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Before First Class or in First Class

  1. Read the syllabus and take a look at the course wiki. Note any questions you have and be prepared to share them in class.
  2. Share some information about yourself on this google slide  (you will need to use your SDSU google ID to access it). If you feel
    comfortable, include a photo.  
  3. Go to the Canvas Discussion Board and click on the "Introduce Yourself" thread. Create a post saying a bit about yourself and your
    interests, and some initial  thoughts on our first course topic, writing and generative A.I.  


Tue 01/23 

  1. Read pages 3-4, 6-18 of of RWEA (Reading, Writing, and Evaluating Argument). Review the major elements of argument,
    then read 
    Snape. Describe the overall argument, a claim, a piece of evidence, an appeal to pathos, a rebuttal, and a qualifier.
    Then do the same for Kristof. 

  2. What are the main differences between Snape and Kristof's argument? For example, how are Kristof's rebuttals different from Snapes? 

  3.  Do a critical  reading of Bryce, “Wind is Not the Answer,” and Abdul Jabbar, “It's Time to Pay College Athletes.” Note any shortcomings,
    flaws, or weaknesses you can find. 

  4.  Post to the Discussion Board and your Google folder.


Th 01/25 

  1. It is often said we are entering "the age of A.I." Share some initial thoughts, experiences, hopes/fears. What might this 
    mean for you, your area of study, your (future) profession, the world? What have your initial encounters with A.I. been like?
  2. In “Signs and Portents.” Mollick outlines major impacts that A.I. has had, and he predicts future impacts in the year ahead. 
    What are his main claims? What did you find most interesting about his argument? W
    as there anything you would like to learn more about? 
  3. Caplan's,“Dear Student: Keep Away From ChatGPT” provides a concise summary of critical perspectives on A.I..  What did you find
    most interesting or useful ? Were there any points you would challenge or endorse?
  4. Dumiitrescu's Will ChatGPT Kill the Student Essay?" claims that AI's "greatest threat right now is to the teaching of writing." Why does she
    think this? What does she think is at stake? Why does she think writing is so important to education? 
  5. Respond to two classmates' posts. 



Tu 01/30

  1. Read Mollick, Programming in Prose,” and Matthews, “If You’re Not Using ChatGPT for your Writing You’re Making a Mistake.”
  2. What are Mollick's main claims in Programming in Prose”? What kind of education does he suggest will be needed to make 
    the best use of of A.I.?  What was most interesting or useful about his argument? 
  3. What are Matthews main claims in “If You’re Not Using ChatGPT for your Writing You’re Making a Mistake”? What did you find
    most interesting/useful about his argument?Were you persuaded that writers should embrace ChatGPT?   
  4. Respond to two classmates' posts. 
  5. If you are in a group presenting on one of the "optimistic" perspectives on A.I., post a link to your presentation here


Th 02/01

  1. If you are in a group presenting on one of the "critical" perspectives on A.I., finish working on your presentation and post 
    link to your presentation here.


Tu 02/06

  1. Read the prompt for assignment 1, Harari et al., You Can Have the Blue Pill or the Red Pill,” and review the VOX video, 
    AI Can do your Homework. Now What?” Summarize Harari et al's main claims and evidence, and examine a persuasive strategy.
    What do you notice about the way Harari tries to impact his audience? Describe a strength and/or weakness.
  2. What were the main things you learned from watching AI Can do your Homework"? Describe a persuasive strategy, and a strength
    and/or weakness.
  3. Brainstorm ideas for part 2 of the assignment. Share your initial thoughts.  
  4. Respond to two classmates' posts. 



Th 02/08

  1. Write a full draft for paper 1 in Google Docs (not pdf or Word or any other format) and put this in your class Google folder.
    Post a link to your Google doc here (make sure you set sharing so I have permission to see and edit). 
  2. Share a brief account of what you plan to do for part 2 of the paper on this discussion board. If students seem interested in similar 
    projects there will be opportunities to collaborate later on in the class. 


Th 02/15 

  1. Install the Hypothes.is browser extension on the web browser you use on your laptop.  Sign up for a Hypothes.is  (it's free).   
  2. Bring your laptop to class.

