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Unit One, Day 8 - Thursday, September 14

What they'll do today in class:

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.


  1. 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)
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

(15 min)



  • 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.
  • Discussion questions:

    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?
  • (5 min)

  • 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.
  • ( 10-15 min)

    IF TIME…

    6) Have them practice narrowing their focus and purpose with their chosen essay. You can do this as a combined listing and freewriting activity.

    (5-10 min)

    7) Conclusion



    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?