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Assignment Description Unit 4



Texts that Respond to Carr


Texts You Can Draw on to "Enter the Conversation"

More Resources and Ideas

  • ALTERNATIVE theory - the fragmented, jarring, attention-disrupting nature of digital media is largely (or also) a function of commercialism, not the technology itself. Consider early educational hypertext, which fostered deep reading, and helped establish context, rather than disrupt it. Could make analogy with news - it used to be relatively slow, integrated, focused on context, etc. Now it is like an MTV music video. 
  • Astra Taylor explores this in this book review: http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/020_02/11685 
  • Eli Pariser (abour 2.4 minutes) talks about the dangers of the "filter bubble." From IQ squared debate. He suggests the problem with Google is not that it scatters our attention, but that it narrows our views and encases us in "bubbles." It's less about losing our minds, and more about "closing" our minds.
  • In opposition (or to qualify) this, we have EXAMPLE OF ACTIVISM AIDED BY SOCIAL MEDIA – IT GETS BETTER PROJECT http://www.itgetsbetter.org/
    DAN SAVAGE on the inspiration for his project - he realized in age of YouTube and twitter he didn't need permission (2 mins)
  •  Louis ck on cellphones and developing a self https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c 



End of Semester Review and the WPA





Homework for final classes

Here is a list of key dates and homework due for the remaining classes. Here is the "cheat sheet" for the final paper from class, and Graff's "How to Write an Argument."


Wednesday Dec 02: drafts due. Post to blog and bring 2 copies to class. Peer review.

Friday & Monday Dec 04 & 07  conferences

Last class Wednesday  12/09

Final paper due Monday 14th (posted on blog, printed copy handed into SHW141 – mailbox “Werry”)



Homework for Wednesday Nov. 18

As mentioned in class, the prompt for assignment 4 gives you many options. We went over many of these in class.  For homework, I'd like you to 
continue brainstorming and drafting project ideas, and post these to your blog. They can be rough, free-wheeling and provisional.  


You may wish to look through the material on this wiki for each major unit. For units 2-4 in particular, there are readings, resources 
and links you could use. As we we discussed in class, you could use the IQ squared debate as the "conversation" part of your paper, then
present your own argument in relation to what "they say" (one side of the debate). There are also texts that respond to Carr, Boyd and Thompson.


In the next few classes I'll also work through some sample lines of argument you could explore. For example, you could construct the "They Say" part of the paper by using Thompson as an example of people who argue for the potential of digital media to support rich new forms of writing thinking and literacy. You could also use Boyd as a representative of scholars who share some of Thompson's optimism, but see many challenges and problems ahead. For Boyd, a major challenge is cultivating critical digital literacy. She points out that many students are not well equipped to take advantage of the potential of new media, and many lack fundamental skills such as search literacy. 


There are many resources on this wiki that describe how to teach students critical digital literacy. For example, the pages on Dana Boyd's work explore many aspects of critical digital literacy, and there is a page on digital literacy here: https://rws100wiki.pbworks.com/Digital%20Literacy  You could examine these resources and critically investigate how well they address some of the issues raised by Boyd, and how well they provide you with the tools and information you need to develop your own sense of digital literacy. You could perhaps even consider ways of tackling this as a group, splitting up the work of researching different dimensions of digital literacy. If you are interested in doing this, you'd need to talk to me first.



Homework for Friday Nov. 06 and Monday Nov. 09 

Your Homework is to complete your draft.As mentioned yesterday, there is no class on Friday or Monday. Instead there are conferences both days. The list of meetings is here: https://rws100wiki.pbworks.com/Conferences If you'd like to meet with me to discuss your paper and have not yet signed up, send me an email (cwerry@mail.sdsu.edu). I can also meet at some times outside the ones listed.


Homework for Wednesday November 04

As mentioned in class, bring a "rough rough draft" to class on Wednesday. Your draft should contain analysis of two strategies.  
On Wednesday you will be able to sign up for conferences. I will be available to meet this Friday and Monday next week. 
The final paper is due on Friday the 13th. 


Homework for Monday Nov 02

For Monday take those notes you wrote on evidence, ethos, analogies or rebuttals, and 

turn them into a full body paragraph that analyzes a rhetorical strategy. I have attached a 
sample draft student analysis (from class today) as well as the prompt. Remember there are
materials on strategies on the wiki at https://rws100wiki.pbworks.com/Unit3 and in the Essentials
textbook (it covers ethos, pathos and logos in chapter 7).

