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Class 7 Fall 2015

Page history last edited by Jane Asher 8 years, 9 months ago


Discuss Reflection Essays

Discuss WOW chapters 3 and 4

Douglass/ Response I/ Paragraphing

Collect Response I

Read the following pages from WOW Chapter 5:

84-85,  90-95 (“Road Trip”), and  103-113




Return and Discuss Reflection Essays


In 1-2 pages, describe yourself as a reader, writer, and thinker.


You may use the questions below to guide your response, but feel free to explore other ideas/topics that you find applicable to the prompt.

Your response should read as a cohesive, organized reflection piece (organized by paragraphs and main ideas) instead of just a list of answers to the questions. Provide details and specific examples.

Compose your response in 12-point Times New Roman, double space it, and use 1-inch margins.

  • Do you enjoy reading? If so, describe what you like to read and why. If not, explain why you don’t like to read. Describe your strengths and weaknesses as a reader.
  • Do you enjoy writing? Describe your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
  • What is your previous experience with writing inside/outside English courses?
  • What do you hope to gain from this class? (skills, strategies, etc.)
  • Are there any particular topics or issues that you would like us to engage in class reading and discussion? What discussion topics do you find interesting?
  • What do you like to think about? Learn about? Describe your academic interests, curiosities, and motivations. 



  •      Following instructions
  •      Purpose of this assignment
  •      Providing specific details, ideas, and support
  •       Paragraph development: topic sentences, adequate support, cohesion: linking ideas together--showing the logical progression from one idea to the next
  •      Titles
  •      POV: "When you read......" (use third person), the direct address (you are not writing to me) 
  •      Pet Peeves: Drawing attention to the act of writing (telling readers what you plan to do), "Hi, my name is...", asking and answering your own 


proof reading marks, editing, repetition, reading your work out loud


     hold on to these: you'll need to refer to them for Writing Workshop I


Return and Discuss Summary Assignment



Info from class discussion on summaries:

Summarizing a text, or distilling its essential concepts into a paragraph or two, is a useful study tool as well as good writing practice. A summary has two aims: (1) to reproduce the overarching ideas in a text, identifying the general concepts that run through the entire piece, and (2) to express these overarching ideas using precise, specific language.


When you summarize, you cannot rely on the language the author has used to develop his or her points, and you must find a way to give an overview of these points without your own sentences becoming too general. You must also make decisions about which concepts to leave in and which to omit, taking into consideration your purposes in summarizing and also your view of what is important in this text.


Here are some methods for summarizing:

a. Include the title and identify the author in your first sentence.


b. The first sentence or two of your summary should contain the author’s thesis, or central concept, stated in your own words. This is the idea that runs through the entire text--the one you’d mention if someone asked you: “What is this piece/article about?” Unlike student essays, the main idea in a primary document or an academic article may not be stated in one location at the beginning. Instead, it may be gradually developed throughout the piece or it may become fully apparent only at the end.


Sample: In the USA Today article "5 Skills College Grads Need to get a Job" (May 3, 2015), Megan Elliott draws on a recent CareerBuilder survey in order to report that both job openings and salaries have increased from 2014 but that current college graduates lack the specific skills necessary for landing one of these jobs and for being successful in today's job market. 


c. When summarizing a longer article, try to see how the various stages in the explanation or argument are built up in groups of related paragraphs. Divide the article into sections if it isn’t done in the published form. Then, write a sentence or two to cover the key ideas in each section.


d. Omit ideas that are not really central to the text. Don’t feel that you must reproduce the author’s exact progression of thought. (On the other hand, be careful not to misrepresent ideas by omitting important aspects of the author’s discussion).


e. In general, omit minor details and specific examples. (In some texts, an extended example may be a key part of the argument, so you would want to mention it).


f. Avoid writing opinions or personal responses in your summaries (save these for active reading responses or tutorial discussions).


g. Be careful not to plagiarize the author’s words. If you do use even a few of the author’s words, they must appear in quotation marks. To avoid plagiarism, try writing the first draft of your summary without looking back at the original text.


h. use summary signals (strong verbs--page 404 in handbook)




Critical Reading Cont.


Response 1 is an exercise designed to develop your critical reading/thinking skills.


Critical reading (WOW pg. 65)

  • understanding the author's purpose

  • drawing inferences from the text

  • evaluating the evidence and logic of an author's assertions

  • extending ideas beyond the text

  • examining an author's bias

  • connecting ideas in one text to ideas in another text (synthesis)




How does Response 1 illustrate the characteristics of critical reading?







