work collaboratively to organize and evaluate research
consult with their instructor about their work-in-progress on the investigating and explaining project.
Choose from multiple exercises designed to meet the objectives for Assignment 3
Attendance and introduction (2-3 minutes)
Trade annotations with your group members, and give feedback by answering the following questions (explain all yes/no responses, please):
Is the source relevant, reliable, and current?
Does the annotation represent the source objectively, accurately and briefly for members of the group and the class?
Will the evaluation convince the group and the class that the source is worthwhile?
Does the response show how the source influenced the annotation-writer’s opinions, thoughts, and ideas about the subject?
Will the MLA bibliography entry enable others to find the source? Will others be able to use the entry as-is for their academic argument Works Cited page (i.e. is the entry 100% accurate?)? (Use the PHG to help answer this question.)
Follow up on library instruction (15-18 minutes)
Now that your students have attended library instruction and attempted searching their topics, they will doubtless have new questions and concerns about researching their topics. Choose an activity that will allow you to respond to their needs and to reinforce the lessons of the library session. You may want to ask students about their searches, soliciting both successes and failures. Focus on troubleshooting individual problems in a way that is instructive for the whole class. For example, if students "couldn't find anything" on the topic, ask a volunteer which keywords she used in her searches. List these on the board and engage the class in refining or adding keywords.
Conference with groups (35-40 minutes)
As students work, you can conference with groups (aim to conference with about half of the groups today). Aim to help them assess their inquiry: are they asking the right questions? Are they finding relevant, reliable sources? Are they finding a range of perspectives on the subject? Is anyone behind (if so, how can you and the group help the person catch up?) Are there group dynamic problems that you can ease? Also, be sure you have communicated that you understand where each individual student is with his/her research. This should help motivate anyone who is lagging behind, and it should ease any concerns that the best-prepared students may have. While you are conferencing with groups, have the other students work on the following exercises:
Assess your inquiry
What answers have you already found? What answers do you need to find? What perspectives have you found? What perspectives do you need to find? Share your sources with your group members. Help each other out by suggesting good databases, search terms, and other search strategies.
Begin drafting your Inquiry Essays (s)
Reread the assignment sheet to remind yourselves of what your Inquiry Essay needs to accomplish. Use your values exercise to begin examining how you came to choose your inquiry question. Be sure to hold on to whatever you draft today, as you will be able to use it later.
Exercise: For your inquiry essay, it is important for you to contextualize yourself within the rhetoric of green, your topic and your issue, by making connections to your life in a meaningful way. Thoughtful consideration of your values, particularly those which initially brought you to your topic and inquiry question, will be helpful in providing your audience with an engaging narrative. The responses generated by the prompts below might make their way directly into your inquiry essay.
1. Think about three values that have shaped your life. Think about specific ways they have benefited you in your life. List values here.
2. Now review your list above and consider how those values might relate to your topic. If none of these values seems to fit, what other important values do you associate with your topic?
3. Finally, write a brief narrative telling of a specific example of a value working in your life, or an incident that influenced you to choose this as a value, followed by a connection describing how the value(s) applies to your topic and potential argument. (In the student sample below, the first paragraph describes an incident influential in developing a value, followed by the second paragraph, which connects the value to the issue they were working on).
Value = Justice
I prefer life to be fair. Once, when I was around five years old, I was invited to play at a cousin’s house. My cousin was older and, on this particular day, unkind, as all children can be at times. My cousin got some finger paints for a gift and he decided it would be fun to play with them. I liked the idea, but it turned out that he wanted to play with them exclusively while I watched. He would not let me touch them. I sat stewing, close to tears, as he played with the colorful paints. When it came time to clean up, my cousin insisted I help. I refused and he began to complain. From the other room his mother heard us and came into the room. Instead of correcting the injustice as I saw it, she yelled at me! She told me that I was a selfish person with poor manners and I was to clean up immediately or I would be sent home. This was my first memorable experience with injustice. I had naively assumed that adults knew right from wrong and did not make mistakes in this regard. What my aunt showed me back then was that authority, which I believed to be just, can sometimes support those who receive all the benefits before insisting that other, weaker parties clean up their messes. Up through and beyond the 1970’s the General Electric Corporation rose in wealth and power due in part to the Hudson River in upstate New York. While receiving energy and resources from the river, the company, in turn, deposited toxic waste back into the water. When their waste polluted the river, and people began to take notice, GE moved their factories elsewhere. The people asked them to clean up their mess but GE refused. Even the government got involved, making laws and asking the company to clean up after themselves. They still refused on the grounds that there was no law in place at the time they polluted the river. People felt betrayed, left to clean up a mess as their jobs left town. I have a strong reaction to things that I believe to be wrong. When something is broken, I want to fix it. I want to make it right, fair and just. Justice, for me, is when we all get a chance to finger paint and, once we’re finished, we all pitch in and clean up.
Conclude class and assign homework (3-5 minutes)
1) Read the Evaluating Sources Overview on the Writing Studio http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/trad_research/eval/
2) Begin to revise your annotations to include resources for specific evaluation discussed in this guide.
3) Acquire a periodical, either a print newspaper, a magazine, or an academic journal and bring this to class on Wednesday.