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Day 2

ENC 1101 • Writing Under Pressure: Timed Writing Unit

In this lesson we chose to cover stratagies for approaching a timed writing exam prompt that facilitate analysis of the prompts intent. Knowing that the odds are agianst successfully answering a question that you can’t understand, we review skill sets that help to “un-pack” the prompt into segments that can be both understood and addressed.

We chose to do this to emphasize the importance of thorough review of the prompt before writing. This skill set transfers over to other scenerios that a first year university student will have to master such as un-packing syllabi, schedules, assignment prompts, application instructions, lab experiment instructions, etc.

INSTRUCTOR’S DAY PLAN DAY 2 – Monday
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Objective:
Analyze on essay exam question to understand what the question is looking for by
recognizing cues and by interpreting and responding to key terms.

(10 Min)
-Class Discussion to review the Moodle HW forum assignment on the “Un-packing the Prompt,” African-American cultural influence prompt.

-Read the prompt aloud and then ask the class to answer the questions.
-Show the answers on the projector using DOCUMENT 2-A to project the prompt and the answers
on the board.

(10 Min)
-Group Activity to unpack a prompt

-Break the class up into groups of three or four and give them the rhetorical appeals prompt
to unpack.
-Use DOCUMENT 2-B to project the prompt on the board.

(5 Min)
-Class Discussion to review the groups’ results

-Review the class’s answers.
-Use DOCUMENT 2-C to guide the discussion.

(10 Min)
-Class Discussion to introduce the development of a thesis based on a prompt

-Review the functions of a thesis statement by asking the class to identify the purpose of a
thesis statement (identify argument, reveal logic of argument, focus paper).
-Discuss answering a question with a thesis in the same way that questions led to a thesis
in process of drafting the informative essay by asking class to recall the idea of problematic
questions.
-Use DOCUMENT 2-D to project example on the board.

(10 Min)
-Class Discussion to develop a thesis to respond to the African-American cultural influence prompt.

-Use DOCUMENT 2-E projected on the board to guide the discussion.

(05 Min)
-Homework: Use DOCUMENT 2-F on the projector to discuss the HW

To be completed before class on Wednesday.

-Read A&B Guide to Writing, pages 57-58, and page 46 of The Everyday Writer for a
refresher on the rhetorical appeals.

-Read through the ethos logos, and pathos test prompt on Moodle and answer the questions in the
forum. Use DOCUMENT 2-G for the Moodle forum prompt.

-Post a peer review to one of your classmates’ posts explaining whether or not you feel
their explanation is effectively reflecting the requirements of the prompt and why?

DOCUMENTS

2-A

Walt Whitman once wrote that English was not “an abstract construction of Dictionary makers” but a language that had “it’s basis broad and low, close to the ground.” Whitman reminds us that English is a richly expressive language because it comes from a variety of cultural sources. One of these is African-American culture. Write an essay discussing the major ways in which African-American culture has influenced the culture of the United States. Identify and illustrate at least three important influences.

-Identify the key words in this prompt
Write, discussing, identify, and illustrate

-Will this be an open or closed form essay?
Closed form, because it will be driven by a thesis that
convinces the audience that the ways listed are “the major ways.”

-What specific details/evidence/support is this prompt asking for?
“… the major ways in which African-American culture has
influenced the culture of the United States…”

“… three important influences…”

-How do you think that this prompt will be graded?
Does it stay on topic?
Are there “at least three important influences” mentioned?
Are there details, evidence, and support for each influence?
Is all of the support of the influences acting in support of the thesis?

-Where, if at all, might Whitman be used as a source in your essay?
Maybe the intro or the conclusion, if at all.

-Is this prompt asking you to reflect in the first person?
No, this prompt is not asking for your personal views, but rather your opinion backed by evidence.

-Is this prompt asking you to summarize anything?
No, this prompt is not asking for any kind of synopsis.

2-B

Aristotle wrote in his famed work Rhetoric, that “…the orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief; he must also make his own character look right and put his hearers who are to decide, into the right frame of mind” (Allyn & Bacon 59). Your copy of The Everyday Writer adds to this, stating that 2,500 years ago Aristotle clarified these statements further by identifying the terms ethos, logos, and pathos “as basic appeals any speaker or writer could use” (46). Using the “Concept 9” section of your A&B Guide to Writing (pages 57 and 58), as well as section 5b of your Everyday Writer (page 46) for guidance, compose an essay that first defines these three rhetorical appeals, secondly explains how these three rhetorical appeals can work together to persuade an audience, and finally discusses which of these three appeals you feel you would have the most difficulty with when writing and why?

-Separate the general statements in this prompt from the actual prompt questions.

-Identify the key words in this prompt.

