What they'll do today in class:
- Review finding main ideas
- Practice using Agree/Disagree response as a way to meet the Essay 2 context
- Practice developing their claims
Connection to course goals: The first activity practices the skills necessary to meet the expectations of the context for Essay 2. Using Agree/Disagree response as a way to meet the context emphasizes that they can make choices as to how they will meet the context. Focus is a crucial part of a writing task, and the last activity is designed to show them in more abstract terms why focus is important.
- WTL: Take about 5-7 minutes to respond to the following prompt: The essays we read for today took different sides on the causes and implications of the growing workload of Americans. Which of these authors do you tend to agree with and why? (10 minutes)
Transition: We've looked a lot at how the analysis response can be used to meet our context for Essay 2, let's review how we might use the Agree/Disagree approach to meet the expectations for this essay and begin to think about using evidence.
- Discuss their responses to the WTL. After making sure they have the main ideas down, you're trying to get a sense of who's falling where on the sides of this argument, then later we'll move to connect this more clearly to the criteria for Essay 2.
- Discussion questions:
- Before we really dive into our own responses, what are the main arguments of each of these authors?
- Prepare some discussion questions that could help students generate these main ideas. You might glance at the discussion questions offered by Reading Culture for some assistance here. Take about 15 minutes to get the main ideas of the two essays.
MAIN IDEAS OF SCHOR ESSAY:
- The amount of time Americans spend at work is increasing because of "key incentive structures" in Capitalism. This has created a crisis of leisure time.
- We're moving the opposite direction of European nations
- The "productivity dividend" is controlled by the companies - workers can't control how they spend their work hours
- It's not a visible societal debate anymore - unions aren't fighting for less hours
- Bad for both workers and in the home. Men vs. women.
- This crisis has certain ill effects - stress, health, less sleep, family problems, marriage problems, and MOST IMPORTANT - the effect on childbearing.
- Understanding this problem can help bring change.
MAIN IDEAS OF HOCHSCHILD ESSAY:
Discuss the essays as an interactive Agree/Disagree response. Your goals in this activity are to let them practice agree/disagree response, and to get them thinking about what type of evidence they would need to use to effectively support that approach in essay 2.
- Americans are working more hours because they want to - work has become a "home away from home." They complain about a time debt, but they actually choose it.
- The social situations and environment at work are actually largely preferable to those at home.
- As work has become more social (Deming's "total quality approach"), home has become more like work (Taylorizing the home) -- quality time to make it more "efficient."
- "Emotional Downsizing"
- Parents can now "buy" their way out of time - various companies designed to fulfill traditional parental obligations for a price.
- CAUSES: More women in the workplace, while men still don't do their part in the home; Job mobility has taken people away from relative who can help.
- SOLUTION: More and better parental leave, like Sweden
- Before you begin this discussion, ask students to pay attention to the types of "evidence" people use, and how that might translate into their essays. At the end of the discussion you'll consider how you would support this type of response effectively for the context in Essay 2.
- Which author do you think is correct and why?
- Let them debate for 10-15 minutes, just to see how these essays would work for generating discussion. You might want to think about ways to play devil's advocate to help keep the discussion going. For example, if everyone initially agrees with Hochschild's view, ask them to consider the implications of that view. Is it fair for parents to "buy" their way out of their responsibilities? If they agree with Schor, pretend you're more concerned about individual happiness. Why should I be forced to make my life more miserable by spending time with people I don't want to spend time with at home? (15 min)
Transition: Now that we've seen how these essays can lend themselves well to an agree/disagree response, let's connect this back to our context in Essay 2.
WTL: Take 5 minutes to jot down ideas in response to these questions: How might you use the discussion we've just had to meet the criteria we've set up and our context for Essay 2? Why might a professor be interested in essays that can produce these responses? What would you have to do to SHOW the reader the agreement/disagreement an essay can generate? What, from the discussion we just had, might be useful as evidence for this type of approach?
Discuss WTLs - List their responses for how this could meet the context on the board. Discussion is the most obvious possibility, but see if anyone comes up with other options for how Agree/Disagree response might be used. Also, consider what types of evidence they'll need. Ideally people will have used personal experience during the discussion, and you can refer to their examples as possible pieces of support to SHOW the professor that students can easily agree or disagree with the essay. (5-10 minutes)
Discuss other options for the Hochschild and Schor essays. What other aspects of either essay could they focus on? Your goal is to just do a brief discussion to consider other possible parts of these essays that could serve as a focus for Essay 2, once again emphasizing the choices available to them in this assignment. (5 min)
Transition: We've now seen several different ways you might evaluate an essay to meet the context for Essay 2, now let's move to putting this to practice. Let's consider some of the writing concerns that you'll have to deal with.
Focus Activity - Drawing Maps. This activity is designed to show students the importance of narrowing the focus of their text. You can let them know this beforehand, but I usually like to keep them guessing as to why we spend 5 minutes drawing maps in a writing class. It keeps them intrigued, which (as I'm sure you know by now) can sometimes be hard to do.
- Have the class number off by 3's and give them about 5-7 minutes to do the following…
- Ask all number 1's to draw a map of the United States with as much detail as they can.
- Ask all number 2's to draw a map of Colorado with as much detail as they possible can.
- Ask all number 3's to draw a map of how to get to their house/dorm/apartment from whatever building they're currently in.
- After they've drawn their maps, have them get into groups which have one person who drew each type of map. A group should have one map of the US, one of CO, and one of how to get to a person's house.
- Have them focus on one map at a time, and give them a location they'd try to find based on that map. For example, I usually have them look at the map of the US and ask how many groups could, based solely on that map, find their way to my hometown (Appleton, WI)? Of course, no group can. For Colorado I usually use The Brass Ass Casino in Cripple Creek. And then for the final map the location is the person's house. For the first two maps, just decide on two specific locations in the US and in Colorado that won't be on anyone's map. More than likely, the first two maps are hopeless and all of the maps to people's houses work fine. Once you've gone through these maps, ask the following discussion questions…
- Why did the final map work and the first two not work? What was different about the various maps? (they should be able to see that the third map had a clearer focus and purpose)
- How does this connect to writing?
- In writing an essay, unless you have a clear and narrow sense of purpose and focus a reader won't be able to follow your "map," so to speak.
( 10-15 min)
- In writing essay 2 one of your first goals is to narrow your purpose and focus so you can easily lead a reader through your evaluation.
6) Have them practice narrowing their focus and purpose with their chosen essay. You can do this as a combined listing and freewriting activity.
- First have them write the essay they're going to write about on the top of a sheet of paper.
- Then list as many aspects of the essay as possible that could serve as a focus for your essay
- Freewrite for 5 minutes on: Thinking in terms of criteria, which of these possibilities would you most like to work with and why? What about this part of the essay is effective or ineffective? What would you tell the professor about this aspect of the essay?
PHG "Kinds of Evidence" p. 157
Choose the essay you'll evaluate for Essay 2
A one-page freewrite on the following prompt: Looking at your essay, what could you write on for Essay 2? What do you want to say about the essay? Should it be used? Why or why not?