Exercise 1.4: Argumentation

Estimated time: 1.5 hours
Due by 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 28th
Based on what we’ve learned today about argumentation, revise your paragraphs. Paste one of your paragraphs as a comment. Just as we did in class today, make sure you identify the claim (i.e. the topic sentence), the reason, and the evidence. Review the Argumentation handout and see the example below.
For our next class on Monday, 10/1, bring a revised printout of your essay. On that essay:
— Your thesis should be highlighted.
— Your revised evidence, reason, claims, and topic sentences should be highlighted.
[CLAIM] In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses both repetition and symbolism to draw readers’ attention to the theme of time—and in particular, the past, for which his main characters yearn. [EVIDENCE] The novel begins “In my younger and more vulnerable years…” and ends “borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Fitzgerald goes on to use some 450 time-words, including 87 appearances of the actual word ‘time.’ The Buchanan lawn is described as “jumping over sundials”; Gatsby knocks over a clock during his reunion with Daisy; and Klipspringer plays “In the meantime, In between time—.” [REASONS/ANALYSIS] The clock, sundial and frequent use of ‘time’ all reinforce for the reader the importance of the theme of time and the inevitability of time passing. Fitzgerald seems to want to remind the reader that time will always get in the way of Gatsby and his dreams, and his desire to return to the past—there’s no turning back the clock.

Essay 1: Formal Draft

Objective: to produce a revised formal draft of your first essay. To produce your formal draft, you will extensively revise and develop your zero draft using ideas from class and suggestions provided in my feedback, which you should have received via email.
Estimated time: 2-3 hours
Due by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 26th

1. Review the guidelines for the Critical Analysis Essay and the guidelines for naming and formatting essay drafts detailed in the course syllabus (bottom of page 4).
2. Create a compelling title for your formal draft, one that would intrigue and inform your intended audience of freshmen readers.
3. Write a one-paragraph introduction for your formal draft that briefly identifies the problems that freshmen readers (i.e. the imagined audience for your essay) likely encounter when first reading “The Question of Cultural Identity.” End this first paragraph with your thesis, which should explain Hall’s his stance toward his topic.
4. Revise your summary of “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Ensure that you define what Hall means by the term “crisis of identity.” Later in your paper, you will explore whether or not such a crisis exists.
5. List, in one paragraph, the difficult but important writing or rhetorical patterns in “The Question of Cultural Identity” that could help other freshmen better understand the intended audience of Hall’s essay (e.g. references to other scholars, the extensive use of endnotes, advanced vocabulary, technical or specialized terminology, historical examples, etc.). End this paragraph by explaining why analyzing such writing or rhetorical patterns is a logical way to understand the essay. Use the Rhetorical Situation handout as a reference.
6. Introduce and carefully analyze two writing or rhetorical patterns over the next few paragraphs. For each pattern, you must analyze two specific examples following the guidelines for rhetorical analysis introduced in our last class. Use MLA style to correctly cite the page and thesis where your examples are located.
7. Include a Works Cited list on a separate page using MLA style. We’ll go over MLA citation in class on Monday, September 24th, and you can refer to the MLA Sample Paper.
8. Include a one-paragraph self-evaluation on a separate page in which you briefly discuss to what extent you think your intended audience (freshman readers) would find your essay clear and insightful. Also, explain what else you will still like to work on as you continue to revise your draft.
9. Name your Word document as explained in the course syllabus and then submit it to Dropbox.
Note: You are encouraged to add headings to your sections/paragraphs to help organize your text.

In-Class Writing: Analyzing a Rhetorical Pattern

As you think about your Essay 1 Formal Draft, here are steps you can follow to analyze a rhetorical pattern in Hall’s essay:
1. Name or identify the writing/rhetorical pattern as specifically as possible.
2. Present or introduce a few examples of the pattern. Make sure to indicate where the example is found in the essay. What is Hall talking about at that moment in the essay?
3. Analyze two examples of the pattern. This requires you to research the example in order to:
a. define it, and
b. explain where it comes from, how it is typically used, and/or who typically uses it.
4. Make a conclusion about Hall’s purpose based on your analysis. In other words, what do you think Hall wants his readers to take away from reading his essay? What is his “So What?”
5. Explain how this helps you to better understand Hall’s stance towards his topic and audience.
6. Discuss the rhetorical purpose of the example or pattern. To do this, you should consider how (and why) the example or pattern might appeal to ethos, logos, and/or pathos.
Homework: Read through the handouts below again. You are not just looking for patterns in Hall’s writing, but also your own. Once you are able to locate rhetorical patterns, along with logos, ethos, and pathos, you can start your critical analysis using vocabulary from those handouts, and from the Harvey handout and the Key Terms page. You may not realize it, but you’ve been critically analyzing Hall’s work since we first started reading it.
Rhetorical Situation
Logos, Ethos, Pathos
– Gordon Harvey’s Elements of the Academic Essay