-What are you being asked to define?

-What are you being asked to explain?

-What are you being asked to discuss?

-Will this be an open or closed form essay?

-Is this prompt asking you to reflect in the first person?

2-C

Aristotle wrote in his famed work Rhetoric, that “…the orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief; he must also make his own character look right and put his hearers who are to decide, into the right frame of mind” (Allyn & Bacon 59). Your copy of The Everyday Writer adds to this, stating that 2,500 years ago Aristotle clarified these statements further by identifying the terms ethos, logos, and pathos “as basic appeals any speaker or writer could use” (46). Using the “Concept 9” section of your A&B Guide to Writing (pages 57 and 58), as well as section 5b of your Everyday Writer (page 46) for guidance, compose an essay that first defines these three rhetorical appeals, secondly explains how these three rhetorical appeals can work together to persuade an audience, and finally discusses which of these three appeals you feel you would have the most difficulty with when writing and why?

-Separate the general statements in this prompt from the actual prompt question.
…Using the “Concept 9” section of your A&B Guide to Writing (pages 57 and 58), as well as section 5b of your Everyday Writer (page 46) for guidance, compose an essay that first defines these three rhetorical appeals, secondly explains how these three rhetorical appeals can work together to persuade an audience, and finally discusses which of these three appeals you feel you would have the most difficulty with when writing and why?”

-Identify the key words in this prompt.
Using, compose, defines, explains, and discusses

-What are you being asked to define?
“…three rhetorical appeals…”

-What are you being asked to explain?
“…how these three rhetorical appeals can work together to persuade and audience…”

-What are you being asked to discuss?
“…which of these three appeals you feel you would have the most difficulty with when writing and why?”

-Will this be an open or closed form essay?
this prompt tends more toward the open end of the closed-to-open form continuum because it is not asking you to identify a claim and argue it.

-Is this prompt asking you to reflect in the first person?
Yes, but only in the last portion of the prompt. The rest of the essay should reflect the ideas presented by the sources.

2-D

Basic examples of how a thesis responds to a prompt:

Prompt –
How does Darwin’s theory of evolution threaten the
Elizabethan notion of the great chain of being?

Possible Thesis –
Darwin’s theory of evolution threatens the Elizabethan notion
of the great chain of being by challenging the idea that creatures
are linked in an ascending order of hierarchies that reflect a
divine purpose and intelligence at work in the universe.

Prompt –
When the tablecloth was pulled from underneath the dishes,
the dishes stayed on the table. Why?

Possible Thesis –
The dishes remained on the table when the table cloth was
pulled from underneath them because the rapidly moving
table cloth did not give them much momentum, which is a
product of both force and time.

2-E

Walt Whitman once wrote that English was not “an abstract construction of Dictionary makers” but a language that had “it’s basis broad and low, close to the ground.” Whitman reminds us that English is a richly expressive language because it comes from a variety of cultural sources. One of these is African-American culture. Write an essay discussing the major ways in which African-American culture has influenced the culture of the United States. Identify and illustrate at least three important influences.

What might a thesis for this assignment look like?

Contemporary America would not be what it is today
if not for the influence of African-Americans through the musical
forms of the blues, jazz, and hip hop.

Why does this thesis fit the prompt?

2-F

Homework:
To be completed before class on Wednesday.

-Read A&B Guide to Writing, pages 57-58, and page 46 of The Everyday
Writer for a refresher on the rhetorical appeals.

-Read through the ethos logos, and pathos test prompt on Moodle,
develop a thesis statement with which to guide your response and post
your thesis to the forum.

-Post a peer review to one of your classmates’ posts explaining whether or
not you feel their explanation is effectively reflecting the requirements of
the prompt and why?

2-G

Rhetorical appeals timed writing prompt:

-Does this prompt require that you formulate a thesis in order to respond fully?.

-Explain and support why you think this.

-Post a peer review to one of your classmates’ posts explaining whether or not
you feel their explanation is effectively reflecting the requirements of the prompt
and why?

Aristotle wrote in his famed work Rhetoric, that “…the orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief; he must also make his own character look right and put his hearers who are to decide, into the right frame of mind” (Allyn & Bacon 59). Your copy of The Everyday Writer adds to this, stating that 2,500 years ago Aristotle clarified these statements further by identifying the terms ethos, logos, and pathos “as basic appeals any speaker or writer could use” (46). Using the “Concept 9” section of your A&B Guide to Writing (pages 57 and 58), as well as section 5b of your Everyday Writer (page 46) for guidance, compose an essay that first defines these three rhetorical appeals, secondly explains how these three rhetorical appeals can work together to persuade an audience, and finally discusses which of these three appeals you feel you would have the most difficulty with when writing and why?

 

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