Post to your blog and bring a print copy to class. Happy Halloween weekend.


Homework for Friday Oct 30

Due to back pain that has thrown off my schedule, I'm belatedly assigning some light homework. 
I'd like you to brainstorm some notes on one of the following:

  1. how Carr uses evidence strategically (selection, presentation, organization)
  2. how Carr uses analogies to persuade
  3. how Carr draws on authorities
  4. how Carr establishes ethos


You don't need to compose full paragraphs, just jot down as many ideas as you can come up with. 

You will should skim these handouts for help with evidence, analogies, ethos and authorities 
prompt, definitions of strategies, material on evaluating elements of an argument. You'll also find

material on ethos in Essentials of Argument page  141, 151-2.  





Homework for Monday Oct 26

Re-read Carr's "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" and post responses to the following on your blog:

  1. Describe the overall argument and two of the main claims.
  2. If your last name is A-H, identify two strategies in first 10 paragraphs of the text and discuss how they work and how they help persuade.
  3. If your last name is G-Z, identify two strategies in first paragraphs 10-20 of the text and discuss how they work and how they help persuade. 


You may find the following collection of material useful. It contains the prompt, definitions of strategies, and some sample student writing.


Homework for Wednesday Oct 14

  1. Compose a full introduction. Take a look at the sample introductions we worked on today.  Note - try to make a strong case in the introduction 
    that a) the concept of the "digital native" is influential, controversial, and b) support this with a quotation or reference to a text or study.
  2. Compose one full, "finished" body paragraph. It should be 1.5-2 pages long. See this handout for guidance.  Remember, you should clearly identify the claim in Boyd 
    you will focus on, illustrate this with a quotation of two, then identify the outside source and the claim you believe extends, illustrates etc. Boyd. The most important 
    part is to make clear how the outside source extends, complicates, illustrates etc. Boyd.  You need to support this with plenty of evidence and analysis of the specifics of the outside text. 



Homework for Monday Oct 12


Please complete the following two tasks, and post them to your blog.


1. Prospectus for Paper 2 (~2 pages)

Your prospectus should include the following parts:

  • Introduction: this is where you will give some background on the central text and discuss why it is of interest to you and others.  Consider the following questions:
    • What is the claim your author discusses in this central text?
    • What interests you about this claim?
    • What aspect of this claim will you explore?
  • Research: this where you connect the two secondary sources you will be using to write this paper. Consider the following questions:
    • How do these secondary sources connect to your central text?
    • What issue(s) in these secondary sources will your paper explore?
    • HOW do these outside sources affect your understanding of the central text? Think in terms of verbs, what the outside text does to your reading of the central text, i.e. challenge, illustrate, qualify, extend or complicate. WHY do they do that? In other words, in what ways do they make you re-visit the central text?
  • Conclusion: this is where you round up your prospectus. This section should highlight your main point – i.e., your purpose for writing this paper.
    •  At this moment, what do you think the main point of your paper will be? This may be a good opportunity to write your “purpose statement.”


MLA Works Cited Page, annotated. Under each source entry, write a few sentences why you selected the source.


2. Full Body Paragraph 

Compose a full body paragraph that describes 

a) the claim in Boyd you wish to explore, and a quotation illustrating this claim

b) the outside source you will use, and the claim or evidence in this source you will examine.

c) analysis of how the outside source extends/illustrates/challenges/complicates/qualifies Boyd.

Use one or more quotations from the outside text to make your case.




Homework for Wednesday Oct 07

Due to some confusion regarding the previous homework assignment, Wednesday's homework will consist of updating
Monday's work. So compose (or revise) an introductory paragraph. Be prepared to read it aloud in class. 

Review Boyd's article, and take a look at the handout from class today. Then identify 2 elements (claims, evidence, topics) 
of Boyd's text that you are interested in and would like to explore further. These will be your "anchors."  You will search for outside sources 
that extend, illustrate, complicate or challenge the element in Boyd. Describe these two elements, and locate a quotation 
for each one. 


Homework for Monday Oct 05

Take a crack at composing an introductory paragraph, and locate an element in the text you'd like to use  as an "anchor" for your analysis of an outside text. 


