backReturn to Unit 1: MWF

Unit 1, Day 10:  Monday, September 10


What you’ll do today in class:


-         Discuss effective evidence

-         Analyze Molloy’s evidence (and use it as criteria for evaluating his text for Essay 2 context)

-         Prewriting Activity—Finding and Narrowing Criteria


Connection to course goals:   The first two activities connect expectations for evidence to context.  The practice analysis of Molloy’s evidence shows students one mode of development they can use to support an evaluation of a text. Finally, the prewriting activity re-emphasizes the need to meet the context but moves students into how they can make choices within the expectations of the context (to see that there are different ways to set up the criteria and still meet the context).




1.      Discuss effective evidence (7-10 minutes): 


-         Generate a list of what would be considered effective evidence.


·        relevant to context

·        detailed

·        specific

·        credible

·        explained


-         Ask students to identify a few examples of evidence from any of the essays we've read before that they found effective and explain why.


-         Ask students to consider how this list would play into the criteria the class has established.


·        Why would effective evidence be useful for the professor?

·        What would a professor be interested in regarding evidence?

·        How might an essay with less effective evidence be useful to the professor's needs?


Transition:  “Now let's apply this type of response—analysis of evidence—to Molloy’s text to practice evaluating.”


2.      Define Molloy's context and argument (10 minutes):  To evaluate Molloy’s evidence fairly, it’s important to first discuss the context of his article.


-         Define Molloy’s context:


·        What do you know about the situation for his text?  Where was it published?  When?

·        Considering that situation, who was Molloy writing this article for, primarily?  And what was his purpose?  What did he hope to accomplish in writing to these readers?


-         Summarize Molloy’s argument:

·        What did you summarize out of Molloy’s essay?  What did you identify as his thesis or main argment?


3.      Group activity—evaluating Molloy's evidence for different contexts (10 minutes): The goal of this activity is to show students that while Molloy’s evidence might be effective or valid given his particular purpose and audience, it may not be considered effective for the context of the seminar course.  Divide the class into four groups and give them the following instructions.  


Groups 1 and 2 should respond to the following based on Molloy’s context:

·        Find at least two places where you think Molloy's evidence is effective and explain why.

·        Find at least two places where you think Molloy's evidence is less effective and explain why.

·        Explain, based on either (or both) of the above, why you think Molloy’s text achieves the purpose we’ve identified earlier.


Groups 3 and 4 should respond to the following based on our Essay 2 context:

·        Find at least two places where you think Molloy's evidence is effective and explain why.

·        Find at least two places where you think Molloy's evidence is less effective and explain why.

·        Explain, based on either (or both) of the above, why you think the text would or would not serve the purposes of the seminar professor (see the course description on Essay 2 assignment sheet). How well does it meet the criteria? 


4.      Discuss group findings (15 minutes):


1)      Have groups 1 and 2 present their findings.  Then discuss the relevance of Molloy’s context:

·        Is it fair to evaluate Molloy’s evidence based on our context in Essay 2?

·        Do we need to consider his context in our papers?  In what way?


2)      Have groups 3 and 4 present their findings.


3)      Then, discuss as a class how well the essay meets OUR criteria:

·        Where is Molloy's evidence effective? Why is that effective?

·        Where is Molloy's evidence less effective? Why?

·        How could he improve the evidence in the essay?

·        How might his use of evidence have been influenced by his audience?


Transition:   “Analyzing evidence is only one way to develop our criteria.  You might choose to focus on other criteria and/or modes of development, so let’s work a bit with making these choices.”


5.      Prewriting ActivityFinding and narrowing their criteria (5-7 minutes):  The goal of this activity is to show students that in writing their Essay 2 one of their tasks will be "personalizing" the criteria list to fit their purpose for the assignment.  Make clear to students that it would be too much to try to evaluate a text in terms of all of the possible criteria we've generated, so based on which text they choose and how they want the professor to view it, they'll have to decide which of those criteria are the most important and relevant to their purpose.  Get them to practice narrowing the criteria list using the essays we’ve read so far.


-         Assign WTL:


·        Choose any text we've read so far, and then take a few minutes to write a narrow list of criteria to better reflect your evaluation of that particular text.  That is, which of the criteria seem most relevant to this text?  Which features of the essay are most notable/important?  Which part of the text was most influential to you as a reader?  What would you want a professor to know about this essay?


-         Summarize:  Tell students to hang on to these WTLs and emphasize that once they actually do choose the text they'll evaluate for their next paper, they should go through this process of narrowing the criteria.





Optional Activity (if time)—have students discuss their narrowed criteria:

-         Have two or three students offer their new criteria list for the text they chose, and list their criteria on the board.

-         Ask students to explain why they chose that list of criteria.  What were their reasons for focusing on these features (such as evidence, organization) or parts of the text?

-         Ask the class if what the person has selected seems like it would work to meet the context for Essay 2.


Assignment for Day 11:


-         Read Schor’s “The Overworked American” in RC (385-89) and Hochschild’s “Work:  The Great Escape” in RC (390-99).

-         Write a paragraph summary and a 1-page response to either Schor or Hochschild focusing on how well that text meets one of our established criteria, and then explain why you chose that criterion.