Monday, January 30, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou, DGP?

Still nowhere to be seen. Sorry for those of you who love the predictability of the routine grammar problem, but here is the next step. At the end of each thematic chapter of our beloved TLC book is a grammar section.
The fun part of these sections is that they provide some instruction (Yipee!), they give some basic practice (yay.), and then they provide some practice examining how using these grammatical forms creates effect in text (Whoo hoo!!)
We will talk about this on Tuesday, but if you wish to get a jump on things and took your book home (never let it leave your side!), begin the exercises for the appositive in the Grammar and Rhetorical Style section beginning on page 167. (See the topics for all the grammar sections in the table of contents if you so desire). They will be due early next week. Probably Monday.

I'll tweet when final grades are posted to Grade Checker later today.

(Wherefore actually means "why" not "where". Most people use it incorrectly via a misunderstanding of Juliet's line in Romeo and Juliet. Crassly, I leveraged the misuse simply because I liked the way it sounded. Sorry.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Notes on the final

Putting the finishing touches on a snow triceratops
Well, losing a week right before finals isn't quite optimal, however nice it was to have an impromptu vacation. Though being in charge of a bored 4 year old was hardly conducive to getting a lot done, I did write the final and you're likely curious what is on it. I don't think it contains any evil surprises, but if you are inclined to study, here is some guidance.
  • Toulmin structure
  • Aristotle's manner of analyzing text
  • Rogerian arguments (i.e. Whiskey Speech)
  • Read a short text and identify such things as underlying assumptions, appeals, arrangement, tone, etc.
  • Identify a text that best exemplifies a particular rhetorical device.
  • Create an argument of your own in response to a provided assertion.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Once More to the Lake...again

This little essay doesn't come out and make any clear claims (try and find the thesis...right), but it does contain several implied claims. Identify one of those claims and blog about it. Here is it is in more specific language:

  • What is the claim and how is it supported?
  • Defend, challenge, or qualify that claim noting the complexity of the issue and acknowledging any possible objections to your point of view 
So in sum, explain the assertion, provide support for your position, and address the counterargument. Responses should be 250-350 words (i.e. don't go crazy and write a paper, but you'll need a little bit of space to do the job well). And by the way, in the future we will do similar assignments. When we do, I'll call it an assertion journal.

Lastly, please do a separate blog for the in class style write we did today. This is a little bit different from what we normally do, but playing with style can be fun and I will give you credit for doing it. That said, please bring them to class on Tuesday so we can share some of them. This could range from just a paragraph modeling his style to something more extensive as some of you had already written before leaving class on Friday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Once More to the Lake

Read Once More to the Lake by E.B. White tonight (yes, he's the guy who wrote Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and Elements of Style). There is a wistful cadence to this piece that makes it rather endearing and a bit haunting. Hopefully it's one you enjoy.

  • As you read, mark it up some and note various features of the text.
  • Then note your favorite passage. This could be one you find especially well written, or it could be one that interests you for some reason (feature, subject, etc.). 
  • Be prepared to explain your favorite passage to the class and to be asked to explain more if your comments stay on the surface.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This I Believe

Ninja Nakayla Chan
Your This I Believe essay is due on Wednesday January 25th. It should be uploaded to your blog and you will be reading it aloud in class as well. Here are the requirements adapted from the This I Believe submission page (I encourage you to submit them to This I Believe if you wish). Keep the following in mind when you write your essay:
  1. Limit your essay to 350-500 words.
  2. Describe an event that shaped your beliefs or a person who inspired them.
  3. Avoid sermons and editorials—no soapbox declamations, please!
  4. Read more of the This I Believe essay-writing tips.
You can peruse multiple examples at Often the ones put on the radio are a bit better, but not necessarily so.

Andrea Kang's (Class of 2009) This I Believe essay. They re-posted it from its original posting so all of the comments are gone, but her essay is there.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kill 'Em! Crush 'Em! Eat 'Em Raw!

Welcome back to school from a long and hopefully refreshing break. I won't pretend that any of us were really ready to come back, but here we are.

Given the amount of football during this annual college bowl season and as the NFL heads into the playoffs, we read Kill 'Em! Crush 'Em! Eat 'Em Raw! by John McMurtry in class today. Hopefully you got started on the Examining the Text questions on page 458 in class today. Regardless of your progress in class, please blog these questions (1-5, 7-8) by Thursday.