backReturn to Unit Two: MWF

Unit Two, Day 26 - Wednesday

Class Goal: To practice development as something which emerges from purpose; that is, how what needs to be developed in a paper follow from the choices a writer has already made in terms of the purpose and audience for the essay.

Connection to Course Goals: Emphasizing how writing is a series of choices where one choice is limited/determined by another. Purpose is a choice limited by context (here the assignment and audience) while development is a choice limited by audience, once again, and the writer’s purpose.

Introduction: Now that they are working toward a thesis of their own, they have to start evaluating what kind of evidence they will need to develop the paper and whether they've collected enough to prove their point.

  1. Development Discussion: (10 min.)
  1. Development Examples: Make overheads of the following outlines. Using a piece of paper, cover up all but the thesis statement. For each example, ask students what kinds of proof they would have to offer to support the thesis statement. After they generate some ideas, talk through the rest of the outline, explaining its connection to the thesis statement. (Feel free to make your own examples here instead, particularly if you've never seen Friends or ER.) (10 min.)

OVH #1

Thesis: Friends perpetuates gender stereotypes at the same time it tries to undercut or change some of them. As a result, viewers can have whatever view of gender they already believe--stereotypical or more modern--reinforced when watching it.


1. Explanation of what gender stereotypes are in our culture in general.

2. Specific stereotype: Women are obsessed with appearance and clothes.

  1. Proof that this is a viable stereotype. (i.e. support for assumption about culture.)
  2. Example from Friends of reinforcement - Rachel's clothes obsession
  3. Example from Friends of resistance - Monica's attire in apartment and coffee house

3. Specific stereotype: Men are afraid of commitment.

  1. Proof that this is a viable stereotype. (i.e. support for assumption about culture.)
  2. Example from Friends of reinforcement - Chandler and whiny girlfriend
  3. Example from Friends of resistance - Ross's failed marriages that he wants to save but women don't

4 and 5: more examples like 2 and 3

5. Conclusion: How viewers might react

OVH #2

Thesis: ER is so popular because, given the health care crisis and malpractice suits, people are afraid that doctors care more about insurance and money than taking care of them. ER helps us feel secure that doctors put our needs first and that accidents, when they occur, are taken very seriously.


1. Description of current cultural situation - Uninsured people, malpractice suites, people's attitudes toward doctors

2. Specific Way ER addresses these fears: Indigent patients receive the best care

    1. Example of drunks, drug addicts, etc. on show and care they receive

3. Specific Way ER addresses these fears: Doctors receive the highest level of training.

  1. Examples of the type of supervision and instruction Carter or Lucy receive on a specific show

4. Specific Way ER addresses these fears: When accidents occur, doctors are reprimanded and go into a crisis because they are so upset over their error

  1. Example of Mark Green's losing a mother during delivery because he was overly arrogant about his abilities and the subsequent episodes that show his crisis and resulting "extra" attention he takes when diagnosing patients
  2. Example of Elizabeth Corday’s mistake administering a medication because of exhaustion and her fight to change the kind of hours doctors work

5. Effect on Viewers

  1. Personal Reaction and what I like about show
  2. Interview with my mother about why she likes it
  1. Development Mini-Workshop (15 min).
  2. WTL: Write a potential thesis statement for your own paper which includes your claim about culture, your claim about the show, and a claim about its potential effect. Remember that thesis statements, unlike the phrase implies, may be several sentences long.

    Group work: Have students share their thesis statements in groups by passing their sheets round-robin. Ask the readers to list the kinds of proof, specifically, they would expect to see in the development of each paper. Get at least two readers for each thesis.

    Discussion: Field any questions that came up as a result of workshop. If there are none, ask students to share a thesis and development outline, explaining why they think it meets the needs of this paper assignment.

  3. Williams Discussion (15 min.) Do only if you have time, which you may have run out of!

As a large class discussion or in groups, ask students to consider the Williams essay as a "reproduction" analysis. Evaluate with the class how well she meets the requirements of such an analysis.


  1. Pass-out Homework: Pass out copies of the three student samples included in the appendix. Ask students to read them, as well as PHG p. 288-94 for the next class.