What we'll do today in class:
- LOTS of WRITING to help generate ideas for their analyses
- Try to choose an audience, purpose, and focus
- Get peer feedback on those choices.
Connection to course goals: The first activity emphasizes both response to a context and the importance of feedback in the revision process. It also emphasizes that they can make different choices to meet the context for Essay 3.
- Feedback on homework writing. Exchange your homework assignment with a neighbor. Read through your classmate's writing and respond to the following questions:
- Which of the options for focus do you think would work best and why? Can you think of any other possible foci they might consider for this show?
- Which of the possible audiences listed will work best and why? Are there other audiences you think might work well for this analysis?
- Which purpose do you think would work best for this analysis? Which purpose would best fit the focus and audience you chose above and why? Can you think of other purposes that might work?
List an audience, purpose, and focus for your analysis. Have them use the feedback they received and their own preferences to choose a tentative purpose, audience, and focus. Remind them that they won't be held to these choices, but they need to choose so we can move on in developing a claim.
Transition: Because this assignment asks you to analyze hidden messages in TV shows, we're going to spend a bit of time making sure your claims are meeting this expectation.
WTL: Look at your audience description (the audience you'll most likely address) and respond to the following questions…
- What will this audience already know about the show? That is, what would any viewer who sits and watches this show already be consciously aware of?
- What messages will they be able to see easily?
- What will they know about the aspect of the show that you'll be focusing on?
- What do you think you can add to what they know about the show?
After they've completed their WTL, have them use what they wrote to look back at their focus and in writing their claim to make sure that they're dealing with messages that wouldn't already be clear to the reader.
Transition: Before you use your choices and the information about what your audience already knows to write an actual claim, let's quickly consider what an overall claim/thesis should do for this essay.
What should a claim do? Here we're working on focusing their essay into a clear and concise claim. Ask students to generate a list of what the thesis for this essay should do. What would a reader need to know in terms of what the essay is trying to accomplish?
- The overall cultural myth or anxiety (which will indicate whether it's a function for culture or function for viewer response)
- What the TV show does with that myth or anxiety - this part of the claim will identify their analysis of the show.
- Possibly some sense of purpose - the claim might include a sub-claim about what effect the show has on the viewer, what they feel should be done with the show and why, etc.
Using your updated information on audience and purpose (and what aspect/message/anxiety you've decided to center on in the show), write a claim that could serve as the thesis for your essay. Be sure to keep in mind what we've discussed above.
Transition: Once you have a claim, you've got a focus for your essay. However, any claim typically implies sub-claims that must also be proven. To make sure that we're proving everything a claim implies, we'll now spend a bit of time practicing "un-packing" claims.
Practice "unpacking" claims with sample theses.
Put the following claims on an overhead and "unpack" them one by one as a class.
- Peanut butter sandwiches are healthier than turkey sandwiches because of they have a higher fat content.
- (Implied claims to prove: PB has more fat than turkey; more fat is healthier than less fat)
- Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel and should be required reading for all students at the high school level.
- (Implied claims: Huck Finn is a "classic" novel; Huck Finn could not be replaced by another novel and should therefore be required. High School is the appropriate place for it to be read versus middle school or college.)
- Viewers watched Star Trek in the 1960's because it reassured their anxiety about the ability of different races and genders to get along.
- (Implied claims: 60's Viewers were anxious about the possibility of different genders, nationalities, and races being able to co-exist. Star Trek reassures this anxiety by showing co-existence between men, women, Americans, Russians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and even aliens.)
After they've practiced unpacking claims, have them write their tentative claim at the top of two half-sheets of paper. Then exchange those two sheets with two classmates, and unpack each others claims.
What implied claims are there here? What sub-claims would the writer have to prove?
Based on those claims, what would you expect in terms of evidence? What types of evidence will the writer have to have to support each claim?
- Once they've unpacked both claims, have them return them to their writers and have everyone look at the feedback they received in terms of what sub-claims they'll have to prove and what people will expect in terms of evidence to prove those claims.
Come to conference with your introduction (which should include some sense of your purpose and audience as well as your claim), and possible ideas for evidence
A draft of Essay 3 - it can be rather basic at this point. Try to work through the skeleton of the essay because we'll be talking about organization on Friday.
the sample essays (APPENDIX) - make sure to hand out these essays during today's class so they'll definitely have them for Monday