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ARGUMENT Everything is an. An academic, scholarly, or journalistic argument is not the same as an emotional conflict between people. Everything is an.

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Presentation on theme: "ARGUMENT Everything is an. An academic, scholarly, or journalistic argument is not the same as an emotional conflict between people. Everything is an."— Presentation transcript:

1 ARGUMENT Everything is an

2 An academic, scholarly, or journalistic argument is not the same as an emotional conflict between people. Everything is an ARGUMENT

3 At its best, an ARGUMENT should seek to: Open a subject –not close it. Broaden a topic –not narrow it. Earn respect for a position –not necessarily defeat it. Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School

4 But is everything really an argument? HOW? Any text with a point of view is an argument. Any point of view can be debated. A text is anything (or anyone) that can be –analyzed –assessed –examined –explicated –deconstructed

5 The ARGUMENTS we present today will be useful in your classrooms. The Identity Box project Research and Source Evaluation The Close Read The Learning Autobiography project Argumentative Speaking and Writing (and no, this isn’t a redundancy—details to follow)

6 In your classroom students will:  explore, assemble, and present visual rhetoric.  select and research a topic.  evaluate primary and secondary source material.  analyze texts through a close reading.  assess an author’s claims  respond to and defend an argument.

7 THE IDENTITY BOX Thinking inside the box: The ARGUMENT of ME Using visual rhetoric to explore identity and make introductions

8 Images, items, and artifacts allow us to get to know the “real you” A 3-D portrait of yourself Identity box: the argument of me

9 The Identity Box: The ARGUMENT of ME Wallet or purse. Music collection. Junk drawers. Attic or basement. Pieces of your past and heritage that inform your identity People and places important to you. Get your family involved if you wish—they are a part of your identity, after all. What to include Photos Picture ID’s (e.g. driver’s license) Keys Awards or certificates National flags Cultural artifacts Symbols of your past Books or poems CD cover art Iconic representatives of your future goals Where to search

10 Examples of visual rhetoric one might include in the ARGUMENT:

11 Set aside time for ARGUMENT presentations

12 Follow up with a written ARGUMENT : SELF-REFLECTION –Narrative –Selection process –Alone or assistance? –Liberating or constraining? –Revelations (themselves, family, community, world)? INTERPERSONAL REFLECTION –Surprising details/facts about classmates? –Reactive or interactive game-changers? Why/how? EVALUATION –Authentic self-assessment –Craft –Originality/creativity –Relevancy –Presentation skills –Objective defense of assessment

13 An ARGUMENT for Learning: multi-media project for metacognitive reflection How do I learn? Why do I learn? Where do I learn? From whom and what do I learn? (Spoiler alert: much of your students’ education occurs outside the walls of the conventional classroom.)

14 Framing your ARGUMENT with PHOTOSTORY (It’s easy and free to download!) 1 2 3 4

15 Using PHOTOSTORY Continued 56 78

16 The ARGUMENT for research Source Selection: (Destiny, Gale, GALILEO, Discovery Education, Nettrekker)

17 Research tools:

18 Hard copy of Student Assignment = Resource List

19 Resource List Emailed to the Teacher








27 Primary Sources, Academic Journals, Reference, etc.











38 Brainstorming/ Questioning/ Planning Understanding strategy/ syntax Evaluating results! Choosing the right type of search tool Staying up to date

39 Four tips: FSRE (for sure?) Focus—What is your mission or question? Strategize—Which search tools will you use? Which keywords and search terms will you use and how will you express them? Refine—How might I improve my search results? Evaluate—Which results will you visit? Which sites or documents are worthy enough to use? Did I do good work?

40 Research Question: How effective are drug abuse prevention programs for young people? Connect with “ANDs” Recognize the importance of brainstorming and strategy

41 Primary Source Information that provides first-hand accounts of the events, practices, or conditions you are researching Documents created by the witnesses or first recorders of these events at about the time they occurred diaries letters reports photographs creative works financial records memos newspaper articles (to name just a few types).

