back Return to Unit Three:TR
Class Plan -- Unit Three, Day 25
Goals Assignment for Day 26:

Before you leave for Thanksgiving Break: get back into the forum and respond to at least three classmates' postings, offering whatever suggestions you can come up with of resources for research or suggestions for their argument. (I will be responding to your postings as well.)

Over Break, do the following:
Reading - PHG, 456-8 ("Revising Fallacies in Logic");

Research and Writing - Decide which type of claim (fact, cause/effect, value, policy) your claim is, then try rewriting it as the other three types of claims and see if any of these versions works better (See PHG 449 for an example of this.); Fill out the Reasons/Opposition/Rebuttal handout as a way of anticipating and refuting opposing arguments; Examine your argument as it stands right now in your Argumentative Brief, and decide where the "gaps" are. Where do you need more evidence? Where do your reasons need to be refined? Where do you need to take into account opposing arguments? (Do any additional research that is necessary over break, in preparation for the week of drafting we will have after break.)

After Break: be sure to check the forum to see if you have been given any useful advice for your research and drafting process. Take notes on anything that seems like it could be helpful.


Briefly review the four types of claims.You might start by getting a working definition of "claim" (something like "the thesis of an argument" or "a formal statement of the author's position"), then go on to list the types of claim. To show examples of each type of claim, you could do the following full-class activity, which is a bit more interesting than using the examples from the book:

Get one student to volunteer to read aloud his or her tentative statement of position (claim) from the Proposal Cover Sheet. Ask the class what type of claim this is (Fact, Value, Cause/Effect, Solution/Policy) and ask the student to read the claim again while you write it next to the appropriate category on the board. Then ask the class to rewrite the claim so that it fits the three other categories. For example, if the student gave a claim of cause/effect ("Excessive t.v. viewing causes antisocial behavior in children"), the class can rewrite it as a claim of fact ("Children are watching too much t.v. these days"), a claim of value ("T.V. viewing is negative when done in excess"), and a claim of policy ("The V-Chip is a better policy than the ratings system for controlling excessive and inappropriate viewing of t.v. by chidren"). [Doing this activity helps to demonstrate to students that some types of claims are more sophisticated than others. For instance, the claim of policy above seems to depend on all the other three claims. Making a value judgement or cause/effect assessment is necessary for proposing a particular solution or policy.] Go over Arguing Essay Assignment. You might come in with a copy of the assignment sheet on which you have highlighted all of the essential details you think students need to know about the assignment. Nothing in the assignment sheet is likely to be much of a surprise to them, but be sure to field questions nonetheless. Be sure to discuss what the two weeks after Break will look like (one week of drafting and in-class activities leading up to the final draft; one week of workshopping and discussion of the final exam assignment). Spend no more than 10 minutes on this, so that you can give students as much time as possible for the following activity.

Daily See the Appendix for a sample daily prompt that will get students to generate the text they will need for the following workshop. Emphasize that they should put a lot of space between each reason (and after the claim), so that their peers have room to write their responses. (Not at all an issue in the computer classroom, of course.) Give them about 10 minutes to lay their argument out in this format.

Activity: Devil's Advocate Workshop Put the following instructions up on the OH:

Before you have them start on this workshop, be sure to explain the reason for it (giving each other feedback about what an intended audience might come up with in terms of opposing arguments). Remind them that the activity is useless if they don't attempt to role-play the actual audience. (This was the point of last class's activity.) Then review the criteria for a good arguing claim (which they read in PHG): A claim should be debatable (more than one possible argument), clear, and sufficiently narrow.

Let them respond to one another's arguments for the remainder of class, with the exception of the few minutes you reserve to explain the assignment for next class. [Or you might actually give the assignment before you get them started on this workshop, so that they can work right up until the end of class.]