Day 2 - Friday

Day 2 - Friday

1. Class Business (5)

* Roll (Practice matching names with faces.)

* Discuss assignment for Monday, emphasize toolkit use for readings.

2. Introduction to Problem Statements (20)

* Reiterate goal of the course: give students the tools to write for various sets of readers on numerous types of assignments.

* Why do we write papers? What is the purpose of a paper? (Expect answers to move from "Because our teachers make us" to "In order to discuss a question or problem".) What are the uses of papers? Why do people without teachers write them? Why do biologists write papers? Business men and women? (To answer questions and solve problems for their readers.) We’re going to talk a bit more about the problems around which you frame your papers.

* Emphasize Tangible Problems: Lecture and Terms

Lecture Notes:

I. All papers need to address a problem — this is what motivates readers to take your paper seriously (or not!).

A) Describing Problems (word, phrase, question)1) Have students brainstorm problems facing 1st years. Group them as words, phrases, or questions. (Examples: Roommates, not enough sleep, how do you do laundry?)

B) Rhetorical Problems

1) Transform these problems into arguments.

II. Parts of a Rhetorical Problem

A) Status Quo
B) Destabilizing Condition
C) Consequences That Matter
D) Readers Who Care
E) Solution/ Hint of a Solution

1) Run through these parts with one of the 1st year problems.

III. So What?

A) Consequences Must:

1) Affect your readers.
2) Be recognized and accepted by your readers.

IV. What does your paper do?

A) Convince us the problem is a problem.


B) Offer us a solution (aka thesis).

1) Offer example: SAT scores have declined again.

a) Lack of sleep causes declining grades.
b) So, we should enforce a curfew.

2) If b, the cost must be worth the trouble of fixing it (which, in this case, it’s not).
3) You may want to focus on a benefit of solving/ addressing the problem, rather than on costs.

V. Draw Costs/ Benefits Diagram (see LRS materials)

VI. So What?

A) Importance of Audience (Must agree with costs or desire benefits).
B) Importance of Consequences (You can tailor these to your audience).

3. Break class into 6 groups: Practice Tailoring Consequences to your Readers (How do you ask for money from your parents? Siblings? Best Friend? Grandparents? Boss? Teacher?) (15)

-- Have each group write a brief letter to their designated persona. Share letters. What are the consequences in each of not providing the necessary funds? Are they stated or implied? Why are they different in each letter?

4. Importance to Reader: Perceived Problems Worksheet (10)

-- Hand out: Read these statements and then rank them from most to least significant problem. Discuss the role of consequences. (How significant are the consequences for the reader? Can you imagine a reader to whom statements 4, 6, or 7 would be an interesting problem?)
5. Workshop Personal History Paragraphs

* Take out your introductions. When I say, "Go!" I want you to find a partner, put your desks together, then look back at me. "Go!"

* Now, read each other’s introductions. Underline the context, double underline the tangible problem, put the consequences in a box, and circle the connection to the life history (the answer yet to come).

* Discuss and compare. Have volunteers share the parts of their paragraphs.

* Write your name on your partner’s paragraph, then hand them in to me.
6. Play the SO WHAT? Game (If time allows — minimum of 15 minutes)

*As a class, brainstorm problems facing first-years. Write on board.

* Ask for 3 volunteers (to serve as judges and timekeepers); Divide remaining class into two teams.

*I will select a problem. Team A then has 20 seconds to offer a consequence of that problem to you. Team B then has 20 seconds to offer another consequence. The round ends when one of the teams cannot think of a consequence. The second round requires you to think of consequences important to your parents.

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