What we'll do today in class:
- Introduce types of claims from PHG
- Write a tentative claim
- Un-pack claims
- Discuss expectations for evidence based on claim
- Discuss Using Live Sources
Connection to Course Goals: The first activities emphasize the prewriting and revision parts of the writing process by asking students to first state their tentative claim and then revise it to better fit their purpose, audience, and context. Un-packing claims is a necessary part of the essay's context because any academic audience expects that the implied claims within a thesis will be dealt with thoroughly. Considering what evidence they'll need is also a context-based issue, and using live sources asks students to consider how these types of sources might be appropriate to their individual writing contexts.
- WTL: You should, in your homework, have articulated a clear and narrow issue. To start today, write what you think will be your overall claim(s) in response to that issue.
- Discussion of different types of claims to clarify definitions.
- You might give a quiz today to make sure they read the assignment.
- Discuss how often claims include sub-claims that are implied - this is the "unpacking the thesis" idea that we saw in Unit 2.
- Come with a sample claim that you can un-pack as a class to prepare them for the group activity. A claim of solution will probably work well, as it typically will imply a claim of value as well (you think your solution is better than other options).
- Group activity. In groups of 3, accomplish the following tasks. They'll need to use their homework writings and the claims they wrote for the WTL.
- Focusing on one person at a time, have groups identify the types of claims they see on each person's list of their claims. What implied claims exist within the overall claim? This could be phrased as an "un-packing the thesis" activity, something they've seen before.
- The group then helps each writer to narrow down the types of claims that would be most effective given the audience, purpose, focus they identify in their homework writing.
Discuss what claims imply about evidence.
Ask students to consider what types of evidence or what types of things they'll need to prove based on the types of claims they might have.
For example, a claim of evaluating would necessitate a list of criteria, a claim of solution would likely require evidence to prove that this solution would work or is better than other possibilities.
- Also, remind them that types of claims will suggest different types of proof. The PHG is set up to focus on different types of claims in different chapters:
Type of claim Chapter
Return to groups to get suggestions on what evidence will be expected.
After each person's claims have been evaluated, have the group help each other decide what evidence will be needed to support each claim.
What types of evidence will be needed to support the overall claim?
What sub-claims need support? What kind of support do you think they'll need for this claim?
What type of expectations will this audience have in terms of evidence?
Based on the feedback, consider how the sources they already have will fit into their context.
Looking at the two sources you brought for today, what will they do for you in terms of evidence?
Will they be useful for supporting claims in the final essay?
Will they only be useful for representing positions and understanding the background of the ongoing debate?
What other purposes might they serve?
Transition: We've just been considering what kinds of evidence you'll need, so let's now look at another form of evidence that might prove useful - live sources.
Using Live Sources.
Discuss the PHG reading on using interviews and questionnaires.
Also discuss how you might use the web as a "live" source. You might start by asking students if they can think of any ways the web could be used to find live sources.
You might "interview" someone through a chatroom
If your research involves schools, you might go to the school's website.
WTL: Looking at your focus, claim, purpose, etc., how might live sources be useful as evidence for your essay? How could you incorporate live sources? which types of live sources seem like they might fit? How might your audience affect your use of live sources? What live sources would they consider credible?
Complete POSITION ANALYSIS
Bring copies of the sources you used in the Position Analysis
PHG, "Documenting Sources, MLA", pp. 583-592