Essay 1: Zero Draft

The goal of this exercise is to produce a very rough draft (a “zero draft”) of your first essay. This will help you find raw material (i.e. potential evidence and rough ideas) that can be refined and further developed in your formal draft.
Estimated time: 2-3 hours
Due by 6:00 p.m. Monday, September 17th
1. Review the guidelines for the Critical Analysis Essay and the guidelines for essay submissions in the course syllabus.
2. Include your revised one-paragraph summary of “The Question of Cultural Identity” (Exercise 1.3 that we revised in class). Ensure that you define what Hall means by the term “crisis of identity.” You may be able to use/revise your text from Exercise 1.1 to use as a transition or include in your summary.
3. With your response to Hall in mind, describe, in no more than two paragraphs, Hall’s three types cultural of identity and how they developed in “The Question of Cultural Identity” that you think are important clues to better understanding Hall’s argument about the “crisis of identity.” You may be able to use some of the text from your Exercise 1.2 homework, citing the page and section in which the examples are located.
4. For around two pages, free-write on each identity type you have chosen and attempt to work towards insightful (i.e. not obvious) and sophisticated (i.e. not simplistic) arguments about each identity’s development. In other words, how does writing about the development of cultural identity help you to better understand the “crisis of identity”? As we’ve done in class, you will have to look up specific examples you’ve chosen to better understand what they mean and to critically analyze them. Begin writing a few sentences about your personal reflection that will further explain Hall to your reader.
Note: This part of the draft should be very rough and messy. (If this is polished and free of grammatical errors, it means you did not follow my instructions.) You should explore potential paths of inquiry without necessarily knowing whether or not they will lead to fruitful conclusions. The point of this part is to think your ideas through, to explore your thoughts on paper. Do not “go back” to fix spelling or grammar errors, or to revise or change ideas; keep going forward! Allow your messy, nascent thoughts (and questions) to unfold and develop on the page. If you have a non-English first language, incorporate words and phrases from your first language as much as you want.
5. End your zero draft with one paragraph in which you attempt to state your hypothesis or tentative thesis. In other words, how would you describe Hall’s development of the concept of the “crisis of identity”?
6. Include a one-paragraph self-evaluation on a separate page in which you briefly explain what challenges you are encountering as you attempt to develop a thesis, and how your understanding of Hall’s essay has been deepened and/or been complicated since the first time you read it.
7. Name your Word document (no Google docs or PDFs) as explained in the course syllabus (bottom of page 4) and then submit it to Dropbox. MLA Sample Paper is available at this link to Purdue OWL.
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Exercise 1.3

Objective: to summarize “The Question of Cultural Identity” for a reader who has not read the essay. We’ll work more on how to summarize a text in our class on Wednesday, September 12. We will be revising what you’ve written, and you’ll include it in Essay 1. Refer to Chapter 2 of They Say, I Say, especially pages 39-40, for some tips and keywords.
Estimated time: 1 hour
Due: Bring printed copy to Wednesday, September 12th class
An effective summary helps an unfamiliar reader to accurately understand the main ideas of a piece of writing. Typically, an effective summary includes:
1) the author’s full name.
2) the name of the text.
3) a description of the author’s analytical project (useful verbs: explores, examines, analyzes, investigates; NOT: says, writes, is about, looks into).
4) one or two quotes of the author’s main point (useful verbs: argues, asserts, states, proposes, hypothesizes, claims).
5) a paraphrase/explanation/example of the author’s main point (useful phrases: for example, for instance, in other words).
6) a brief description of how author supports his/her main idea in the text.
Here’s an example of a summary of a 25-page essay called “The Trouble with Wilderness”:
In his essay “The Trouble with Wilderness,” William Cronon, Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, asks his readers to “rethink wilderness” (83). He criticizes mainstream environmentalism’s portrayal of wilderness as “sublime,” claiming that these “specific habits of thinking” have actually hindered the modern environmental movement by “underpinning other environmental concerns” (97-99). Cronon claims that this insistence on portraying the wilderness as separate from society inadvertently draws attention away from “most of our serious environmental problems” in “the landscape … that we call home” (103). Thus, he concludes that humankind should refrain from a “dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural” (97). Instead, he advocates that society be self-conscious of its actions in relation to nature everywhere, not just the locations perceived as the wilderness but also the environment that surrounds and permeates human civilization.
Write a one-paragraph summary of “The Question of Cultural Identity” following the above guidelines. Imagine that you want another freshman who has not read the essay to understand it. Bring a printed copy of your typed summary to class with you on Wednesday.
Note: I built the key terms page using your suggestions (thanks). Send any others you would like to add so that we can build the list.