What we'll do today in class:
- Position analysis due
- Zero Draft
- Workshop Zero drafts for expectations of evidence and feedback on context
- Works Cited and MLA Documentation
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.
COLLECT POSITION ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT
- 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.
- Feedback on Zero Drafts
- Have them exchange Zero Drafts and respond to the following questions:
- Based on what you see here, what's working so far?
- What fits? What seems out of place?
- Where does my reasoning make sense? Where is my reasoning confusing or unclear?
- What types of evidence will I need? Why do you think I'll need that evidence? Where in the essay did you see the need for this evidence?
- Based on their feedback, have them consider the following and write a list so they know what they need to look for over break:
- What sub-claims or reasons might need to be revised?
- What types of evidence will I need?
- What evidence do I already have? What evidence do I still need to find?
- Based on your responses to the above questions, make a list of the sources/evidence you already have and of the types of sources/evidence you'll still need to find.
- (NOTE: you might also point out to them that they should collect more sources than they probably need. Don't just collect the minimum number of sources required and make those sources fit whatever you need. The best essays will collect maybe 10 or 12 sources and then choose the ones that fit best with what your context ends up requiring.)
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.
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.
- Reasons for Documenting your sources:
- Give credit where credit is due
- Build your own credibility by showing knowledge of issue, accuracy, etc.
- So someone can find your sources if they need/want to
- Citing indicates the values of a discipline. For example, MLA is used by English departments and uses only the author's name. APA is used by Psychology and includes the date of the source. Why the difference? (The timeliness of a source is important in psychology, while not that important in English. The Author is important for both)
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.
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:
- Do they have a clear understanding of the whole issue? Can you see three distinct positions that demonstrate the complexity of their issue? Do their positions (as long as their issue allows for it) go beyond Pro/Con and something in-between?
- Do these positions really exist? Were they able to effectively incorporate sources to show that these positions are really out there?
- How deep is their analysis of each position? Are they getting a good sense of the values/concerns that produce each position? Could they push their analysis further?
- Which of the positions do they mainly side with? Did they completely side with one? Does their stance seem like it could incorporate points from other positions that they didn't note?
- Are they able to articulate a clear description of the context that meshes with the positions they've presented in Part I?
- Is their claim narrow? Is it appropriate to the context they've described? What other claims seem like they might work?
- Based on their position, what seems like an appropriate audience? What seems like an inappropriate audience?