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Wednesday, November 5

Page history last edited by Jane Asher 9 years, 7 months ago


(check PP, NetFlix)


Note: Edit Page


Distribute and Discuss Product Evaluation Rubric/ Last minute questions/concerns

Mechanics Review

Discuss "Why I Still Watch Lost"/Media Evaluations


If you want me to make copies of your handout for your presentation on Monday,  you must give it to me by the end of class today. 

If not, you are responsible for bringing 28 copies to class for your presentation on Monday.


Prepare for Product Evaluation Presentations on Monday





Distribute and Discuss Product Evaluation Rubric/ Last minute questions/concerns

-Collect Handouts for copies

-finalize list of groups/equipment check




Exchange, Grade, and Discuss Worksheet




Mechanics Review Worksheet                                        Samples from Narrative Essays


Modifiers  (pages 257-263 in Handbook)


What is a modifier?

Where should it go?


I walked into the brightly lit room, wide eyed and blinded.


What is the modifier in this sentence? 

What does it modify? What should it modify?



That day was unlike any other looking back on it now.


page 262-Dangling Modifier

a word or phrase that cannot logically modify any word in the sentence





With his bright blue eyes and long hippie hair (that he is still yet to cut off), just being around him was the most comforting feeling in the world.


Dangling Modifier



I held my breath as I reached for the phone with trembling hands.

Misplaced Modifier



Semicolons (pages 288-291 in Handbook)

Every weekend it was the same routine; wondering why I put the nice clothes on under the brown apron.

page 288: a semicolon separates two closely related independent clauses that convey parallel or contrasting information 

Page 278-Verbal Phrase Fragment



From our first pair of shoes to the honor rolls and perfect attendance awards; they all had been soaked in feces contaminated water.

page 288: a semicolon separates two closely related independent clauses that convey parallel or contrasting information 

page 278- Prepositional Phrase Fragment


My palms were sweaty; my heart was racing; I felt as if I were having a panic attack.


Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series.


The prosecutor argued that the defendant, who was at the scene of the crime, who had a strong revenge motive, and who had access to the murder weapon, was guilty of homicide.



Commas (Pages 276-287 in Handbook) and Shifts in Tense (pages 264-265)

So I decided to take another week to study, at the end of the week I spent nearly all of my time on studying for said exam.

Dependent Clauses: page 278



Over the next eight weeks I become more familiar with the game through practices and games against the other schools in our league.




I did not think it was anything major so I just sat down and relaxed until the pain went away.



It was New Year’s Eve, the clock had just struck twelve. 2014 was finally here.



I’m in the house almost every day since its winter time and it’s too damn cold to be outside, even my friends felt the same. 










Chapter 9 Recap


Evaluation Arguments through Product Evaluation



"Start Your Engines: Remote Possibilities" (page 266)

Much like what you are doing in your projects, this first evaluation sample essay has a simple purpose--to convince readers of something's value.


Using practical criteria, Campbell creates a positive, straightforward evaluation of remote starters. His purpose is to convince his readers of the use-value of this product.



"Why I Still Watch Lost" by Bao Phi is another evaluation argument essay; however, it is much different than Campbell's essay and purpose.

How so?





Understanding Different Kinds of Evaluation Arguments




The standards that we use to evaluate something is very often based on genre of that something. In other words, we do not typically use the same mode of judgment to determine the quality of a TV drama series and a product for our cars.  TV dramas are evaluated against the benchmarks of other TV dramas--and those standards are dictated by social, economic, cultural, and aesthetic ideas about what makes "good" TV drama. More so, a dramatic television series is usually not evaluated by the same standards we would use to evaluate a sitcom series or a comedy show. 


As I'm sure many of you are well aware, today Americans want more than just entertainment from a TV drama series, and when publishing reviews about such series, reviewers move far beyond the topic of a show's entertainment value and instead delve into many complex layers and meanings in order to evaluate the quality of that show.


This is why we often here the  phrase "Critically-Acclaimed" in front of a TV series or film. This means that it has undergone a much more in-depth analysis--what we refer to as a Critical Evaluation



"Critical Evaluation" is interchangeable with "Review," but more specific to the rhetorical purpose of the review. An “evaluation” is meant to determine or set the value of something, and being “critical” means “to find fault or to judge with severity.”


 The terms overlap. The job of a critical evaluator is to defend a judgment about the value, or worth, of something. Some examples of critical evaluations are movie reviews, book reviews, political candidates, employees, musicians, agencies and organizations, laws and policies, concepts and theories.



Some judgments can be positive and some negative, but rarely is a true critical judgment either all positive or all negative. If a subject is examined carefully, even the most beloved work of art has faults, and even the worst has positive attributes. The key is to examine the art closely, understand the criterion, and to avoid adding personal taste or emotion into the evaluation.



