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Class Plan -- Unit Two, Day 18

Assignment for Day 19
Reading - [Assign students a third reading from your course packet. The only requirement for choosing a reading is that it must come from a slightly different discourse community or academic discipline than that of the second reading you assigned.]

Writing - Full text analysis of this article, including "conclusions" section. [It would be a good idea to tell students that you are going to collect their analyses at the end of class, so that you will be able to provide some brief response to their first attempts at analysis. Also remind them that their analysis will be the basis of next class's discussion.]


Complete Text Analysis of Second Article. - Immediately put students back into groups (if they needed more time from last class) to finish up their analyses. Put up your OH instructions again, remind them which sections they are working with, and deal with any students who were absent last class. [You will want to give students just enough time to let them finish what they started last class, making sure that you have the majority of class time to discuss findings and to draw a few conclusions as a group.]

Group Reports - Have the groups present their responses on the OH. You might ask each group in turn to give what they consider to be their most noteworthy observation from the analysis, then have those responses recorded on the board by a scribe. [This will help to focus the analysis on only the most significant, noteworthy, or distinctive findings, so that discussion of conclusions will be easier to do.]

Drawing Conclusions. - As a large group, spend some time attempting to answer the questions in the "Drawing Conclusions" section of the text analysis handout. [This is perhaps the most important part of the entire activity, as students will have a model for how to draw conclusions on their own in the analysis they will be doing for next class. You will want to be fully prepared for this discussion, having done the text analysis yourself and come up with some possible conclusions on your own. This will allow you to respond to and push the boundaries of students' conclusions, as they are likely to come up with rather general observations about the text. Plan in advance how you will move them to another level of the text: assumptions, values, etc.--in other words, the reasons why certain writing conventions seem to exist in this particular discourse community. You might also want to help students to qualify their conclusions. They need to be able to make judgments about the discourse community based on this single text, but they need also to realize that they are using a VERY limited sample for this analysis. In other words, model the type of language that they will need to use in order to qualify their conclusions in their own analyses: "seems to indicate," "suggests," "conventional", etc.

Compare/Contrast with Mainstream Magazine Article. - Part of the "Drawing Conclusions" section asks students to compare the text with others on the same or similar subjects. Be sure to take some time to discuss the way this text compares to the first article you read on the class topic (the mainstream magazine article). What seems to distinguish the two discourse communities from one another? What similarities (if any) exist? This is again an important skill to practice and model in class, as it is a central task in their Text Analysis Report Assignment.

Give assignment for next class, explaining that they are expected to do the entire analysis on their own, including taking a stab at drawing conclusions. Tell them they will be discussing their findings/conclusions next class. IF TIME PERMITS, get them started on this assignment by asking them to examine the context of the article by way of table of contents and advertisements (the following assignment, or an abbreviated version of it--TO SHORTEN THE ACTIVITY, YOU MIGHT CUT OUT THE DAILY WRITING AND INSTEAD SIMPLY HAVE THEM LOOK AT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS AND ADS, MAKING SOME QUICK OBSERVATIONS ABOUT WHAT THEY SEE THERE.). Daily - Take a look at the context of the article you are reading and analyzing for next class. Based on clues that you find in the table of contents and advertisements, what conclusions can you draw about the readers/audience of this magazine in terms of a) political affiliations, b) interests/hobbies, c) socioeconomic status, d) level of education, and e) age?

Discussion of Daily. - The purpose of the following discussion is to practice using contextual clues that can be found outside a text in order to learn something about the text , its audience, and the values that surround it. Students might come up with a variety of responses to the daily questions. Or they might come up with none. You will want to come to class prepared to prompt students to come up with a few of the observations that you yourself have made. What follows is a list of observations that Laura and Stephanie brought to class for this discussion during the summer: [They were using an article from the Utne Reader.]

Additional Clues for Utne Reader Using Ads and Table of Contents:

Political Affiliations?


Socioeconomic Status?

  • * well off (Aveda, investments)
  • Level of Education?