- Position Analysis due
- Introduce types of claims from PHG reading
- Unpack claims
- Have students generate other possible claims for their paper
- Discuss expectations for evidence based on claims
- Discuss using live sources
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. Today’s class also asks students to consider different types of sources they can use in writing their papers.
1. Collect your copy of the Position Analysis and explain to students that you’ll be giving them comments via email by Monday (5 minutes): Remind students to check their email at home over the weekend if they have access. Explain to students that you will be available in the classroom on Thursday for optional conferences if they want feedback. For students who do not have email access, ask for their names and type comments that you can give to those students during conference.
2. Discuss different types of claims from the reading (10 minutes): Design a discussion that highlights for students the need to have a claim that is debatable and to understand the expectations that come with different types of claims they might use. Have students identify the types of claims addressed in the PHG reading (fact, cause-effect, value, solution) and how each type implies certain expectations for supporting it.
3. Practice unpacking sample claims (7-10 minutes): Prepare a sample claim or two that you can unpack as a class to prepare students for the group activity. For instance, a claim of solution may work especially well because typically it will imply a claim of value as well (i.e. one solution is better than other options).
4. Discuss what claims imply about development, reasoning, and evidence (7-10 minutes): Ask students to consider what types of evidence or what types of things they’ll need to prove based on the types of claims they might have. For example, a claim of evaluating would necessitate a list of criteria, a claim of solution would likely require evidence to prove both that a problem exists and that this solution would work or is better than other possibilities. Also, remind them that types of claims will suggest different types of proof. The PHG is set up to focus on different types of claims in different chapters:
Type of claim Chapter
5. 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 one copy of 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).
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.
6. Have students consider how the sources they already have might fit into their context (5 minutes):
7. Discuss using “live sources” (10 minutes): Plan a discussion that shows students how they might use live sources as another form of evidence in supporting their overall claim in Essay 4. Cover strategies for conducting interviews and questionnaires that are addressed in the PHG reading. Ask them to think of ways to use the web to find live sources (i.e. discussion forums, chat-rooms, using schools’ web sites if their research involves schools, etc.). Also, have students briefly consider how live sources might be useful as evidence for their paper, given what they wrote in their Position Analysis. (e.g. How could they incorporate live sources? Which types of live sources seem like they might fit? How might their audience affect their use of live sources? What live sources would their audience consider credible?)
8. Introduce the Evaluative Annotated Bibliography assignment (5 minutes): Explain to students that the purpose of writing this evaluative annotated bibliography is get them to consider how they will use the sources they already have and what further research they’ll need to complete in order to make their argument. For example, completing an annotated bibliography often shows students that some of the sources don’t work for their context and argument. Give students oral instructions or a handout that explains these expectations: the annotated bibliography should summarize 6 sources and make a judgment about how each would be useful in helping them write their paper. Also, remind students to record the bibliographic information and keep notes for each source they have now or find over break. Let them know the bibliography will be due a week after they return from break and that you’ll discuss the specific format after break. Finally, remind students without email access to come to class on Thursday to pick up comments.
- Provide a sample evaluative annotated bibliography entry for students:
Males, Mike. “Who Us? Stop Blaming Kids and TV.” The Progressive October
Males argues that ultimately we should not place the blame for youth violence on kids or media, but on parents. He challenges the argument from more conservative participants such as William Bennett that exposure to violence has a direct link to violent actions from youths. The author concludes that our society’s efforts would be better spent in actively addressing the problems of the “Millions of children and teenagers face real destitution, drug abuse, and violence in their homes” rather than developing new technologies such as the V-chip. The article provides a number of statistics to back up his argument, although he does not cite his sources or provide a reference list. Although Males shows a strong bias in favor of social support for our youth, this is a good source to represent a position that contrasts those who argue for a more direct media-violence link.
Assignment for Day 27 (for over break):
- Read “Documenting Sources: MLA” in PHG (583-592) and “Appeals for Written Argument” in PHG (438-442).
- Read through other students’ Position Analysis on the forum to help refine your context, claim, etc.
- Complete an annotated bibliography that summarizes 6 sources and how you plan to use each in writing your paper.
- Write an introduction that places your overall claim into context
- Revise your Position Analysis in response to conference and comments and bring it back to class after break.