Homework for Friday Oct 02

Read the remaining sections of Boyd, namely, 


  • Digital Inequality
  • Beyond Digital Natives


Describe the main claim in each section. Review Boyd's text and not 3 elements of the text you find provocative, interesting,  

hard to follow, or would like to know more about. Post to your blog.




Homework for Wednesday Sept 30

Print out Boyd's "Literacy: Are Today's Youth Digital Natives?" (plus footnotes)  and read pages 176-192. 


A) Explore the rhetorical situation by researching who Boyd is, what kind of work she does, what her book is about, who published it, 
and who you think the audience is. (Remember - you can use some of the social media tips we discussed in class.


B) Identify the main claims in the following sections of the text: 

  1. The Emergence of the Digital Native
  2. Youth Need New Literacies
  3. The Politics of Algorithms
  4. Wikipedia as a Site of Knowledge Production


C) Note any passages or points you found particularly interesting, provocative, noteworthy, unclear, or unpersuasive. 


Post this to your blog. 


Homework for the week of Sept 21-25

Bring a finished draft and bring a copy to the conference. Here is a copy of the rubric I'll be using to grade the papers. You can use this as a checklist as you revise.
Remember, final (print and blog) copies of the paper are due in class Monday September 29.  


Homework for Friday September 18

Homework for Friday is to rework/improve/compose your introduction and the two body sections (claims and evidence). You can leave the conclusion until later.

Post to your blog and bring two printed copies to class. On Friday I'll have a sign up sheet for conferences.



Homework for Wednesday September 16

There is no homework if you have kept up with posting work to your blog. If not, your homework is to post all the work you've done so far to your blog. See the list of homework assignments to make sure you are up to date.  


Here is the revised schedule I mentioned today in class.

W 09/16  Continue drafting work – claims, evidence, evaluation 


F 09/18 Bring a rough draft of paper 1 (2 copies). This should include full introduction and body paragraphs. We will workshop and do peer review. 

M 09/21 CONFERENCING with instructor


W 09/23 NO CLASS


F 09/25 CONFERENCING with instructor


M 09/28 PAPER DUE 



Homework for Monday September 14

Re-read the introduction and body paragraph you drafted in previous homework.  Revise, extend, and improve the introduction 
and body paragraph based on the work we did in class today. The handouts from today are available - the collection
of materials on quotations, signal verbs, outlines, how to structure your paper etc., and the handout on claims. 


Take your first shot at composing a full introduction, and the first paragraph of the body section. Go big - be brave, creative, 
and plunge in - know you aren't committed to it, may end up changing both sections later, but you need to start somewhere.  


Post this to your blog and bring a print copy to class




Homework for Friday September 11

Use the template below to draft an introduction. Be creative, brainstorm, and be brave. It doesn't have to be perfect.
But try to draw the reader in, establish the context and say what the paper will do.

Outline for Introduction

  1. Hook the reader and introduce the topic by a) establishing the significance of the issue b) locating a relevant quotation, c) posing a question, etc. (but beware “from the dawn of time” sentences.)
  2. What is the title & who is author of the text you’re talking about here? What is his purpose and what is the context?
  3. What was his work that led to this text? What is his project NOW? (“T investigates …researches … explores … presents … demonstrates …employs rhetorical strategies that …”
  4. What is his overall argument? What does he want this text to do?
    1. (…challenge us with …)
    2. (…persuade us to believe that …)
  5. Metalanguage: Take your pick (or draft your own):
    1. “In this paper I will analyse Thompson's main claims and the evidence…. and I will show...”  
  6. Read it over and make sure it hangs together, and each sentence leads nicely to the next




Homework for Wednesday September 09

A Basic Template For Discussing Claims

Read They Say/I Say pages 30 - 50 ("The Art of Summary," and "The Art of Quoting"). Then, using the advice in 
They Say,  fill out the template below. Use it to draft a paragraph describing a major claim. 


1. One of Thompson’s main claims is [describe claim]_____Thompson asserts that___[describe claim further]

2. According to Thompson, [explain claim further]...

3. For example, Thompson states that "...[give quotation/s]___

4. What he means by this is...[discuss quotation]_____. In other words,…..[explain quotation further] 





Homework for Friday September 04

  1. Read the text by Thompson  (“Public Thinking”). After reading Thompson’s piece, how would you paraphrase his main argument in your own words? 
  2. Identify what you see as the three most important claims, and discuss an example of evidence and a strategy he uses to support a claim. 
  3. Discuss an idea in Thompson's text you thought was particularly noteworthy, interesting, or relevant to your life or your experience.


