Hey Students!

You've made it...almost. Did you know that the number 11 symbolizes perfection in many cultures. Let's hope WEEK ELEVEN is fantastic for you.

To help, I've attached two versions of the Final Exam Study Guide below — a PDF and a Word Document. Both are exactly the same, but I know that not everyone can open Word Documents.

The Study Guide has a list of Questions on page one and a list of Key Terms on the second page. There is a lot of overlap between the questions and the key terms, so you're probably going to be OK just answering the questions or just looking up definitions of the key terms, but I included both to be thorough.

I should have all grades posted by tonight so you can see where you are going into the exam. See you Wednesday!





All Assignments In One Place!

For each week, I have listed any graded classwork that I collected that week as well as any homework assignments that I collected that week. I have also linked to each assignment that has a handout associated with it.

All in all, including your final exam and your final paper, you will have 18 grades in this class.



Graded Classwork: None

Graded Homework: Rhetorical Analysis, Argument in Daily Life


Graded Classwork: None

Graded Homework: None


Graded Classwork: Group Visual Analysis

Graded Homework: Summary-Response Paper #1, Exploratory Paper (RANT)


Graded Classwork: Quiz #1

Graded Homework: Toulmin Analysis (Exercise E on p. 137)


Graded Classwork: Quiz #2

Graded Homework: Summary-Response Paper #2, Working Claim Oral Presentation


Graded Classwork: None

Graded Homework: Quiz #3


Graded Classwork: None

Graded Homework: None


Graded Classwork: None

Graded Homework: Proposal Working Outline OR Evaluation Working Outline


Graded Classwork: Rogerian Argument Letter

Graded Homework: Final Project


Graded Classwork: Student Conference

Graded Homework: Final Project


Graded Classwork: Final Exam

Graded Homework: Turn in Final Project

WEEK TEN: Student Conferences

As you know, we decided last week to hold Student Conferences in place of final project presentations.

I will be in my office on Wednesday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm on Wednesday, November 19 to meet with you about your final paper and your final exam. These conferences will last for 15 minutes and will count as both your attendance for the week and as a classwork grade.

Please come with as much prewriting work done on your final paper as possible...this will help us be more productive in our meeting.

If you want to, leave a brief comment indicating when you'll be stopping by so that I can make sure I don't have too many people at once.



Study for Final Exam

Finish Final Project


WEEK NINE: Rogerian Argument

READING: Wood, Chapter 10



We began this class with an ungraded "Visual Quiz" about logical fallacies — to help us remember last week's lesson.

After the quiz, we learned our last new concept for the class: Rogerian Argument. Unlike traditional argument, which assumes a winner and a loser, Rogerian argument assumes that each side has some common ground...and that a win-win scenario is possible. Rogerian argument is best for sensitive (i.e. hot-button) issues and in cases where you are trying to preserve a relationship, such as business negotiations and interpersonal disagreements.

We brainstormed a list of "hot-button" issues as a class...issues that we think will never be fully resolved. I then gave the class 45 minutes to choose an issue from the board or to think of a personal issue that is currently unresolved and write a letter to someone on the opposing side in the Rogerian style. I collected this Rogerian Argument Letter as a graded in-class activity.

Next, we looked at some documents explaining the Final Project in more detail: the Argumentative Essay Rubric, the Prewriting Worksheets, the Proposal Questionnaire, and the Evaluation Questionnaire. We went over each of these and the requirements for the final paper.

Before breaking for workshop time, we discussed our plans for next week. In place of class presentations of your final projects (which would take 8-10 hours to do if each student presents for 10-15 minutes), we will be having student-teacher conferences all day on Wednesday...from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

Next Wednesday, be sure to come by to talk to me about your final paper. The more you have completed (Prewriting Worksheets, Working Outline, Etc.) the more productive our conference will be...but come by no matter what. We can go over your grade, look at what you're missing, and discuss what you need to do for the final exam and the final paper. Your student conference will count as your attendance and as your Project Presentation Grade.



No Reading

Continue to work on your Final Project

Argumentative Essay Rubric

Prewriting Worksheets

PROPOSAL Questionnaire

EVALUATION Questionnaire

WEEK EIGHT: Fun with Fallacies

READING: Wood, Chapter 7



In this class, we veered away from the standard syllabus a bit...and instead of discussing visual argument again, we looked more closely at the two types of claims that you are choosing from for your final paper and how you should structure each type of paper.

