What we'll do today in class:
- Complete grid with claims, labels, and context/audience for Gaines
- Examine how choices of evidence are tied to claims and context/audience
- Practice focusing and addressing an audience with their homework assignments
Connection to course goals: Asks students to analyze how one might apply academic writing and thinking skills to cultural contexts. Begins to get students thinking about purpose, audience, and focus in terms of the analyses they read and their own assignment, which emphasizes writing as a response to context. Looks at what types of evidence are used and how that evidence is also a response to the writing context.
- Discuss completed worksheets.
- Your goals in this discussion are to make sure students understand the different analyses made by the two authors, and also to clearly distinguish between Function for Viewer (What Gaines mostly does) and Function for Culture (What Bennett mostly does).
- Before you discuss the essays, make a chart on the board and record all of their responses from the homework so you have a finished compilation of both authors…
Context and Audience
- While you discuss, fill in the appropriate sections as a class. You'll use their responses later to examine how their choice of function and their purpose/audience affected what type of evidence was needed.
- Make sure the following points are represented in the context section of Gaines:
- Gaines is explaining the value these shows might serve to a viewer.
- Gaines' audience is Bennett and readers of Bennett - it's a response. You can see this from the title of the essay, her more extensive use of evidence (since her audience will need more convincing to accept her position).
- Some possible discussion questions:
- What is Gaines's argument about talk-shows? What type of cultural claims does she make? What type of function approach are her claims? Does she do both? More of one than the other?
- Using these two essays as examples, what is the difference between the Function for Culture and the Function for Viewer approaches? How would you explain them to someone?
TRANSITION: Now that we've discussed their overall analyses and examined their contexts to determine what their purpose was and who they were writing to, let's examine how those decisions affected what each author uses as evidence.
Using the chart, examine each author's choice of evidence. Your goal here is to get students to see how their choices in terms of the type of function they choose and their overall purpose and audience will affect what they'll need as evidence.
Some possible discussion questions
- What does each author use as evidence? What types of evidence do they use?
- How do the types of evidence they chose relate to their purpose or audience?
- How do the types of evidence they chose relate to the type of function analysis they are doing?
Some examples of how evidence is related to the concerns on the chart…
- Bennett uses titles from the show (textual evidence), and recounts some details about specific guests (textual evidence). He uses King as evidence for how these shows affect culture. He doesn't use as much detail because his audience (conservative) is more willing to accept his argument.
- Gaines uses personal experience (helpful to show function for a viewer), some specifics from the Jenny Jones Show (which she connects to her own experiences and actions), summarizes specific points of Bennett's argument (necessary for a response)
- (NOTE: An important point to make here is that the personal experience-based analysis that Gaines does is not the only way to do the Function for Viewer analysis. We'll be looking at two other Function for Viewer analyses during the next class that don't focus on personal experience)
Transition: Let's now turn back to your homework analyses from the other day. The assignment was just to write a response, but now let's consider how to take these homework assignments and consider how to clarify a purpose, an audience, and a focus that would be appropriate if they were to be used for Essay 3.
Group activity on Purpose/Focus/Audience with their homework assignments from last Thursday.
- The goals of this activity are to get them thinking about what choices they can make in terms of purpose and audience, and to have students consider how to state their focus in the form of a clear claim.
- We're trying to show how these homeworks may have to be changed if they were to be used for the actual Essay 3 assignment.
(NOTE: you will have read the homework assignments and selected two - one Function for Viewer and one Function for Culture - that you think will work well for this activity. Typically you'll want to look for homeworks that already have some focus, have used some evidence, but may have to be adjusted based on a new audience or purpose, or perhaps they aren't clearly focusing on Function for Culture or Function for Viewer, which they'll have to do to meet the context for essay 3. Make enough copies of each homework assignment for each student.)
- Divide the class into 4-5 groups, half will work on the Function for Viewer and half on the Function for Culture.
- Give each group the copies of the homeworks and a blank overhead.
- Then have each group complete the following tasks on their overhead:
- AUDIENCE: Having seen the talk-show, decide on an audience for the analysis. Who would you be writing to? Who needs to hear what this analysis has to say? Who might be interested in the analysis?
- PURPOSE: After you've chosen an audience, decide on a clear purpose. That is, what are you trying to do for this audience with your analysis? Why should they care about what you're saying?
- FOCUS: Now that you have an audience and purpose, write a claim that sets-up your analysis and purpose. You might find the claim as it exists in the homework writing, and after you've agreed on what that original claim is, consider whether it still fits with your audience and purpose. Does it need to be adjusted to address the audience more clearly? Does that claim give a clear sense of the overall purpose you're trying to achieve? If the claim needs revision to fit with this new writing context, go ahead and do that. Otherwise, write your own claim that works off of what the homework started with. In either case, make sure you have an overall claim/thesis that sets-up your analysis.
Share the overheads to see what people came up with for Audience, Purpose, and Focus.
Have the groups present their work.
- Ask them to emphasize the choices they made and how that affected later choices (did their choice of audience affect the claim? Did the purpose affect the claim? Etc.)
- Also ask if the class can think of any other audiences and purposes a writer might take from this homework -- remember we're trying to emphasize the ability to make choices within a writing context because there are always multiple ways to meet a context effectively. (10-15 min)
(NOTE: Collect their overheads so you can bring them back on Friday. You'll be using their OHs in an activity on analyzing expectations of evidence)
Compare the contexts of the two essays to the context for Essay 3. The goal here is to build on the last discussion and try to get students thinking about what options they'll have in terms of purpose and audience for Essay 3.
- Would these essays work under the expectations of Essay 3? Why or why not? What do they do that does seem to fit with our context, what would be different?
- What other purposes might you be able to have for writing Essay 3?
- What other audiences might work? (5 min)
RC, Stephen King, "Why We Crave Horror Movies", p.315-316
RC, Elayne Rapping, "In Praise of Roseanne", 335-340