Week 11 Day 30, 31, 32 (Monday, November 3 to Friday, November 7)
examine and practice strategies for effectively appealing to readers,
practice recognizing and avoiding logical fallacies,
engage in peer response to argument drafts.
Connection to Course Goals. Students learn about how to make rhetorical choices that will help them achieve their purposes with their audiences, and workshops help students see writing as a process while getting useful feedback that can help them develop their Argument drafts.
Check in: drafting (5-7 minutes)
Ask students about how drafts are coming along. Address any concerns or questions while encouraging students to share strategies that are working well for them. Remind students of what you’ve already talked about in class: how to remain focused on a claim and how to develop a claim with reasons and evidence.
Analyze “Death and Justice” (15-20 minutes)
Start with what students already know about argument, prompting them with questions about what Koch says, such as:
What is Koch’s claim?
What are his reasons?
What kinds of evidence did he use?
What is his purpose?
To whom is he writing?
Move the students into a discussion of how Koch says what he says by adding in questions such as:
Did he seem credible?
Was he too emotional?
Did he get you to care about his argument?
Did he provide enough reasons and evidence to convince you to agree with him?
Introduce Audience Appeals (12-15 minutes)
Present the following on an overhead transparency. As you present each type of appeal, ask students for ideas about how they can use the appeal in their papers. Also ask for examples of how Koch uses each kind of appeal. You might also discuss how context influences the use of appeals. Ask students to consider how texts they've read—Pollan’s, Wilson’s, their sources, PHG readings, etc.--used appeals. This could lead to a discussion of the use of appeals in academic contexts, emphasizing the privileging of appeals to logos and ethos over appeals to pathos in academic discourse.
Tip. On the board, keep a list of ideas for each appeal and give students time to take notes for their own arguments.
Appealing to your audience means using language and presenting your argument in deliberate ways, so that you have a good chance of achieving your goals with as many members of your audience as possible. Appropriately used appeals help support your claim.
Appeals to Character (Ethos): Showing that you are a reliable, trustworthy person can help give your readers confidence in your argument. Establishing common ground with your readers can make them more likely to agree with your ideas.
Appeals to Emotion (Pathos): Getting readers emotionally involved can increase the likelihood that they will feel that your argument is important. If emotional appeals are used in place of credibility or logical reasoning, however, they can make readers feel as though you are trying to manipulate them or that you have something to hide.
Appeals to Logic (Logos): Since most all of your readers will value logical reasoning quite highly and will have very similar ideas about what is and isn’t reasonable, it is important to provide sufficient evidence to support enough good reasons to support your claim. Additionally, it is important that you explain how the reasons support the claim, how the evidence supports the reasons, and how the pieces of evidence relate to each other.
Logical Fallacy Activity (20-25 minutes)
Be sure that students understand how to write logically: present enough support for your claim, and explain it thoroughly.
Next, point out that there are common logical errors, or logical fallacies (distortions of rhetoric to make an argument seem more convincing). Fallacies happen when a writer manipulates a reader’s emotions, when a writer misrepresents someone’s character, and/or when a writer distorts an argument’s logic. Sometimes fallacies are intentional (as is often the case in political speeches and in advertising) and sometimes they aren’t. In either case, they can weaken an argument written in an academic context.
Ask students to use pages 579-582 in their textbooks to identify fallacious statements you put up on the overhead projector one at a time. Here are a few examples; be sure to create more of your own (8-10 work well):
Wind power is just a naïve, hippy idea. [Genetic fallacy]
Mr. Smith down the street put up those solar panels. Now he has debt problems. [Post hoc ergo propter hoc]
Taxing carbon emissions would be un-American. [Ad Populum]
We all want to save the planet, but we can’t afford to destroy our economy, can we? [Red Herring and/or Begging the Question]
Next, ask students to create their own examples of fallacies. Call on a student to share a fallacy and then ask the class to identify it. Encourage students to use their own argument topics, so they can become aware of possible fallacies to look for in opposing arguments as well as ones to avoid while drafting.
Academic argument draft workshop (60-65 minutes)
Tip. Remember that the goal of workshop need not be for students to “pre-grade” one another’s papers.
Design a workshop activity that will enable students to read and respond to at least two drafts in the allotted time. Use the workshop activity bank in the syllabus appendix for ideas, keeping in mind that the workshop activity should reflect the assignment sheet, grading criteria and classroom instruction.
Discuss revision strategies and conclude class (7-10 minutes)
Tip. Remind students that revision should be directed at the assignment criteria, not just proofreading.
Students’ will revise these drafts of the paper, so talk for a few minutes about how they might do that. Share some of your own revision strategies and/or ask students to share some of their own.
Finish drafting your argument essay. Bring 2 copies to class for workshop. [Add a reminder of your workshop policy here.]
Read about revising arguments on pages 492-493 of the PHG.
Use your workshop feedback as you revise your argument. Consider going to the Writing Center for further revision ideas [add Writing Center hours here].
Prepare your argument to turn in on Monday, along with your process work.