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Classical Argument Unit Schedule
Student’s Unit Plan

Unit Goals:
By the end of the unit, students should be able to:

1. Generate an arguable and timely topic that poses a PSI question.
2. Write a thesis-driven classical argument essay.
3. Create a focused argument that includes reasons supported by
evidence, incorporates opposing views, and addresses underlying assumptions.
4. Research, incorporate, and document secondary sources.
5. Make appropriate rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, pathos) to a skeptical or neutral
audience.
6. Arrange ideas in a logical and purposeful order that is easy for the reader to navigate.
7. Produce a final draft that shows an understanding of argument as an evidence-seeking process
and a product of persuasion, as well as an indication of revision and attention to
conferences and peer reviews.
8. Correctly use diction, punctuation, and spelling for a college-level audience.

Weekly Goals:
Week 1 – Introduction to Classical Argument
Week 2 – Research
Week 3 – Qualifications/Concessions in a Claim
Week 4 – Draft and Revise

Forms Found on Course’s Moodle Site:
• Student’s Classical Argument Essay Unit Plan
• Assignment Sheet for Classical Argument Essay
• Writer’s Memo
• Grading Rubric for Classical Argument Essay
• Activity Sheets

KEYS:
EW: Lunsford, Andrea A. The Everyday Writer with Exercises. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin, 2010. Print.
A&B: Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to
Writing. 4th ed. New York: Learning Solutions, 2010. Print.

Week 1: Introduction to Classical Argument
Monday – Introducing Classical Argument
Learning Objectives:
• Introduce purpose of classical argument essay.
• Understand argument assignment sheet.
• Discuss arguable and timely issues.
• Begin brainstorming for topics.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. A&B, chapter 8, “Writing a Classical Argument” (no essays).

Wednesday – Classical Argument Structure
Learning Objectives:
• Understand structure of classical argument.
• Understand how arguments persuade through rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos, pathos).

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. Review A&B, chapter 3, “Thinking Rhetorically about How Messages Persuade.”
2. Review “Appealing to Ethos and Pathos” (A&B 223-25).
3. “Paintball: Promoter of Violence or Healthy Fun?” (A&B 234-37).

To Write:
1. Post current research topic and question(s) to the “Classical Argument Topics” online forum.
2. Respond to at least two of your peers’ ideas with useful suggestions to help them choose a
topic and create a strong research question.

Friday – Introduction and Thesis
Learning Objectives:
• How to create an effective introduction.
• Discuss importance of creating a thesis-driven classical argument essay.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. Review “A Strong Thesis Statement Surprises Readers with Something New or Challenging” (A&B
42-49).
2. A&B, chapter 18, “Composing and Revising Closed-Form Prose.”

To Write:
1. Draft of thesis statement.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 2: Research
Monday – Finding Academic Sources

Library Session – class will meet in library.
Learning Objectives:
• Gain a familiarity with the use of databases and eJournals for research.
• Learn to find useful secondary sources for an essay.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. Review A&B, chapter 20, “Asking Questions, Finding Sources.”

To Write:
1. Complete PSI question and initial claim.

Wednesday – Evaluating and Citing Sources
Learning Objectives:
• Evaluate secondary sources using the STAR criteria.
• Understand how to incorporate sources into essay.
• Plan for follow-up research.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. Review A&B, “Evaluating Evidence: The STAR Criteria” (217-18).
2. Review A&B, chapter 21, “Evaluating Sources.”
3. A&B, chapter 22, “Incorporating Sources Into Your Own Writing.”

Friday – Incorporating Research to Support Against Counterarguments
Learning Objectives:
• Learn how to incorporate research into a paper.
• Consider the use of supporting evidence in thwarting counterarguments.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. Review A&B, Appendix, “A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.”
2. Review A&B, “The Myth of Violence in the Old West” and “Skill 27: Keep Your Focus on Your Own
Argument” (685-9).

To Write:
1. Prepare summaries for at least two potential secondary sources.
2. Complete and bring “Classical Argument Schema” worksheet.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 3: Qualifications/Concessions in a Claim
Monday – In-Class Peer Review

Learning Objectives:
• Peer review with specific questions in mind.

Class preparation:
Bring 3 copies of draft; must be at least 2-3 pages long.

Wednesday – Counterarguments
Learning Objectives:
• Know how to introduce and refute/concede to oppositional views.
• Review and see in practice angle of vision and rhetorical appeals in an argumentative format;
be aware of how people go about convincing audience of biases.

Class preparation:
To Read:
1. “Why Uranium Is the New Green” (A&B 238)
2. “No to Nukes” (243)
3. “The Case for (Gay) Marriage” (249-54).

To Write:
1. Answer questions at the end of all three readings.

Friday – Fallacies and Unstated Assumptions
Learning Objectives:
• Know what are fallacies and unstated assumptions and how to avoid them.
• Find unstated assumptions and counterclaims in peers’ papers.

Class preparation:
Full drafts with Writer’s Memo due.
• Bring three copies.
• Submit through Turnitin.

To Read:
1. Review A&B, “A Brief Primer on Informal Fallacies” (225-27) and “Articulating Unstated
Assumptions” (213-15).

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 4: Draft and Revise
Monday – Individual Conferences

No Class – Individual Conferences.
Learning Objectives:
• Individual conferences.
• Have a clear idea of how to revise.

Class preparation:
Bring a hard-copy of your draft to conference.
To Read:
1. A&B, chapter 18, “Composing and Revising Closed-Form Prose.”

To Write:
1. Have questions and concerns about your paper ready to discuss.

Wednesday – In-Class Peer Review: Final Polish
Learning Objectives:
• Know the strengths and weaknesses of your paper and have a distinct direction for final
revision.
• Understand how to critique your fellow students’ work in a helpful and articulate way. Become
comfortable with and proficient in the peer review process.

Class preparation:
Bring 3 copies of draft.
To Read:
1. A&B, chapter 17, “Writing as a Problem-Solving Process.”
2. EW, chapter 9, section 9b, “Get responses from peers” (91-96).

Friday – Reflections
Learning Objectives:
• Understand what worked and what didn’t in the writing process and in the final product.
• Gain an understanding of why reflection is important and how it can improve your writing.
• Understand how to apply this knowledge to future writing projects.

Class preparation:
Final drafts with Writer’s Memo due.
• Submit through Turnitin.

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