42 ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings Examples of primary sources include: Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII The Constitution of Canada - Canadian History A journal article reporting NEW research or findings Weavings and pottery - Native American history Plato's Republic - Women in Ancient Greece Primary Source Other types of primary sources include

43 Secondary Sources A secondary source Information that was created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions you’re researching. For the purposes of a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles. Also included would be reference sources like encyclopedias.

44 Secondary Sources Interpret and analyze primary sources One or more steps removed from the event. May have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include: PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias Examples of secondary sources include: A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings A history textbook A book about the effects of WWI


46 C REDIBILITY / AUTHORITY Who is the author? What are his or her credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliation? Does the author’s experience really qualify him or her as an expert? Does he or she offer first-hand credibility? (For instance, a Vietnam veteran or a witness to Woodstock?) Who actually published this page? Is this a personal page or is it an endorsed part of a site belonging to a major institution? (Clues pointing to a personal page: ~ tilde, %, users, members) Is the page hosted by a free server like AOL Members, Tripod, Geocities?

47 More credibility clues (What do others think?) Do a link check In Google or AltaVista typeGoogleAltaVista link:siteaddress Your results will show which other sites have chosen to link to this page. If several respectable institutions have linked to a site, that provides a clue about the site’s credibility. Does the site appear in major subject directories like Librarian’s Index to the Internet (

48 A CCURACY Can facts, statistics, or other information be verified through other sources? Based on your knowledge, does the information seem accurate? Is the information inconsistent with information you learned from other sources? Is the information second hand? Has it been altered? Do there appear to be errors on the page (spelling, grammar, facts)?

49 R ELIABILITY Does the source present a particular view or bias? Is the page affiliated with an organization that has a particular political or social agenda? Is the page selling a product? Can you find other material to offer balance so that you can see the bigger picture? Was the information found in a paid placement or sponsored result from the search engine? Information is seldom neutral. Sometimes a bias is useful for persuasive essays or debates. Recognizing bias is important.

50 R ELEVANCE Does this information directly support my hypothesis/thesis or help to answer my question? Can I eliminate or ignore it because it simply doesn’t help me?

51 D ATE When was this information created? When was it last revised? Are these dates meaningful in terms of your information needs? Has the author of the page stopped maintaining it? (Be suspicious of undated material.)

52 S OURCES BEHIND THE TEXT Did the author bother to document his or her sources? Were those references reliable, popular, scholarly, reputable? Are those sources real? Have you or your librarian heard of or been able to verify them? Is the material reproduced (accurately) from another publication? What kind of links did the author choose? Are the hyperlinks reliable and valuable?

53 S COPE / PURPOSE Does this source address my hypothesis/ thesis/question in a comprehensive or peripheral way? Is it a scholarly or popular treatment? Is it material I can read and understand? Is it too simple? Is it too challenging? Who is the intended audience? Why was this page created? To inform or explain? To persuade? To sell?



56 topic questions tentative thesis Process for developing the thoughtful thesis

57 Why a thesis? A thesis statement declares what you intend to prove. A thesis gives your work focus. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts. It makes the work worth doing!

58 What does a thesis look like? 2 Simple equations: Specific topic + Attitude/Angle/Argument = Thesis (or 3 Ts: Topic + ’Tude = Thesis) What you plan to argue + How you plan to argue it = Your thesis

59 Attributes of a good thesis: Contestable—proposes an argument with which people could reasonably disagree. Provocative—takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present. Coverable—could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. Specific and focused—proves a point without discussing “everything in the world about …” Provable—asserts your own conclusion based on solid evidence.

60 How will you find a thesis? As you read look for: Interesting contrasts or comparisons or patterns emerging in the information Something about the topic that surprises you Ideas that make you wonder why? Priorities you can weigh Something an “expert” says that makes you respond, “No way! That can’t be right!” or “Yes, absolutely. I agree!”

61 1.Does the thesis inspire a reasonable reader to ask, “How?” or “Why?” 2.Would a reasonable reader NOT respond with “Duh!” or “So what?” or “Gee, no kidding!” or “Who cares?” 3.Does the thesis avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as “all” or “none” or “every”? 4.Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences (the subtopics needed to prove the thesis)? 5.Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project? If you cannot answer “YES” to these questions, what changes must you make in order for your thesis to pass these tests? Try these five tests on your own tentative thesis:

62 What is plagiarism? and why you should care!

63 Definition: Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas, images, sounds, or the creative expression of others as your own. You can “borrow” from the works of others in your own work!

