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Unit 3, Day 42:  Friday, November 30


What you’ll do today in class:


-         Have students outline their paper to create a coherent structure 

-         Discuss logical fallacies

-         Have students workshop their outlines


Connection to course goals:  Today we want to re-emphasize that the organization of students’ arguments should be coherent with the context they have set up for their papers.  In addition, today’s class shows students the expectations for educated argumentation in terms of making sure their papers are free from problems in logic.




1.      Have students write an outline for their own paper that maps out a coherent structure (25 minutes):  The goal here is to show students a process that they can use to make sure each part of their argument is coherent with their audience, purpose, and focus.  This activity asks students to begin thinking “strategically” about how they can actually set up their argument. Get students to outline their argument in a way that identifies the relationships they see among their thesis, reasons, and evidence for each reason.  Have students use the following guidelines (you might have them use a 2-column grid with reasons and evidence on the left side and explanations of connections on the right side):


1)      Write your thesis (overall claim) at the top of your outline.

2)      Write each of your main reasons (sub-claims) that support your thesis, leaving some space between each reason.  After you’ve listed them, number each reason.

3)      Explain the relationship you see between each reason you’ve identified and your thesis.

·        Why is this reason necessary?  How exactly does it connect to my thesis? How might this reason respond to opposing arguments or audience objections?

·        Why is it a reason that would be convincing for my audience?

4)      Using your annotated bibliography and notes, list the types of evidence that can support each reason you’ve listed.

5)      Explain the relationship you see between each reason and your supporting evidence for that reason.

·        How exactly does this piece of evidence substantiate this particular reason?

·        Why would this piece of evidence be relevant and convincing for my audience?

6)      Look back at your reasons and explain the connection between each one.  Which one is strongest, given your audience and purpose?  Which is weakest?  Make notes on how you might re-order your reasons to best address your audience’s previous positions and concerns.




2.      Discuss Logical Fallacies (10 minutes): Make sure the students understand the different types of logical fallacies and why each is problematic.  Read over the fallacies identified in PHG and highlight the ones that you think they’ll be most likely to have trouble with in reasoning through their arguments.


3.      Workshop outlines to look for logical fallacies (15 minutes):  Have students exchange their outline with a classmate and look for any places in the text that might include a problem in logic.  (If time, have students respond to a second classmate’s outline.)  Ask students to complete the following for another writer’s outline:





Assignment for Day 43:


-         Write a rough draft of your Essay 4 based on the feedback on your outline and our discussion of logical fallacies.  Bring your cover page.