analysis & evaluation. Finally, put up your sheet of auto ads on an overhead and ask students to choose a car for you based on the discussion. Point out to them that they've just practiced both analysis and evaluation - now it's time to apply the same process to texts.

Since there’s a little extra time for this activity in the MWF syllabus, you might consider repeating the preceding activity in small groups. In that case, you might begin by working through the used car example as a whole class, then breaking into groups and asking each group to come up with questions designed to establish criteria for choosing a movie for you and your significant other or a friend (or room-mate, etc.) to go see. Each group should then write down criteria for choosing the movie (perhaps on an overhead), and, using a copy of the Collegian or movie reviews that you’ve downloaded and printed from a major newspaper or, choose an appropriate movie and be able to explain how that movie meets their criteria. Have the groups present their criteria, either on an overhead or just verbally, and then explain which movie they chose for you and why.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Wrap-up Discussion of Analyzing the Effectiveness of a Text (5 minutes)

Remind students that the goal of an Analytical/Evaluative Response is to determine a text's effectiveness by examining its parts. You might look at the purpose, the intended audience, the thesis, the main ideas, the organization and evidence, and the language and style. Here, your aim is to point out an essay's strong points and/or where it falls short. Analyzing the text's effectiveness allows you to make more informed decisions about the usefulness and credibility of a writer's argument.

Analyzing a text is not completely separate from agreeing/disagreeing. Typically, if a reader disagrees with a writer’s argument, he/she will show why their text is ineffective (illogical, poorly supported, offensive, confusing, etc…). Likewise, if a reader agrees with an author’s ideas, he/she is more likely to show why their text is effective (logical, well supported, clear, fair, etc…). However, this is not always the case (a reader may agree with a writer’s points but argue that they made their points ineffectively); but it’s often the case. You might ask students to discuss why this is (i.e. we’re more likely to see the flaws in an argument we disagree with and overlook the flaws in an essay we agree with).

Remind students that they may bring in outside material for this type of response, but that it is more common to use the text itself as support. (i.e. If I’m claiming that Wilson’s tone is offensive, I need to show examples from his writing to support this).

Conclude Class (3 minutes)

Devise a conclusion for today's class. You might:


  1. Read pgs. 362-363 and 396-405 in the PHG.
  2. 2.) Bring all of the P1A articles to class.