Response 1: Frederick Douglass


excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (pgs. 79-81)



Later in his narrative, Douglass writes, "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing."


What does Douglass mean by this statement?

How is his view of reading shaped by the rhetorical situation in 1845?

Can you think of any modern-day situations or examples in which Douglass's view of reading is still valid, or is the ability to read and write (our access to knowledge and information) always a blessing?


Your response should be a carefully crafted paragraph in which you relate your position and draw on specific examples from the text in order to support it. Make sure that you respond to all aspects of the prompt.


Your response should be formal and typed double-spaced.



Volunteers to Share






Narration as a Rhetorical Strategy (a rhetorical choice)

(page 73 in Handbook--uses "Patterns of Paragraph Development")


Narrative means storytelling.

  • Some stories are fictional--they deal with characters and events that the writer has created from imagination.
  • Some stories are nonfiction; they recreate events which happened to real people.





    • For us, then, Rhetorical Strategies are the "means" Aristotle speaks of, the methods for "finding all the available arguments" (Bk. I, Ch.2) on a particular issue,
      • those methods that allow us to convey most convincingly our point on a given topic.


  • So, how is narration a rhetorical strategy?
  • How does Douglass's narrative function as rhetoric? (as well as the slave narrative in general)
  • Think about their purpose (the slave narrative=story)
  • As a narrative (story) is Douglass's primary purpose to entertain?


  • Other examples of narratives (fiction or non-fiction) that function as pieces of rhetoric?
  • How do we use stories to persuade?



Think about how other genres of writing employ narrative strategies.






Other Common Rhetorical Strategies


(pages 73-78 in Handbook)


There are several rhetorical strategies you can use to make your writing more powerful. It is often a good idea to use several of these strategies in combination, although not every strategy will be applicable to every essay or topic you are discussing.



  1. Exemplification (74): Provide examples or cases in point. Are there examples - facts, statistics, cases in point, personal experiences, interview quotations - that you could add to help you achieve the purpose of your essay?
  2. Description (73): Detail sensory perceptions of a person, place, or thing. Does a person, place, or object play a prominent role in your essay? Would the tone, pacing, or overall purpose of your essay benefit from sensory details?
  3. Narration (73): Recount an event. Are you trying to report or recount an anecdote, an experience, or an event? Does any part of your essay include the telling of a story (either something that happened to you or to a person you include in your essay)?
  4. Process analysis(74): Explain how to do something or how something happens. Would any portion of your essay be more clear if you included concrete directions about a certain process? Are there any processes that readers would like to understand better? Are you evaluating any processes?
  5. Comparison and contrast (76): Discuss similarities and differences. Does your essay contain two or more related subjects? Are you evaluating or analyzing two or more people, places, processes, events, or things? Do you need to establish the similarities and differences between two or more elements?
  6. Division and classification (76): Divide a whole into parts or sort related items into categories. Are you trying to explain a broad and complicated subject? Would it benefit your essay to reduce this subject to more manageable parts to focus your discussion?
  7. Definition (77): Provide the meaning of terms you use. Who is your audience? Does your essay focus on any abstract, specialized, or new terms that need further explanation so your readers understand your point? Does any important word in your essay have many meanings and need to be need to be clarified?
  8. Cause and effect analysis (75): Analyze why something happens and describe the consequences of a string of events. Are you examining past events or their outcomes? Is your purpose to inform, speculate, or argue about why an identifiable fact happens the way it does?
  9. Argumentation: Convince others through reasoning. Are you trying to explain aspects of a particular subject, and are you trying to advocate a specific opinion on this subject or issue in your essay?



Paragraphs: A Test Case


Read to strengthen your writing


Pg. 79: Douglass

Comprehension: Summary of the essay


Paragraph 1: Introduction

  • What is the topic sentence?
  • How does it set up what is to come/set the structure of the essay?



In general, what do you want to accomplish in an introduction?

How do the conventions of introductions vary with genres?



Paragraph 2:

  • First line: How does it transition?
  • What is the topic of this paragraph?
  • Why does Douglass discuss the role of Mistress Hugh before discussing the strategies? (arrangement)


Paragraph 3:

  • First line: how does it transition from the previous paragraph?
  • Why is this paragraph so short?


Paragraph 4:

  • What is the topic?
  • How is this paragraph unified?
  • How is this a well-developed paragraph? (pg. 72 in Handbook)


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