I passed out sample working outlines: the Proposal Sample Outline and the Evaluation Sample Outline and we went over each in turn.

A Proposal Argument should follow a structure that you book calls the  problem-solution structure...often called The Motivated Sequence. Essentially, in a problem-solution structure you have to: 1.) Establish that there is a problem in the introduction, 2.) Present your solution (your thesis statement or main claim), 3.) Demonstrate the your solution truly solves the problem by providing steps and justification (this is your reasoning...the body of your paper), 4.) Present a call to action, and 5.) Visualize the results of adopting your proposal (you Conclusion) Of course, there is some play in this...and not all proposals will follow all five steps, but this is a good model.

An Evaluation Argument should follow an applied criteria organizational strategy. In this structure, you have to: 1.) Establish criteria for judging your issue in the introduction, 2.) Make a value judgment (your thesis or main claim...i.e. does the issue you are evaluating meet or fail to meet these criteria?), 3.) Provide reasoning and evidence to prove your claim, 4.) Answer any objections to your claim, and 5.) Reiterate the claim and push the argument further in your conclusion.

The sample outlines go over each of these structures in more detail.

We ended class by looking at logical fallacies...bu† we had to save the fun fallacy quiz and activity for next week.


Read Wood, Chapter 9

Create your own Working Outline using my sample as a guideline:

PROPOSAL Working Outline

EVALUATION Working Outline

WEEK SEVEN: Fallacies | Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, Cont'd

READING: Wood, Chapter 7



After collecting your Quiz #3, we began this week with a couple more Working Claims Presentations. These presentations took up a good portion of the class.

Next, we briefly looked at what a logical fallacy is, though we didn't go into any specific fallacies yet.

We did an activity where we looked for examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Barbara Bush's Speech at Wellesley College: Choices and Change.

We finished up class by talking about the final paper. I passed out a handout explaining your two choices: The Evaluation Essay (Value Claim) and The Proposal Essay (Policy Claim). I explained that the remainder of your homework assignments will relate directly to your final paper, and then ended class with 45 minutes of workshop time.



No Reading

Continue to work on the final paper

Look over The Evaluation Essay Handout

Look over The Proposal Essay Handout


WEEK SIX: Types of Proof (Ethos, Pathos, and Logos)

READING: Wood, Chapter 6



We began class with our Working Claims Presentations, which were very well-done and fun for me to see. Not everyone was prepared to present, but about 10 students had their slides prepared, and they did a great job.

After the presentations, we discussed Three Categories of Proof...also known as The Three Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Ethos is also know as the ethical appeal or the appeal to authority — it's persuading your audience using your own personal credibility. You can use ethos in your papers by referring to your personal experience with your topic, by quoting experts who agree with  your position, by being fair to your opposition, and by writing in a professional and error-free way.

Pathos (root word PATH- as in symPATHy, emPATHy, etc.) is also known as the emotional appeal — as you might guess, it's persuading your audience by appealing to emotions. When most people think about the emotional appeal, they think about writing a tear-jerker. While sadness and grief are powerful emotions, don't forget that there are lots of other powerful emotions: fear, joy, love, nostalgia, pride, desire...just to name a few. There are a couple of good ways to use the emotional appeal in your argument: include examples or stories to bring your argument home to the reader, identify with your audience's values and core beliefs by showing that you understand where they're from, and use strong, connotative language.

Logos is also known as the logical appeal — it's using reasoning and evidence to persuade your audience...and is what we most often think of as argument. Logos forms the structure, or the backbone, of your essay. Your audience should be able to follow a line of reasoning through your argument, and without reasoning and evidence, you don't really have a formal argument. You have a rant! We also discussed two types of reasoning: Inductive (the Scientific Method) and Deductive (the Syllogism).



Read Wood, Chapter 7

Quiz Three (Create Your Own Quiz!)

Begin Prewriting Worksheets (Turn in With Your Final Paper)

WEEK FIVE: Types of Claims

READING: Wood, Chapter 5



We began class tonight by taking Quiz 2.

