Week 12 (Tuesday, November 10 to Thursday, November 1)
MLA in-text citations lecture (35-40 minutes)
There is a powerpoint presentation you can use to help you through this lecture. Remember, at this point in the semester, students should be well aware of how to use narrative citations (author tags), but they haven’t been formally introduced to parenthetical citations and using parentheses for page numbers when using an author tag. Students should have done research prior to this class (at some point in their high school career), but don’t assume that they still remember these skills. Take it slow and be prepared to answer lots of individualized questions.
It may be a good activity to have them take out their working bibliographies and determine what would need to appear in their essay according to the bibliography. Consider the following, for example:
Bird, Big. “Secrets of the Street.”Sunny Skies 32.04 (14 Jan 2000): 32-40. Academic Search Premier. Ebscohost. Morgan Lib, Fort Collins, CO. 27 July 2009. <http://ebscoepnet.com>.
This citation tells me that “Bird” and a page number (Bird 36) will need to appear in my essay in order for this source to be appropriately cited.
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” (You Decide Time)
Start with what students already know about argument, prompting them with questions about what Koch says, such as:
Move the students into a discussion of how Koch says what he says by adding in questions such as:
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.
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.
Discuss George Will’s “Dark Green Doomsayers” and subsequent articles (you decide time).
Will’s article incited an avalanche of response. Many journalists were outraged at his use of evidence (something they called “cherry-picking”). Lead a discussion about Will’s article in terms of his audience appeals. Then take a look at the subsequent articles that were written in response to Will’s initial article. How are the subsequent articles’ arguments organized and supported? What kinds of audience appeals are at work? How?
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.
Check in with the drafting process
You may want to come up with a creative and clever way to do a quick check-in. Perhaps you could have each student explain to the whole class where they are in their process; it could be a random process if you asked the student who just finished speaking to call on the next student. Or you could set up a brief activity called “speed idea dating,” where students sit across from one another and for 30 seconds one side of the table explains where he/she is in their drafting process; after 30 seconds the other side of the table gets a turn. Then one side of the table slides one person to the right. This could go on for several minutes.
Recommended Homework for Week 13