Day 18 - Tuesday


Day 18 - Tuesday

 

I. Housekeeping

  • sign-in
  • return remaining papers
  • announce conference times; reiterate conference day procedure (no class, show up a couple minutes before your scheduled time, some conferences in office, some in classroom)
  • reminder: third paper due date extended

 

II. Information Flow

Sentences are more than subjects and verbs, characters and actions. Sentences contain information, and at a higher level of analysis, we have to consider what kinds of information are harder for the reader to deal with.

A. Short to Long

  • ball activity: One volunteer. Students throw balls; then teacher throws one ball. Expected result: student has trouble processing even the one ball when it comes in the wake of the difficult to process barrage of balls. Question students re: why this happened.
  • explanation: Lots of information &endash; long phrases, etc. &endash; is harder to deal with than less information. Therefore, put shorter bundles of information at the beginnings of sentences, longer bundles toward the ends. We're more likely to miss the short information, even though its easy to process in itself, if it comes in the wake of a lengthy bundle that demands lots of effort to understand.
  • examples for comparison and revision (see handout). Note violations of character/action rule.

B. Old to New

  • ball activity: One volunteer. Teacher throws balls, one by one. Student must catch new balls without processing (putting down) the old balls first. Expected result: the more new balls, the more difficult for student to hold on to old ones. Question students re: why this happened.
  • explanation: It's hard to deal with new information when you haven't first taken care of (processed, etc.) the old information. Therefore, put old information (information you can expect your reader to know or information you've already taught him/her) at the beginning of a sentence before moving on to presenting new information. Note: if your sentences contain only old or only new information, you're not informing your reader (they already know what you're saying; they won't understand what you're saying).
  • examples for comparison and revision (see handout). Note violations of character/action rule.

 

III. Workshopping

Groups analyze papers for
1) character/action and
2)information flow

Offer some sentence-by-sentence analysis but also sum up the paper's general sentence-level strengths and weaknesses

 

Homework: Complete essay for Tuesday. Read Vendler article in packet in preparation for fourth essay.

 

Compare these passages:

 

a. Altered vascular and mucosal permeability by a toxin elaborated by the vibrio is one current hypothesis to explain this kind of severe dehydration. Changes in small capillaries located near the basal surface of the epithelial cells and the appearance of numerous microvesicles in the cytoplasm of the mucosal cells are evidence in favor of this hypothesis. Hydrodynamic transport of fluid into the interstitial tissue and then through the mucosa into the lumen of the gut appears to depend on altered capillary permeability.

 

b. According to one hypothesis, this kind of severe dehydration occurs when the vibrio elaborates a toxin that alters vascular and mucosal permeability. In favor of this hypothesis are changes in the small capillaries located near the basal surface of the epithelial cells, and the appearance of numerous microvesicles in the cytoplasm of the mucosal cells. Apparently, increased capillary permeability allows fluid to be hydrodynamically transported into the interstitial tissue and then through the mucosa into the lumen of the gut.

 

Which passage is easier to process? Why?

 

Revise the following passage:

 

Some amazing questions about the nature of the universe have been raised by astronomers as a result of the discovery of the black holes. The collapse of a dead star into a point perhaps no larger than a marble creates a black hole. The fabric of space is changed in profound and astonishing ways as a consequence of so much matter compressed into so little volume.

 

Compare these passages;

 

a. The Breton lai became one of the most popular poetic forms in England in the 12th and 13th centuries. The adventures of a single main character formed the content of this relatively short type of poem. The long continental romance, such as that written by Chretien de Troyes in France during the late twelfth century, preceded the lai as a popular form among the Norman nobility. The concept of "amour courtois," or courtly love, was at the heart of most romances, and the development of the Breton lai was strongly influenced by the exaggerated attitude toward love and chivalry that was expressed in the courtly love tradition.

 

b. The Breton lai became one of the most popular poetic forms in England in the 12th and 13th centuries. This relatively short type of poem recounted the adventures of a single main character. The lai was preceded as a popular form among the Norman nobility by the long continental romance, such as that written by Chretien de Troyes in France during the late twelfth century. Most romances centered on the concept of "amour courtois," or courtly love, and the development of the Breton lai was strongly influenced by the exaggerated attitude toward love and chivalry that was expressed in the courtly love tradition.

 

Which passage is easier to process? Why?

 

Revise the following passage:

 

From time to time, cash flow difficulties may arise for some of the firm's partners as a result of the irregular flow of compensations and distributions from the firm. Therefore, loans for prudent and necessary expenditures in anticipation of firm income later in the fiscal cycle may become necessary. In this case, short-term cash flow loans, possibly including advances for estimated tax-payments, large tuition bills, annual tax or estate planning, would be available to partners.