Our goal this week is to have students work on adapting their P3A argument for a public context. Students will complete an extensive analysis of their target publication and work to reshape their P3A argument to target their chosen publication context. Depending on how you've chosen to present the P3B assignment, you may wish to spend some time this week discussing how to incorporate visual elements in their arguments, or you may wish to analyze additional sample editorials from various publications. Think carefully about how best to use class time this week to prepare students to workshop and turn in the P3B assignments by the end of Week 15.
Review Portfolio 3 - Part B (10 minutes)
Take a few minutes to review the public argument assignment. Since students have been on break, they will likely need a quick refresher.
Share Publications (you determine time)
The goal of this activity is to expose students to a variety of publications that they may choose to write for with their public argument. Have students share their publications in groups or as a class. They should explain:
What the publication is.
Who it targets as an audience.
What the content of the publication is like. What are the articles typically about?
Complete the Publication Analysis (you determine time)
Once students have shared their publication samples, have them complete the publication analysis. The goal of this assignment is to have students carefully examine the requirements and expectations of the publication they wish to target. This will help them to better shape their argument for this publication. You should plan to collect this assignment with their final portfolio. In planning this activity, be sure to outline how long you feel the activity will take, what materials you will need, and what you will need to do to prepare students to successfully complete it. You may also decide how you want students to turn in their Publication Analyses--do you want it written out in paragraph form or is question-and-answer satisfactory?
To introduce this activity, have students choose one publication to focus on (one that they brought in or one that someone else brought in). Then, ask them to address the following questions:
What is the purpose of the publication (magazine, newspaper, etc…) you chose?
What is the publication's mission statement?
What type(s) of authors are regularly featured in the publication?
Who are the primary, intended readers?
What are these readers like? What do they value or believe? What might their political or religious beliefs be like? Why do they read this publication? What might they think about your topic?
What topics/issues does the publication usually cover?
What is the typical length of an article in the publication?
What kinds of graphics are used throughout the publication?
What patterns do you note in the layout of main articles in the publication? (i.e. Do all the articles or columns begin the same way? Do they each contain a certain number of graphics?)
What is the tone, style or language used by writers in the publication like? Is the language formal, scientific, humorous, playful, etc…?
What requirements of guidelines do you need to be aware of in terms of citing sources or other stylistic features?
How do the writers in this publication usually support their points? Do they use personal experience? Factual data?
Note anything else significant about your publication here.
Complete the Context Comparison Assignment (you determine time)
The Context Comparison provides students with the opportunity to foreground the choices they will make in the revision of their arguments for an academic audience. You can make the Context Comparison "bigger" or "smaller" according to what you feel your students need more time or work on.
Divide a sheet of paper in half. Label the left column "Academic Context" and label the right column "Public Context." Fill in the appropriate answer to each of the following for both contexts:
Who is the audience?
What are they like?
What do they already know about your issue? Also, what general attitude or viewpoint will this audience have toward your issue?
What will they expect from your argument?
How should the argument look and sound based on this audience? What will the tone and style be? What about the format?
What claim will you make for this audience?
How will you need to support this claim for this audience? What kinds of support will they expect? What kinds of support will they find convincing?
In this section, you should go beyond the answers to Part 1 and, in sentence form, explain the revision choices you will make when you change your argument from meeting the expectations of an academic context to meeting the expectations of your public context.
What are the most significant differences between the audiences for which you are writing?
How are the audience's views or attitude toward the issue similar or different to your own position as reflected in your clam?
To what extent has your purpose for writing changed between contexts?
How will you revise your claim for each context according to the differing purposes?
To what extent will you revise your reasons? Your evidence?
How will your tone or style change?
What are the two most important things you will need to keep in mind when writing for this new audience and context?
Discuss Using Visual Elements
The goal for this activity is to help students see how visual elements can enhance the effectiveness of their argument. Have students work with one specific article (that they found in the sample publication they brought to class) an address the following points.
Encourage students to examine how other writers use visual elements to make their argument more effective. Key points to cover in as you introduce this concept include:
How does the visual (whether it's a graph, photo, chart, icon or cartoon) further the written argument?
How does the placement of the visual relate to the written material?
Describe how the visual elements add to the argument's strength.
Discuss when visuals might be distracting.
Once you finish discussing visual elements, connect the concept to students' own writing. Ask students to brainstorm options for incorporating visual elements into their papers. How might they use visual rhetoric to further their arguments for a public audience? They might think of something as complex as creating a table to display data or something as simple as a bulleted list to simplify a complex set of solutions, for instance, for a reader. Let them know, too, that the type of visual rhetoric they choose should resemble the visual rhetoric used in the publication they are analyzing.
** Remind students that the visual elements are only one small part of this revision assignment. They should primarily focus on effective writing. The visual components alone will not make for a strong argument.
Assign the following to students this week:
Complete the Publication Analysis using the publication you are targeting.
Complete the Context Comparison for your academic and public audience arguments.
Begin revising your P3A argument to fit into your target publication.