Tu 02/20

  1. Read Thompson's, “Public Thinking.” Use the Hypothes.is web extension to make notes on the text - share
    any thoughts, questions, or observations you have. 
  2. Briefly summarize Thompson's claims. Which parts of his argument do you find most interesting and/or useful?
  3. Thompson suggests we have recently seen a big shift in how we write, and in the nature, and quality, of literacy. What has changed?   
  4. His text is an excerpt from a 2012 book intended for a popular audience. How does this context shape his argument?
    Where do you see him tailoring his argument for a popular audience?  
  5. Thompson is writing in 2012. How well has his argument aged? If we were to update his argument for our 
    current context, what would you point to? 
  6. Reflect on all the kinds of digital writing you do, from texting to TikTok. What the main kinds, and could some of it 
    be described as "public thinking"? Can you think of any connections to the ideas in his text? 
  7. Respond to two classmates' posts.  



Tu 02/27

  1. Post a link here to an initial draft for part 1 of the paper and a brief sketch of your plans for part 2.  This draft can be preliminary and "messy."
    Use it to brainstorm ideas.
  2. Read the short text by Tufekci, "It's the Democracy-Poisoning Golden Age of Free Speech"  (it is also attached).  This text was written some
    years after Thompson's.  Discuss two ways Tufekci's argument can be seen as either complicating, challenging, or qualifying Thompson's.
  3. Respond briefly to one of your classmates.
  4. As always, if you use AI for any of this, document this in your AI Reflection Journal. 



Tu 03/12

  1. May suggests everyday stories express values, make claims, and establish character. In short, they are rhetorical. Briefly share a story you've heard
    that functions this way. It can be from your personal life or from pop culture. An example might be a "humblebrag," a story a friend tells that pretends
    modesty but is really a flex.
  2. Hamilton and Logan explore why the racial wealth gap exists and tell a story that is “sociological.” What story is this? What was most interesting or
    surprising about their claims? Note a claim you found particularly persuasive, or unpersuasive, or that you have questions about. 
  3. After reading the first half of Hannah Jones (Google Doc version, original pdf)
    what is an example of a claim she is making? What were your initial thoughts – did you find it interesting,
    resonant, disturbing, or unpersuasive? Hannah-Jones invites us to rethink the “story of America.” How does she do this?


Th 03/14

  1. Read the assignment 3 prompt
  2. Discuss one strategy used by Hannah-Jones. You should a) identify the strategy, b) explain how and why it might persuade her audience. Support
    your analysis with quotations that provide evidence for your interpretation (200 – 250 words).  See the textbook for help with strategies.
  3. Choose an element in Hannah-Jones’ argument that you would like to respond to, extend, illustrate, complicate, challenge, etc. Explain what
    you are thinking of doing.



Tu 03/19

  • Share an initial draft of paper 3. Make sure it your Google folder. Post a link to the Google doc here.   



Th 03/21

  • Put a full Google Doc draft for paper 3 in both your "Drafts for Peer Review" Google folder and the "Drafts for Instructor" folder.
    Post a link here to the draft in "Drafts for Peer Review." 




1)      In Wallace’s speech he establishes ingroups and

(Students with surnames A-L should do this for “Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?” and students with surnames 

M-Z should do this for "Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals.”)

outgroups. List all the types of people he places in the outgroup and what qualities (adjectives) and values they are assigned.

2)      List the types of people who are part of the ingroup and the qualities and values they are assigned.

3)      What seems to be the two choices with which he presents his audience?  How does he characterize these two choices?

4)      How does Wallace create a sense of insecurity in his audience?  What outside threats does he present them with?

What other aspects of demagoguery (as defined by Roberts-Miller) can you see in Wallace’s speech (victimization, demonization, anti-intellectualism, motivism, fallacies, etc.)
1.Identify two or more places in LaPierre where there is evidence of the element of demagoguery (try to find the best examples) Give examples (use quotations) and explain how/to what extent the examples fit RM’s definition.  Make a case for your interpretation (be like a lawyer – this is key). It may be that the examples only fit RM’s definition to some degree. Explain this.

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