64 Use these three strategies, Quoting Paraphrasing Summarizing But make sure you blend source materials in with your own. Make sure your own voice is heard.

65 Quoting Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from a source, word for word. Quotations must be cited! Use quotations when: You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument You want to disagree with an author’s argument You want to highlight particularly eloquent or powerful phrases or passages You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view You want to note the important research that precedes your own Carol Rohrbach

66 Paraphrasing Paraphrasing means rephrasing the words of an author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words. When you paraphrase, you rework the source’s ideas, words, phrases, and sentence structures with your own. Like quotations, paraphrased material must be followed with in-text documentation and cited on your Works-Cited page. Paraphrase when: You plan to use information on your note cards and wish to avoid plagiarizing You want to avoid overusing quotations You want to use your own voice to present information Carol Rohrbach and Joyce Valenza

67 Summarizing Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) of one or several writers into your own words, including only the main point(s). Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material. Again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to their original sources. Summarize when: You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic You want to describe knowledge (from several sources) about a topic You want to determine the main ideas of a single source Carol Rohrbach and Joyce Valenza

68 Include any direct quotes or unique phrases in quotation marks or mark with a big Q and make sure the speaker’s/ writer’s name is identified. Make sure you note a paraphrase with the writer’s name and mark it with a big P Include page numbers and source references so you can go back and check for accuracy as you write. As you take notes:

69 Quote: “The days Robert Frost passed in solitude on the Gully farm in South Shaftsbury, Vermont, following the death of his wife on March 20, 1938, were as grim as any of his entire life.” Paraphrase: –The days Robert Frost spent by himself on his farm in South Shaftsbury, Vermont, after his wife died were the most dismal of his life. Summary: –Frost spent his most dismal days alone on his farm after his wife died.


71 How do I cite using MLA style? Parenthetical citations are usually placed at the end of a sentence, before the period, but they may be placed in the middle of sentence Cite the author’s last name and the page number In the absence of an author, cite the title and the page number If you are using more than one book by the same author, list the last name, comma, the title, and the page If you identify the author and title in the text, just list the page number




75 Close Reading Digging deeply into the written text. Warning: Strenuous Work Ahead. May result in clarity of content, grounded comprehension, and, in extreme but rare cases, critical thinking.

76 Key concepts for close reading Diction Denotation Connotation Tone Infer/Inference Author’s purpose Audience

77 Text Connections four fundamental ways we relate to texts Text to self TEXT TO ITSELFTEXT TO ITSELF This relationship is where the close reading exists. What are the features and style of the language and narrative? What is the purpose and message? Text to other text(s) Text to world

78  Observation  Inference  Speculation Close reading strategies

79 making notes of data without necessarily drawing a conclusion. Example: Cars have decreased in cost in the last one hundred years. Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School Close reading strategies : OBSERVATION =

80 Observation + “why” Why might something be true? Seeks an explanation or conclusion Further inquiry may or may not be required. Example: The cost of cars has gone down as the technology to make them has improved. Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School Close reading strategies : INFERENCE =

81 Observation + Inference (why) + PREDICTION. Assess for accuracy, relevance. value Predict future outcome(s) What WILL BE true based on what HAS BEEN true. Example: Because the car is now a necessity rather than the luxury item as it once was, it is likely that Ford will continue to make an inexpensive model and the cost will stay relatively low. Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School Close reading strategies : SPECULATION =

82 Strategies for Close Reading Always give the text your absolute attention. Annotate the text. Your Own Personal Copy: Underline Highlight Marginal notes Loaned / Circulated Copy: Don’t mark up Use separate journal or notebook Cornell notes

83 Have a good, reliable dictionary close at hand. –Print version –Digital version Scrutinize the language –Word and phrase level. –Connotation v denotation –Determine tone –Literal or figurative –Authorial purpose ↔ Audience reception More Strategies for Close Reading

