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Homework for April 13

For Thursday post two things to your blog. 

1) the main contribution your paper will make. If your paper is argument-centered, you should describe the main claims you are developing and how
your claims build on the work of other authors. For example, are you extending another author, or complicating that author? If you paper is a "lens"
project describe the text you will use as a lens and what target texts you will analyze.

2. Post a provisional outline of the paper. You can use bullet points.  Review the prompt  and the assignment guidelines. Keep up the good work - push
through now that we are approaching the final hurdle. This paper is the 
biggest and most important one of the semester. If you have any questions let me know.



Homework for April 11

Compose a plan for paper 4. It can be a provisional, early version of a plan (you won't be required to stick with it). Make sure you review the prompt 
and the assignment guidelines.
Discuss what you are thinking of doing, how you will do it, and how the paper will be structured. Post to your blog. 



Homework for Tuesday March 21

Print this document, which is a collection of key texts we will use to investigate the topic of fake news. There are 4 texts in the 
document. You will read the text that corresponds with your group number (if you are in group 1, read article 1 by Reader).  The texts are:

  1. Reader, “How We Got To Post-Truth”
  2. Gray, “Lies, propaganda & fake news: A challenge for our age”
  3. Soll, “The Long and Brutal History of Fake News”              
  4. “How to Stop the Spread of Fake News: NYTimes Room for Debate”        


Post your response to your blog, and be prepared to give a presentation in class (with your group) on the text. Your post should discuss 
what you found most interesting or useful about the text. It should also consider how the author (or authors) represent A) what causes fake news, B) the
effects fake news have, C) solutions for fake news.

In class groups will present their findings. You may wish to communicate with others in your group about how to apportion the work. For example,
one of you might cover causes, while another looks at solutions.





Homework for Tuesday March 07

Compose a full introduction (remember to provide background and forecast what the paper will do and how this will be done). Compose at least 3 body
paragraphs that engage in sustained analysis. Use quotations and textual evidence to make the case for your analysis. Post to your blog and bring 2 print 
copies to class. 



Homework for Thursday March 02

Draft the introduction and a body paragraph,.


Homework for Tuesday February 28

Read the prompt for unit 2. Draft some initial ideas for a "target" text you could analyze using Roberts Miller as a lens."  
Take a look at the unit 2 page for ideas. Your ideas can be rough and free form.  Outline some questions you are interested
in addressing in your paper. Post to your blog.



Homework for Thursday February 22

The homework for Thursday is light. Just read this handout. It lists terms for describing parts of an argument, some criteria for evaluating arguments, and a list of fallacies. 

On your blog, post a response describing any elements of the handout you found useful, interesting, or had questions about, or which seemed relevant to experiences you have had/things you have read.



Homework for Tuesday February 21

  1. Read Roberts Miller, and read the George Wallace Speech (you can watch a 3 minute introduction to Wallace from the History channel, a one minute video excerpt from Wallace speech, or the  full video (prepared remarks begin about 4.14 minutes in) 
  2. Identify three or more places in Wallace where there is evidence of an 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).  


Homework for Tuesday February 07

Write the first full draft.   Re-read the prompt for assignment 1, and when drafting use the handout with outlines, templates, models and commonly used signal verbs for writing about/analyzing arguments. Focus on drafting the introduction and the body paragraphs that analyze Hari's claims and evidence. You should also discuss one strategy and a particular strength or weakness. Don't worry about a conclusion.

Bring two print copies to class, and also (if possible) bring a laptop.



Homework for Thursday February 02

Read the prompt for assignment 1. Draft an introduction, and in one or more body paragraphs discuss one claim and the evidence used to support it,
one strategy, and one strength or weakness. Post to your blog. 


Homework for Tuesday January 30 

  1. Read Hari’s Hari, "The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think" (pdf). 
  2. Search for some basic information about Hari and the rhetorical situation. What can you find ot about the author, his purpose, the context, the publication?
    You could check the bio on his publisher's page and info about his bookhis twitter feedWikipedia page, or facebook page.  
  3. What did you think of this text – what was most interesting, unusual, persuasive/unpersuasive, or problematic?  
  4. List any questions you had about the argument, or that you would like to ask the author. 
  5. How would you paraphrase Hari's overall argument in your own words?  
  6. Identify what you see as the three most important claims, and discuss two examples of evidence used to support one claim.


Your post should be 300-350 words, or about a page and a half, although longer responses are welcome. The writing should be developed, and not take the form of a list (full paragraphs please). 


Homework for Thursday January 26  

Read this overview of some key concepts we will use to analyze texts (handout from class today).  


Then read these two short op-eds by Nicholas Kristof, “Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?” and “Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals.”

For “Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?” answer the following questions (just read “Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals” - you don't need to 
write about this yet).


  • What seems to be the main argument? 
  • What are the main claims?  
  • Identify one strategy in the text - how does it help persuade the audience?
  • What strengths and/or weaknesses did you notice?


Post your reading response to your blog and bring a print copy to class. 


Homework for Tuesday January 24

  1. Click on this request access link. You will be asked to enter your email, then click the "send to administrator" button. Do this. Check your email for an invitation to join the wiki (you may need to check your spam folder). After you have joined the wiki you will be able to log in and click on the "edit" tab of the wiki pages and edit them.

  2.  Go to http://wordpress.com/ and create a blog page that you will use for the homework and much of the writing for class. See these instructions on how to use Wordpress to set up a blog.  
  3.  Once you have created your blog and joined the wiki, log into the wiki, then navigate to the wiki page for student pictures and blog addresses. Click on the "edit" tab in the top left of the window and try to paste the address of your blog in the space for blogs (if you can't manage this, email me the blog address).

  4. Write a brief response to the following questions. (Print them out and bring to class, and post them to your blog.) 
    What is your prospective major?  Write a paragraph introducing yourself. Describe some interests or experiences that help describe who you are and what you are interested in.

  5. Read the following short text: "The Stories We Tell Ourselves," by Todd May. What is the author's main claim? Describe a story that you or someone you know tells that resembles those described by May.

  6. Read Parry's "The Art of Branding a Condition." What are Parry's main claims? What did you find most interesting about the text? What might this text tell us about how persuasion sometimes works? 








Reading Response

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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