Homework for Wednesday September 02

  1. Re-read Hari's "Chasing the Scream." Write a paragraph discussing how he addresses views that are different from his own (anticipates objections and presents rebuttals). Do you notice any similarities of differences with the way Kristof or Rifkin present rebuttals?  
  2. Identify an analogy or comparison he uses to persuade his audience. How do you think it helps persuade?
  3. Discuss any other element of his text you found interesting, or that prompted a reaction from you.  


Homework for Monday August 31

  1. Read Hari's "Chasing the Scream." How would you paraphrase Hari's main argument in your own words? 
  2. Identify what you see as the two most important claims, and discuss an example of evidence used to support one claim.
  3. Hari is presenting a position that challenges assumptions most people hold - identify two elements of his text that seem to
    show him anticipating his audience's assumptions, and where he responds to objections his audience may have. 


Homework for Friday August 28

  1. Read this short text by Rifkin, "A Second Thought About Animals" Using the reader (p. 5-9) identify 3 of Rifkin's main claims.  

  2. List three types of evidence, and describe a strategy Rifkin uses to persuade his audience (see pages 7 and 26-29 of the reader). 

    Do you think this is effective? Why/why not? (post this to your blog, or if you haven't set this up, print and hand bring to class).  



Homework for Wednesday August 26

  1. Check for an email inviting you to join the class wiki (may need to check your spam folder). When you receive this email, accept the invitation. Follow the link and directions to join (use your email as the username and create a password for yourself.)

  2. Create a blog page that you will use for much of the writing done in this class. I suggest: http://wordpress.com/.
    Copy and paste the address into a document, print this out and bring it to class. 

  3. Write a response to the following questions. Print them out and bring to class, and also post them to your blog.
    What is your prospective major?  Describe a couple of interests or experiences that help describe who you are. What writing activities do you engage in outside of school (blogging, tweeting, journaling, etc.)?  What do you write about and how often do you do it? How do you feel about yourself as a writer?   

  4. Read pages 1-7 from CR (course reader) and pages 3-15 of Essentials of Argument

  5. Read this short text by Kristof, "Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?" Compose a one-page response to the questions below. Print them out and bring to class, and also post them to your blog.
    What do you think are Kristof's main claims? 
    List the main types of evidence you saw in the text. 
    Identify a strategy Kristof uses to persuade his audience (see page 7 of the reader). Do you think this is effective? Why/why not?



Student Info 



 Tania, Jacob, Kenneth, George, Jazmin  Eli, Darren, Edith, Irma, Lizbeth, Travis 
 Alexis R, Delaney, Alexis M, Frida  Patrick, Mark, Jimmy, Marco
 Ryan, Angelo, Danny, Taylor  Maritza, Ozzie, Emma, Michael, Kathie
 Raymar, Jesse  




Student Blogs


Darren  darrenski.wordpress.com
Angelo  https://angeloadrianoblog.wordpress.com/  
Jesse https://jessealsop.wordpress.com/ 
Jacob https://jakefromda808.wordpress.com/ 
Raymar https://raymarasanas.wordpress.com/ 
Lizbeth https://lizbethbalvaneda.wordpress.com/ 
Tania https://taniakb.wordpress.com/ 
George georgechiporikov.wordpress.com  
Travis https://travisdattilo.wordpress.com/ 
Ryan https://ryanrdeng.wordpress.com 
Taylor https://taylordodds1.wordpress.com/
Frida fridadurazo.wordpress.com 
Maritza https://margar97.wordpress.com/
Edith https://gonzalezedith219.wordpress.com/ 
Emma https://7emmahill.wordpress.com/ 
Danny https://dannyho0201.wordpress.com/ 
Jazmin https://jazminblogblog.wordpress.com
Eli https://elidunate.wordpress.com/ 
Alexis M https://amillias.wordpress.com/ 
Marc marcmozawordpress.wordpress.com 
Kenneth kennethnetemeyer.wordpress.com 
Michael https://mosoriowebportfolio.wordpress.com/ 
Patrick https://pcquadra.wordpress.com 
Alexis R https://alexisramblog.wordpress.com 
Irma https://irmavilla.wordpress.com/
Marco https://mvirgenblog.wordpress.com/
Jimmy https://ji2015.wordpress.com/ 
Monica  https://rhetoricalmonster.wordpress.com/ 





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