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Unit Three, Day 26 - Thursday, November 16

What we'll do today in class:

Connection to Course Goals: The Zero draft activity asks students to start generating their own ideas and reasons for their essay, and emphasizes that in order to effectively respond to the context they have to make an argument, not just discuss an issue or present a variety of sources. Getting feedback on the zero drafts emphasizes the value of revision in the writing process, even in the pre-writing stages and early drafts. Documentation is also an expectation of the context, and we'll discuss why an academic audience requires citations.



  1. Using your position analysis, write a "Zero Draft" of your essay. That is, you should have a sense of your overall issue, what claim you want to argue for, what purpose and audience you have in mind. Without any attention to evidence and sources, write your essay from the beginning. Just try to work your way through your reasoning or logic.
  2. (20-25 min)

  3. Feedback on Zero Drafts
  4. (10-15 min)

  5. Based on their feedback, have them consider the following and write a list so they know what they need to look for over break:
  6. (5-10 min)

    Transition: Over the break you should complete your research to find whatever evidence you need. Since you'll be focusing on research, let's take a look at documentation so you know what will be expected and what information to gather as you find sources.

  7. Discuss documentation. It helps to discuss the reasons for documenting sources before showing them how to do it. This will show them this is more than just busy-work.
  8. (5-10 min)

  9. Practice MLA documentation. Design an activity that requires students to find and practice both in-text citing and creating a works cited page. Make sure to focus mainly on the type of sources you expect they'll have the most (periodicals, journals, internet, books). Also, be sure to emphasize attention to detail. The whole premise behind documentation is so everyone in a field follows the same guidelines.
  10. (20-25 min)

  11. Emphasize that they should keep track of the information they'll need for citing sources as they find them. This will help when they have to do the eventual citations and works cited page.


Continue researching to find the evidence you'll need


PHG, "Appeals for Written Argument", pp. 438-442

Bring your zero draft back to class

(NOTE: Here are some tips for what to look for and comment on in the Position Analysis assignment: