Day 4 - Wednesday
LRS Rhetorical Problems, Conceptual Outcomes
1) Class Business (5)
* Sign-in Sheet
* Discuss Assignment for Friday 9/7
* Conferences Reminder
2) Tangible and Conceptual Problems Lecture (10)
I. Review: Problems in Our Papers/ Assignments
A) Before we can plan an argument, we need to understand what we want it to achieve.
In other words, what problem the claim/ thesis/ main point of the argument solves.
B) To motivate readers to read and take our claims/ thesis seriously, we must
articulate the cost/ consequences of the problem clearly.
C) Problem Statement — covered in the introduction of the paper.
II. Definitions/ Differences — 2 Types of Problems
A) Tangible/ Pragmatic
Focus: a predicament.Goal (Solves Problem): get readers to act, to eliminate
a cost they find intolerable; physical actions.
So What? ----- Oh no, what do we do about it?
B) Conceptual Problem
Focus: a question.
Goal (Solves Problem): get readers to believe a claim we propose; mental actions.
So What? ----- Tell me more.
III. Conceptual Problems
A) Status Quo: Old, accepted information; what we assume to be true.
B) Destabilizing Condition: Some form of question; something your readers don’t
know/ understand, but should; a sign that our current knowledge is incomplete,
incorrect, or both.
1) What is destabilized?
-- Readers’ minds, when you force them to think differently.
2) How do we signal a misunderstanding if we’re writing?
-- Brainstorm on board. Distribute handout.
C) Consequences: Can be difficult to state.
1) Cost of no resolution: readers’ ignorance/ misunderstanding.
2) Benefit: readers’ understanding.
D) Readers Who Care
1) Your readers must share basic knowledge of the status quo to care about this
type of problem (Francis Bacon example from Perceived Problems sheet).
2) Remember: You can only count something as a consequence if your readers recognize
it and accept it as a cost or lost benefit.E) Answers: Answer question you’ve
3) Conceptual Problems (15)
-- Review the "Perceived Problems" handout (distribute extra copies,
if necessary). Which are tangible problems? Conceptual? Identify parts of the
Problem Statement in each (usually only status quo and problem).
-- Distribute handout. Ask students to read the assignment and the three introductions.
Which one is most likely to motivate its reader to read on because she cares
about what the paper says? Least likely? Which do you predict would get the best
and worst response from the teacher? Why?
-- When I say "Go" find a partner. "Go." Now, working together
try to identify the parts of a problem statement in each introduction. Note:
some of the parts may be missing from some of the introductions.
-- Ask for volunteers to share their findings. What kind of problems do these
introductions address? (Conceptual)4) Finding a Problem Worth Writing About (5)
I. Tangible Problems
A) Do you nee readers to help you address the problem?
B) Are the costs of the predicament to the reader > than the costs of action?
C) Are the costs of the predicament to you > than the costs of writing and
resolving the problem?
II. Conceptual Problems
A) Name your topic:
I am working on …
B) Describe what you or your readers don’t know about it:
… because I want to find out …
C) Add a rationale for finding out what you don’t know:
… in order to understand better how/ why/ whether…
D) Change perspective from yourself to your reader:
… show you …
… explain to you …
5) Begin Discussion of McCarthy (15)
* Use student questions and paragraphs to frame discussion.
6) Return Papers
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