Thursday, February 28, 2013

Corn Pone Opinions

From page 721, blog Questions on Rhetoric and Style numbers 2 and 6-11. This will be due on Friday.

If you'd like to try and make some, even though Genevieve says it's gross, here's a recipe.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Arguing with Elephants

Choose one of the following prompts for your argument essay.

Option 1
Shooting an Elephant concludes: And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.” Orwell implies that such petty and selfish reasons, if we are honest enough to admit it, often drive our actions. Write an essay in which you argue for or against Orwell’s position concerning human motives. Support your essay with evidence from your reading, observation, and experience.

Option 2
Early in the second paragraph of the piece Orwell’s narrator says, “Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.” And he concludes the same paragraph: “Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty.” With these qualifiers, Orwell suggests that a duplicity accompanies authority, a difference between the expression of the public and the private self. Write an essay in which you defend, challenge, or qualify that position regarding human expression. Refer to your reading, observation, or experience to support your position.

Option 3
In paragraph 7 Orwell observes that “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys,” and that “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” Consider the implications of these statements concerning human nature. Write an essay in which you support, refute, or qualify Orwell’s paradox and metaphor. Refer to your reading, observation, or experience to support your position.

Vital Statistics
Due March 8, 2013
750 words (2-3 pages)
MLA format required

Remember that this is an argument paper. You are not analyzing the essay per se, but arguing a position about a broader issue raised in the essay.

Nifty AP Score Scenario Spreadsheet hosted on Google Docs. It won't fully work opened in Google Docs, though. You'll need to download the file and use it in Excel.

Quiz Reminder:
Friday we'll be in the Library Lab to get working on our essays if you haven't done so already by that time. As such, we'll have to postpone our quiz on the rhetorical devices on pages 58-59 of our book to Monday (3/4). It will not be a vocabulary quiz so much as asking you to identify examples of some set of these devices. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Shooting Elephants and Mid-Winter Break

For those of you who were gone on Friday, make sure you do some pretty close reading of Shooting an Elephant on page 979 of our book. Look for word choice, tone, irony, qualifications, and the like. Blog the questions on page 985.

Secondly, please read chapter 6 out of the big packet (the one that we most recently read from for the fallacy activity).

That's it. I'm not giving you the paper assignment yet as some of you would be compelled to think about it, and this is plenty. Enjoy your few days off.

Here is the essay if you are going somewhere and don't want to take your book, though don't forget to copy down or take a picture of the questions in the TLC book.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fallacious D

This is Tuesday night's homework.

Hasty conclusion like toy balloon: easy blow up, easy pop.
–Charlie Chan at the Race Track 

Here are 10 logical fallacies. In order to augment the reading from our packet, research them here* and then create for your blog three short scenarios: two of which are examples that you make up using any two of the fallacies below and one that is meant to be logically consistent. In class, we’ll examine these paragraphs and see if the class can guess which is which. Make sure that it’s not obvious that you’re using a fallacy. Make us work; make us better.
  • Begging the Question
  • Slippery Slope
  • False Dilemma
  • Post Hoc
  • Biased Sample
  • Gambler’s Fallacy
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Ad Hominem
  • Straw Man
  • Tu Quoque
* Use this site and this Nizkor Project site to help with this task.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Structuring Arguments

I want to give you the whole chapter to read, but thereafter I will never be able to convince Miss Gale that I'm not out to ruin her life. For now, skip the Chapter 6 section and, starting at the beginning of the last section (page 97, Presenting Evidence), read pages 97-109. Blog the first activity on page 109 and identify the logical fallacies in the examples 1-8.
For those of you unsure of which packet this assignment refers to, it is the newest, largest one that we walked through the other day. It has 2 chapters in it, 5 and 6, from one book and an except from the newest version of our textbook at the back. That excerpt is what we're reading.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Timed Write Improvement Plan

Hmmm, that title makes me think of Home Depot or Lowe's for some reason.

Anyway, blog your plan to improve your essay.

  1. What could you do, specifically, to make it better?
    doing this poorly would be to say, "I should use better examples and be specific with those examples." The irony of this statement would be that you'd be doing the very thing you are asserting you shouldn't do. Specifically, what could you write about, or what specific changes could you make to your paper to improve it. If you wrote to only part of de Botton's claim or to another claim altogether, this might entail a whole new plan or detailed outline for your essay.
  2. How would following this new plan or incorporating these improvements actually make your essay better? Explain. Use commentary/analysis.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Everything's an Argument

Read the rest of chapter 4 in the Everything's an Argument packet. No blog entry.