84 Still More Strategies for Close Reading Look for: Repetitions Patterns Similarities Contradictions Note Text Structure Chronological Compare/contrast Sequence of events Cause/effect Spatial/descriptive

85 The Academic Argument : taking a position

86 Two basic types of ARGUMENT : Inductive “bottom-up” logic general propositions are derived from specific examples probabilistic: states the probability or likelihood Deductive “top-down” logic Conclusion is reached from general statements Links a premise with a conclusion Example: Specific Example: All life forms we know to exist depend on water for survival. General Proposition: Any future life forms discovered will probably depend on water for survival. Example: General statement: All men are mortal. General statement: Aristotle was a man. Conclusion: Aristotle was mortal.

87 And three basic categories of ARGUMENT : Arguments of fact: –Global warming is/is not a serious problem Arguments of values: –A woman president would/would not be good for the United States. Arguments of policy: –The U.S. should/should not grant amnesty to hard-working, law-abiding undocumented immigrant workers. Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School

88 We argue for four major purposes: To ASSERT –Seeks to declare and defend a claim This is what I think/believe and why I think/believe it. To PREVAIL –Seeks to triumph or establish dominance I am right/know better and this is why/how. To INQUIRE –Seeks to augment knowledge, resolve doubt, or solve a problem Why/how does something occur? To NEGOTIATE DIFFERENCES –Seeks mutual compromise I will do this for you if you will do that for me.

89 Evaluating an argument When determining the efficacy or validity of someone’s argument, we rely on rhetoric to provide clues. –The Message »What is s/he saying? –The Delivery »How is s/he saying it?

90 Evaluating an argument It is imperative for the reader/listener to circle back to the CLOSE READ Are you “buying” the argument, or is there lingering doubt? Word choice? Emotional response? Clarity or ambiguity?

91 Are you ready to argue? When formally responding to an argument— which means that you are now a participant in the argument—a little pre-emptive strategy goes a long way. First, state the issue in your own words. –[Insert author] claims that [insert topic] has resulted in [insert event or situation].

92 Take a position and gather your evidence. Organize your thoughts defend challenge qualify Experience 1 2 3 4 5 Reading 1 2 3 4 5 Observation 1 2 3 4 5 Adapted from V. Stevenson, 2013 Patrick Henry High School

93 Divide the room into four sections and identify each: –Agree –Strongly agree –Disagree –Strongly disagree –Middle = neutral Announce the supposition –Always state in the affirmative –Read and post topic or statement; offer no clarification –Students take a position—literally (no talking at this time) Have a some fun practicing argument in the classroom The Four Corners Discussion

94 Each group has allotted time for –Defense (no interruptions from other position- holders) –Rebuttal (no interruptions from other position- holders) –Change of position (argument becomes persuasion) Close the discussion without closing the issue –Each group summarizes position of opposing group The Four Corners Discussion (cont’d)

95 Stage a mock trial for a character or characters. Hold a formal debate Engage a Socratic Circle. Turn a position into a poster, pamphlet, or other graphic construction. Compose and deliver point/counterpoint speeches. Write an argumentative essay. Additional strategies for ARGUMENT

96 Works Cited “Boston Columnist Resigns Amid New Plagiarism Charges.” 19 Aug. 1998. 3 March 2003. Fain, Margaret. “Internet Paper Mills.” Kimbal Library. 12 Feb. 2003. “How to Do a Close Reading.” Harvard University Dept. of Ed. n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. Lathrop, Ann and Kathleen Foss. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000. Lewis, Mark. “Doris Kearns Goodwin And The Credibility Gap.” 2 Feb. 2002. Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument (6 th ed). Boston: Bedford, 2013. Print “New York Times Exposes Fraud of own Reporter.” ABC News Online. 12 May 2003.

97 Works Cited (cont’d) Sabato, Larry J. “Joseph Biden’s Plagiarism; Michael Dukakis’s ‘Attack Video’ – 1988.” Washington Post Online. 1998. 3 March 2002. Stephenson, Valerie. “AP English Language Summer Institute.” Woodward Academy, College Park, GA. 3-6 June 2013. Print. “While You Read: Strategies for Close Reading.” Empire State College. n. d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012.

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