backReturn to Unit 3: MWF

Unit 3, Day 38:  Wednesday, November 14


What you’ll do today in class:


-         Have students workshop their claims

-         Examine claims in context

-         Discuss and practice MLA documentation (works cited and in-text citations)


Connection to course goals:   The main goal of this class is to show students that the choices they make in regard to claims and evidence are influenced by the context they are defining for writing in Essay 4.  Students also learn how to use MLA format for documenting their sources, which is another requirement for this assignment.




1.      Have students workshop claims to generate other possibilities or refine claims (20 minutes):  The goal of this activity is to have students get ideas for revising their overall claim based on the context they’ve defined in their Position Analysis.   Have students work in small groups and exchange their Position Analysis.


1)      Ask students to identify the types of claims (fact, cause-effect, value, solution) they see based on the overall claim the writer identified.

2)      Have students “unpack” the writer’s overall claim and list all of the implied claims they can find (i.e. what the writer will have to prove or show to support the thesis).

·        What expectations will this writer’s audience have in terms of evidence based on the overall claim?

·        What sub-claims need support?  What kind of support do you think each needs?  What kind of reasoning or development does the claim imply?

3)      Ask students to give the writer suggestions for narrowing down the types of claims that would be most effective given the audience, purpose, and focus the writer identified in the Position Analysis.




2.      Have students consider how the sources they already have might fit into their context (5 minutes):  

·        Looking at the sources you brought for today, what will they do for you in terms of evidence?

·        Will your sources be useful for supporting your claims in Essay 4?

·        Will your sources only be useful for representing positions and understanding the background of the ongoing debate?

·        What other purposes might your sources serve?

·        What other kinds of sources will you need to locate in order to support your position?




3.      Discuss documentation (10 minutes):  Plan a discussion to explain reasons for documenting sources before showing them how to do it.


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.)


4.      Practice MLA documentation (15 minutes):  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.





Assignment for Day 40 (for over break):


-         Read “Appeals for Written Argument” in PHG (438-442).

-         Complete your evaluative annotated bibliography for Monday.

-         Revise your Position Analysis in response to conference and comments and bring it back to class after break.