Remember, students will need to turn their essays in BEFORE Thanksgiving Break. This will give you adequate time to evaluate their papers and provide some feedback for writing their final public argument. Our second goal this week is to introduce the P3B assignment and ask students to start thinking about which publication/audience they will target for their P3B argument.
Please remember to provide lesson and course connections each class day and to introduce and conclude your lessons along with providing transitions between activities.
Decide how you want to conduct the workshop for students' academic audience arguments. You may conduct a full in-class workshop as we did for Portfolio 1. If you are running short on class time, you can create an out-of-class workshop to be done on a forum, via email, or even using the Chat Room feature in the Writing Studio.
See the Appendix for workshop questions and guidelines. Or, have students complete a backwards outline workshop (see below).
Backwards Outline Workshop: This type of workshop helps students think about the organization, focus and unity of their argument. Students can apply this to their own writing or to a partner's:
Have students reflect on the writing they did for their academic argument. Generate questions that will encourage them to consider their thinking and writing process, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their argument.
Writing an Argument for a Public Audience
Have students read over the guidelines for the public audience argument. Highlight the concept of revision and the new expectations and limitations that accompany their new writing situation.
Use this activity to model approaches to choosing a publication and audience. 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 (you may not have had time to look over the academic audience arguments yet). 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 discussion:
Discuss how the argument would look differently based on each group of readers and their various needs and interests. Also, discuss where readers would likely encounter the argument.
After modeling the activity, have students write down potential audiences and contexts for their own arguments. The goal in this activity is to set students up for the work they will do in the final weeks of the course.
Broaden students' knowledge of possible publications they could choose by sharing a list like the one below.
Parents or Parenting Magazine
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Weekly Standard
Earth Island Journal
The Christian Science Monitor
New York Times Magazine
The Rocky Mountain Collegian
*Note that this list is by no means comprehensive.
To encourage students to begin thinking about the differences between their academic and public arguments, have them examine one or two samples from the editorial pages of the types of publications they'll be targeting for P3B (most major newspapers & magazines are available on the web or through the library databases - see one of the lecturers if you need help locating sample arguments). Then, discuss how the writing choices in these arguments differ from those made for an academic argument. Compare:
Assign the following to students this week: