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WRA 150: EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN THOUGHT TUESDAY, OCT. 1, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "WRA 150: EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN THOUGHT TUESDAY, OCT. 1, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 WRA 150: EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN THOUGHT TUESDAY, OCT. 1, 2013

2 AGENDA  Housekeeping  Discuss: “Rethinking”  Activity: Honing your papers?  Developing your research questions  Conducting research  Constructing arguments  What’s next

3 GOALS FOR TODAY  Develop your research questions so that your paper is doable  Taking the big picture and zoning in on the specifics  To develop good research skills and how to successfully incorporate that into your papers  Develop your argumentative writing skills to strengthen the claims you make in your papers.

4 REMINDERS  Peer review is next class.  Final drafts will still (for now) be due on Tuesday, October 8, by11:59 pm.

5 ACTIVITY  Write your paper topic/thesis (depending on where you are in the writing process) on a piece of paper.  Post your pieces of paper up in the room somewhere  Go around the room and do one of the following (write on their papers): 1. Ask a question 2. Give a lead (if you know a lot about this topic) 3. Give a resource for them to look into 4. Give examples of what they’re talking about

6 ACTIVITY  After you’ve gone around the room and written on everyone’s paper, gather your own and start grouping like questions  This will help you see what sorts of things readers are more commonly concerned with  The “groups” that have the most content will show you content areas that can be developed/strengthened.

7 RETHINKING THE RESEARCH PAPER  Get in groups and discuss the following questions: 1. What are the problems of assigning the research paper in college composition classrooms today? 2. Do you agree with his assertions about the research paper? Why or why not? 3. What do you think should be revised when assigning research papers? What would you want to get out of writing a research paper?

8 RETHINKING THE RESEARCH PAPER 1. What are the problems of assigning the research paper in college composition classrooms today?  Must write something no one has ever written Problematizes and propagates the idea of “originality”  Written to an audience of one—the professor. What are the consequences of this? Mimics “academic” writing—to what ends?  Research writing must be objective “Acording to this view, there is nothing rhetorical about written expression. It should just be a neutral window to the truth, ” (p. 11)

9 RETHINKING THE RESEARCH PAPER  I assigned this reading because, first of all, it’s another artifact analysis paper despite not being labeled as such  I wanted you all to dissect what it means to do a research paper and to see, from an instructor perspective, the inherent problems in the existing model for assigning research papers  To see their role in first year writing curriculum and why they have historically been assigned.  To underscore the importance of experience-based research  Which will maybe change your tone and focus for your own papers and can help guide your research process. “connected knowing”

10 CONDUCTING RESEARCH  Intended to strengthen the claims your making about your artifact.  Remember, the research you need to do for this paper is not meant to be intense or overly scholarly.  That’s the next paper...  Things to consider:  Thinking back to MAPS—the S, in particular—situation Time constraints, the length of the paper, the paper's hypothesis or main thesis statement, your prior knowledge of the research, etc…

11 RESEARCH CONT’D  Think about the questions you’ve had about your artifact so far. How have you answered them?  Any progress toward an answer (definitive or not) is the kind of research that is suitable for this kind of paper  Things students have done in the past that have counted as research:  Surveys  Interviews (as simple and low stakes as asking people in their dorm rooms)  Your own experience (still a valid source of knowledge)  If you’re stuck about where to look, or what kind sources to find, try to be as abstract as possible

12 RESEARCH CONT’D  For instance, if your artifact is a golf ball, I don’t really want to read a paper about the history of a golf ball  Instead, think of the golf ball as part of the larger whole.  Generate a list of things you associate with golf as a whole. The list you compile will be good starting points for research. ‬ Do a google search for golf AND whatever list item.  From that you can see that the golf ball acts as a stand in for a cultural value or significance (i.e. gender inequality in the sport) This is “synecdoche”

13 ASSESSING ONLINE SOURCES Dupe Detector: A checklist to help surfers begin determining if information found on a website is true or not* Website:TrustworthyQuestionable 1.Do large companies you know advertise on the site?Yes □ No □ 2.Are there any ‘dead links’, or links to ‘moved pages’?No □ Yes □ 3.Do the images support the stated facts?Yes □ No □ 4.Is the site hosted by a credible provider and reside in a ‘trustworthy’ domain.Yes □ No □ 5. Are there links and references to other websites, resources and experts that corroborate this information? Yes □ No □ 6.Is the resource available in another format?Yes □ No □ 7.Do the site’s authors have other publications with credible sites and publishers?Yes □ No □ 8. Are the site’s authors experts in the subject? (Do they have any credentials or experience around the topic?) Yes □ No □ 9.Is contact information provided and does the place/ exist and work?Yes □ No □ 10. Does the site present highly biased visuals (e.g. racist statements, derogatory remarks, and emotional language)? No □ Yes □ 11.Is the site professional (grammar and typing errors are not present or very minimal)?Yes □ No □ Totals**:

14 INCORPORATING RESEARCH  The difference between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing 1. Quoting: using someone else’s words verbatim 2. Paraphrasing: putting a passage into your own words (a section of a book, article, etc). Used to clarify meaning. 3. Summarizing: restating an author’s main ideas in your own words (can be a whole book, article, etc)  All three MUST attribute the source you are working from. Both in text and in the works cited page. Failing to do so is plagiarism.  All are important skills to use when writing research papers. Using other people’s information provides support and credibility to your own research.

15 INCORPORATING RESEARCH  The difference between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing 1. Quoting: using someone else’s words verbatim 2. Paraphrasing: putting a passage into your own words (a section of a book, article, etc). Used to clarify meaning. 3. Summarizing: restating an author’s main ideas in your own words (can be a whole book, article, etc)  All three MUST attribute the source you are working from. Both in text and in the works cited page. Failing to do so is plagiarism.  All are important skills to use when writing research papers. Using other people’s information provides support and credibility to your own research.

16 MAKING ARGUMENTS  But paraphrasing, quoting and summarizing are only useful when they are placed in concert with an argument.  Last class, we talked about how strong thesis statements are arguable.  No matter what kind of essay you’re writing, you’ll need to organize it around an argument.  This argument is basically a point of view that you hold throughout your paper that you back up with evidence.  As you begin to think about your argument, you’ll need to consider how to prepare.

17 PREPARING YOUR ARGUMENT  Whenever we write, we have a purpose, a certain audience, and a particular stance—this stance is how you, the writer, already feel about the topic before you even begin writing.  Think back to earlier in the semester when we talked about the rhetorical situation and ethos, pathos and logos.  Purpose, audience, and writer combine to create the rhetorical situation.  Asking yourself what the reader needs to know, why they need to know it, how they will know it by the end of your paper and what you already know.

18 PURPOSE  Identify your purpose.  Is your primary purpose to entertain? to inform? to persuade? For these papers, your purpose is varied. Mostly it is supposed to be informative, but that can be achieved through entertainment or persuasion—this all depends on your and your audience’s orientation to the subject matter.  Is your purpose affected by your audience’s expectations? What do you want your audience to think? feel?

19 AUDIENCE  Identify your audience(s)  Known Audiences  Beginning writers usually write for themselves; they picture the audience as a group of people just like them. An audience might include friends, relatives, teachers, classmates, and other known and familiar audiences. You know what these audiences expect and their level of information on your topic.  Unknown Audiences  Sometimes, though, you might be writing for multiple audiences, including audiences you don’t know. They might expect you to write in ways that are familiar to them but new to you.

20 AUDIENCE  Ask Yourself  Whom do you want to reach?  What is your audience’s background? What political or demographical circumstances may affect their reading? What does your audience already know and think about your topic?  What tone and language would be most appropriate? How can you appeal to your audience?

21 WRITER  Identify your stance as a writer.  What is your attitude about your topic? Critical? Opinionated? Objective? Passionate? Indifferent?  What is your background with the topic? Are you biased by what you already know about the topic?  What experience do you have with the topic that any general audience would not necessarily have?  How do you want your audience to see you? As a passionate advocate? An objective observer?  Should you openly reveal your stance?  What tone will best convey your stance?

22 RHETORICAL SITUATION  Identifying these three things will help you make claims that support your thesis, position, arguments.  Once you’ve done that, you need to come up with reasons why you’ve come to the conclusions you have  Why is this artifact valuable? What does it say about the people who use/produce it?

23 EVIDENCE  You have to develop support for your reasons. For example, you may:  use facts or statistics,  offer anecdotes, scenarios, or illustrations, OR  cite an expert or authority opinion or textual evidence.  Some kinds of evidence are not acceptable to certain audiences. For example, a case study would be readily accepted by an audience in the social sciences but not by an audience in the humanities. And anecdotes might have more of a place in the humanities but not in the physical sciences.  This is where research comes into play.

24 COUNTERARGUMENTS  Whatever your claims, your argument or point of view is only strengthened by demonstrating a clear understanding of all sides to your topic.  The mark of a skilled writer lies in how he/she tackles the counterargument.  To strengthen your paper, you should refute any argument that goes against what you are saying  For instance, if my point of view is that golf reinforces the male hegemony in sports, I need to present arguments that support gender equality in golf. But, it is in the way I present these counterarguments that will make or break my paper Must show why this argument is flawed/is shortcomings.

25 TO SUM UP  Hopefully you leave class today with a good sense of where your first drafts will go by crafting and answering your research questions  Or, if you’ve already made a dent in your paper, a better sense of how to tighten it up and where to develop the most relevant areas  How to better conduct research and incorporate your findings effectively throughout your paper  To also get you prepared for project three, the disciplinary literacies paper…  A better idea of how to effectively make arguments as a way to strengthen the claims you’re making about your chosen culture and artifact.

26 QUESTIONS?  As you move forward with your first drafts?  Remember that office hours are right after class…

27 FOR NEXT CLASS  Peer review day!  Bring in two copies of your paper  Again, these drafts do not have to be complete  Come with specific things/areas you want help with  We will work on creating a rubric together for this paper…


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