Next, we broke into four teams and conducted a Rapid-Fire Debate. Each team had to choose one side of an issue (cats vs dogs, cable vs. satellite, is the lottery worth it or not, for example) and present a 5 minute argument for their choice. Each team had to build a case using Toulmin's model: Claims followed by Support (Reasons, or sub-claims, and Evidence).

After our class debate, we learned about Five Types of Claims: Fact, Definition, Cause, Value, and Policy. Each type of claim requires a different organizational strategy and different types of support. We kept track of each type on a Chart Handout. While it's good to know all five claim types, for the purposes of this class and your final paper, we will be focusing on Value Claims and Policy (also called Proposal) Claims.



Read Wood Chapter 6

Summary-Response Paper #2

Working Claim Oral Presentation


WEEK FOUR: The Toulmin Model

READING: Wood, Chapter 4



This week, we took a little time to review some of the concepts from previous weeks before taking our first Quiz (QUIZ #1) of the course and learning about Toulmin's Model for argumentation. (Toulmin, not Toumlin!)

During the first three weeks, we've spent a lot of time determining what argument is and what it is not. At the beginning of class, we looked at three quick clips that demonstrate narrow ways to think about argument.

The first two portray argument as a fight...or the use of force. Lucy offers Linus "Five Good Reasons" (her fists) while Woody Allen suggests that bricks and baseball bats are more effective with Nazis than reason.

The third clip, Jon Stewart's Good Thing Bad Thing, makes fun of those in the media who try to oversimplify big issues by allowing only two choices or two ways to respond.

The truth is, argument is far more nuanced than a simple "agree with me or else" or "for or against" response. During the past three weeks (especially in Week One and Week Two), we have also been looking at different ways to analyze an argument. Remember, when you analyze something you are merely breaking it into its parts to explain how it works.

One way to analyze an argument is to examine the rhetorical situation — the historical context, the occasion, the audience, etc. Another way to analyze an argument is to look at its use of rhetorical devices and to decide whether or not the argument is effective.

Toulmin's Model of Argumentation offers yet another way to think about argument, whether you want to use it to analyze someone else's argument or to write your own. According to Toulmin, good arguments consist of three main parts: Claims, Supports, and Warrants.

The first two parts are pretty easy to identify and understand. Your argument's claim is the big idea...the thing that you are trying to prove or persuade your audience to believe. It is your paper's thesis. Support is just what it sounds like — anything that helps you prove your main claim. I like to break support down into two types: reasons (or subclaims) and evidence. Remember that reasons always answer the question: "Why?" Even the most mundane argument will have this structure: A main claim, supported by at least one reason, supported by at least one piece of evidence.

The Example We Used In Class: Two High School Girls Chatting at Their Lockers

GIRL ONE: "Bethany has turned into such a jerk lately." (Claim, or statement of opinion)

GIRL TWO: "I know, right? It's like, ever since she got promoted to the Varsity Cheerleading squad and we didn't, she acts like a snob." (Reason, or Subclaim)

GIRL ONE: "Totally. I was in the cafeteria yesterday and I waved at Bethany to come sit with me...and she acted like she didn't even see me." (Evidence, example)

This isn't a great argument. There are tons of gaps and logical leaps here...but it does follow the basic structure correctly. This structure will also help you outline when it comes time to write your argument.

Warrants are a little trickier to identify and understand — however, they are often the most important part of the argument; they can determine whether your argument will be effective or ineffective. Warrants are the underlying assumptions or beliefs, often unspoken, that prop up your argument. Warrants are the core values or generally accepted truths that form the argument's foundation. They are so important because if you misjudge your audience's warrants, or if you assume that they are the same as yours, then all of your reasoning and evidence will fall on deaf ears.

A lot of you have kids — and kids are notorious for using warrants poorly. Let's say you have a daughter who is begging you for a cell phone. Over the past few years, she's given you all kinds of reasons why you should buy her one. Everyone at school has one. Her best friend's little brother just got one, and he's two years younger than she is. Her friends can't call her very easily. Everyone will think she's a nerd if she doesn't get one. And so on and so forth.

