Friday, September 28, 2012

Look at the menu bar on the right. Click on the New York Times link. Go to the Education page. Scroll through the articles and find one that is interesting to you. Read it and tell us about it. What was the topic? Why do we need to know about it? What are your thoughts/reflections after reading it?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Then answer the following questions:
  1. What is the author's (John Dickerson) argument?
  2. What evidence does he use as support?
  3. What does he want his audience to do?
  4. Were you persuaded? Why or why not?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Read over the following webpages to get ideas on what an argument essay really is:

Sample Argument Essay outline

Schools should require students to wear uniforms.

School uniforms improve student discipline. School uniforms build a sense of community. School uniforms provide equity among students of different socioeconomic circumstances.

Claim + Arguments = 3 Point Thesis:
Schools should require students to wear uniforms because they improve student discipline, build a sense of community, and provide equity among students of different socioeconomic circumstances.

Evidence for argument #1:
School corporation ABC's data shows that student discipline referrals decreased by 40%.

Evidence for argument #2:
Sociological study by DEF shows that students who wear their team's colors on the day of a game feel a closer connection to the team than students who do not.

Evidence for argument #3:
XYZ University's study of school uniforms costs determined that the average cost of a school uniform was $3.50 less than a self-selected outfit per outfit.

Before the beginning of class on Wednesday, you must have the above completed for your own essay. Please post below.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Journal 9/20

Think about the past week. What kinds of interactions did you have where you had to/tried to persuade others to your way of thinking or acting? List all of the interactions you can remember--even the small and insignificant ones. Then select one interaction and describe the persuasive tactics you used in your attempt to persuade (name the tactics if you can).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Journal 9/14

The news is erupting right now regarding protests that are occurring throughout the Middle East regarding an anti-Islam film made in the United States. Read/watch the articles and/or videos on these webpages. As you are watching/reading, take notes on the specific language used by each website. Do any of them feel biased? If so, what is the bias and how do you know? Do you feel like you have a better perspective of the issue now that you have visited multiple sites? What would your perspective have been if you only went to one?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Journal 9/12

What kinds of issues/topics/ideas are you interested in reading about/studying? I have a few units in mind, and I'd like your feedback on them, but I'd also like for you to share your own ideas. My goals for each of these units is to explore the concept/theme from varying perspectives and through a variety of texts (novels, essays, news articles, op-ed articles, film, visual texts) in order for you to analyze their rhetorical strategies and to make your own arguments about these ideas.

Your feedback is important to me and will drive the content off this class, so please take this conversation seriously (in essence, you are conversing with me via this blog response since I am not in class to have this conversation in person today (home sick, but will be back tonight for Open House)).

My ideas:
  • How humans of different races and ethnicities relate--exploration of racism today in the U.S., in South Africa (apartheid), ethnic genocides around the world, etc. I'm interested in exploring why it happens, if we ever truly successfully co-exist, what people have done to overcome, etc.  
  • How humans survive--exploration of a modern day Bubonic Plague scenario, what people do to save others, stories of the actual Bubonic Plague, to what ends will people go to save themselves.
  • How are we, in this culture, "spun" with all of the media messages sent our way--exploration of how we make decisions about products, schools, our lives, based on the bombardment of information we are presented with every day, a sort of critical look at our mass consumption society.
  • Are we a healthy nation--exploration of food and our relation to it, Fast Food Nation, The Jungle, Super Size Me, Animal Vegetable Miracle, is food just food.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Journal 9/10

Our decisions about social and political issues are often influenced by what we hear, see, and read in the news.  In political cartoons, cartoonists have the opportunity to exaggerate objects and people to call attention to a particular point of view.  Look at the cartoon above and answer the following questions:

  • What is the subject?
  • Identify the symbols.  What do they mean?  Are any of them commonly used in the media?
  • Look at the caricatures.  What is exaggerated?  Who does the character in the cartoon represent?
  • What is the issue being addressed? (Keep in mind that the cartoon was made in March 2011 before nominees were decided.)
  • What conclusions does the cartoonist want the reader to reach?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Journal 9/6

Finding the right word is not always an easy task, so I would like you to practice using the right word in the right situation. Below is a list of synonyms for the word friend. Think about the subtle differences between each word and each word's connotation(s) (the emotional, social, or other implications of a word). Then, for each word, describe a situation in which you would use what word.
              • companion
              • buddy
              • acquaintance
              • colleague
              • playmate
              • confidante
              • compatriot

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Journal 9/4

Select one of the following word pairs and write a response in which you discuss and elaborate on the distinctions between the words in each pair you have chosen. Consider how, when, where, why, and by whom each word is likely to be used.
  • art...craft
  • faith...creed
  • imaginative...fanciful
  • instrument...tool
  • lady...woman
  • religion...cult
  • terrorist...revolutionary