The Difference Between Taste and Judgment


A judgment is a statement of value, of approval or disapproval, and people judge all the time. The term is often viewed negatively, especially when individuals judge other individuals. “You worry too much about your lawn, Bob” is a judgment that may be offensive, whether true or not. (It's true. Bob does worry about his lawn too much).


A lot of judgments are based on taste, which means, “I like something because I like it.” No reasons necessary. A taste-decision doesn’t demand sound reasons to support it. When someone says, “I hate country music,” they are offering a taste-based judgment, when they may not have a solid understanding of the conventions and criteria used to evaluate country music in a fair manner. It’s simply a matter of personal preference, an unsupported opinion. It's a matter of taste.


On the other hand, a critical evaluation moves beyond a judgement based on solely on "personal taste"; it offers sound and complex reasons to support a personal preference. It does more than argue “What I like is good because what I like is good.” A critical evaluation  tells the reader “why” your judgment is correct by offering strong support by analysis of the subject itself. Personal taste has no place in a critical evaluation.


Judgments are supported, first, by establishing a base of  “Evaluative Criteria,"  which are sets of standards used to fairly judge the merits of a particular subject.




Determining Evaluative Criteria: Setting the Standards


In order to defend a judgment, there must be a basis for evaluation, or MANY bases for evaluation.


Avoid Criteria that Don't Work, such as "It's Popular" or "It's funny."


Popularity is not a standard by which the quality of a subject can be judged, so don't use it as a premise in your criticial evaluation. For instance, if you are evaluating the band Foo Fighters, and your main judgment is that they are one of the most influential rock bands of the late 90's because of their popularity, you are not giving a reason to support the thesis. Their popularity is a fact, based on album sales and so forth, but it doesn't indicate WHY they are influential, and nor does it indicate that they are necessarily good. Brittany Spears sells even more albums than Foo-Fighters, but does that popularity necessarily translate into quality or influence?


Elvis Presley has sold more albums than any musician in the history of the world. Does that mean he's a good musician or merely popular?


Also avoid stating humor or entertainment value as premises to support a judgment. Why? In critically evaluating pop-culture subjects, entertainment is a given. We need say nothing more about that. Entertainment is pretty much the main purpose of pop-culture.  That's how it gets us into the theater or makes us park in front of the tube for hours on end. We're entertained.


The same goes with humor. Say for instance a student critically evaluates the show Seinfeld and makes a main judgment/thesis that it's the most important sitcom of the late 20th century and the writer's first reason to support the thesis is, "It's the funniest show ever."


First off, to support this, Seinfeld would have to be compared/contrasted with every sit-com in the history of TV, including Alph, but most importantly, we know it's funny already. It's a given. Even if a reader or two doesn't find it funny, so what? It's a comedy show.


If humor is a criterion, and it can be, especially for sitcoms or funny movies, it's up to the writer to explain in specific detail why certain scenes are funny.



Choose Fair, Accurate Criteria: Judge by the Same Standards


The key in establishing criteria is to choose the ones necessary to measure the quality of the subject and that can be fairly applied to all subjects in a given category, or genre. For instance, not all movies have the same evaluative criteria. Is American Beauty judged by the same standards as The Matrix? Is Little Children held to the same criteria as Spiderman III? Though the subject area is the same -- movies -- the category, or genres, differ  -- drama versus comedy, science fiction versus action/adventure -- and should be judged by different sets of criteria, otherwise one genre movie may be unfairly judged. Other movie genres, for example: family, independent, horror, classics, thrillers, dark comedies, romances, etc. And you can even break down the categories further: British comedies, cult comedies, romance comedies, etc.





This is what Bao Phi does in his Critical Evaluation of the television series Lost. 



Lost is an American adventure television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 episodes. Lost is a drama series primarily based on character development, and containing elements of science fiction and the supernatural. It follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet, flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. The story is told in a heavily serialized manner. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline on the island, along with a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life.



Short Summary

After a somewhat mysterious sequence of events, an oceanic flight from Sydney to LA crashes on what appears to be a deserted island. The chance of being found and rescued is fairly small, so the survivors have to cope with a set of challenges. They have to learn to survive on the island, a mysterious place with enough dangers on its own. Also, they have to learn to live with each other if any success is to be expected. And finally, they have to live with themselves and their pasts. Interwoven with the events on the islands are flashbacks to the pasts of 14 main characters. Step by step, we learn a little more about their diverse and unexpected pasts as the group's quest to survive takes shape.


Phi offers an overall positive evaluation of Lost, but his essay moves well beyond the "It's a good series because I like it or because it's entertaining" approach. Additionally, he acknowledges how, true critical judgment either rarely never all positive or all negative. If a subject is examined carefully, even the most beloved work of art has faults, and even the worst has positive attributes.




Reflect on the Reading Questions (page 299)



page 298:

The final criteria for evaluation--moving beyond the issues of diversity and the representation of Asian Americans. Lost is also valuable on a larger scale--it captures the human element:





Consider Your Viewpoint (page 299)

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