The problem with all of these reasons and all of this evidence is that your daughter is assuming that your values are the same as hers. She isn't considering her audience. Do you care if she's the only kid at school without a cell phone? Probably not. Do you care that she isn't able to be in constant communication with her friends? Nope. In fact, you'd probably prefer that she weren't. Your values and your daughter's values are very different...yet she's presenting you (her audience) with arguments as if your values were the same. If she were smarter, or at least a more sophisticated arguer, she might come to you with arguments based on safety, cost, convenience for you...the ability to maintain parental control and turn the phone off during school hours. Instead, she's making the fatal mistake of coming to her audience with arguments based on her desires rather than yours.

We'll discuss both warrants and Toulmin's model more in the coming weeks...but I hope this gives you a good start.



Read Wood Chapter 5

Do Exercise E on p. 137


WEEK THREE: Reading, Thinking, and Writing About Issues


READING: Wood, Chapter 3



This week in class we took a broad approach to thinking of and exploring issues to write about. As we discussed last week, the topic search is one of the most difficult and unnatural aspects of college writing. In the real world, a topic finds you and creates the need to write. In academic writing, however, the need to write something is supposed to generate a topic...and that's a tall order. To compensate for this, it's a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to explore, think, and live with topic ideas for a while to figure out what you really want to say.

In general, the topic search can be broken down into the internal search and the external search. I always recommend that students begin with the internal search, or what you already know — techniques like idea mapping, brainstorming, freewriting, and outlining can help you identify areas of interest and narrow your topic. Remember...the more you are able to narrow your topic the better your paper will be.

The external search is what we most often think of when we think of doing research — looking to outside sources to see what other people have to say about an issue. While it's more efficient to develop and narrow a topic on your own and then do outside research (looking only for what you need), you could start with the external search if you're feeling completely stuck. Skim a couple articles in a good paper or browse a couple of Internet news sites, for example, to see what's going on in the world and what people are saying. Maybe something you read will trigger an idea or spark your interest. Surveying, skimming, browsing, highlighting, and annotating (note-taking) are good techniques to use when conducting your external search.

After the break, we discussed how to identify purpose in an argument...as well as how to look for the main claim and sub-claims and how to figure out the rhetorical situation and the audience. We practiced dissecting visual arguments this way as a class and then broke into groups for a graded group Analysis of a Visual Argument using TRACE. For some good examples of visual arguments, follow this link.

So...what did you think of Unit 3? Anything you don't understand?



Read Wood Ch. 4 / Study for Quiz

Summary-Response Paper

Exploratory Paper

WEEK TWO: The Rhetorical Situation

READING: Wood, Chapter 2



This was my first class with you, so we spent some time getting to know each other with an Icebreaker game I call "Most Unique." I enjoyed getting to know interesting and strange things about all of you.

We then spent the rest of the class talking about what we mean by The Rhetorical Situation. According to your book, you can think about the Rhetorical Situation using the acronym TRACE: Text, Reader (or audience), Author, Constraints, and Exigence.

While the text (argument), reader (or audience), and author (or speaker) are fairly self-explanatory, constraints and exigence might need some explaining. Constraints are simply the limits of the Rhetorical Situation. These could be anything from time or space limitations (you've only been given 5 minutes to speak, or 500 words to write, for example) or the limitations of your audience caused by the members own attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs. Exigence is the reason for the argument. What has happened that has made this argument necessary right now...in this time and this place?

Basically, the important thing to remember is that argument doesn't exist in a vacuum...it is always the product of the culture surrounding it...the time period that it's a part of and the audience you are trying to address. It is particularly important to consider your audience...to analyze your audience's beliefs, prejudices, and assumptions and to understand and empathize with those in your audience. You will never reach your audience until you understand your audience.

I did not assign much homework this week, since I was still getting my bearings!



Get caught up on reading

Read Wood, Chapter 3

Bring in a Visual Argument for a class activity next week

WEEK ONE: Recognizing Argument and Engaging with Issues

READING: Wood, Chapter 1



I'm afraid I can't give much of a narrative for this class, since I wasn't there! I'm assuming that you introduced yourselves and talked about goals for the class...and then had an overview of what argument is and how it applies to your everyday lives. I'm sure it was great :)

You were giving two assignments by your original teacher, and I've linked to them below.



Read Wood, Chapter 2

Rhetorical Analysis

Argument in Daily Life