Monday, February 22, 2016

Be verwy quwiet...we're hunting elephants

Correction: This is what you're doing in class tomorrow with the sub.
Get started on your essay Tuesday in class. Pick a prompt and treat it like a timed write. Write like mad for 40-45 minutes, and then presto you'll have a rough rough draft. :)  

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
This might not be a rubbish van, but this van is now rubbish. 
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 3, 2016
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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wait. Why did he shoot that elephant?

Ha! You thought he was going to get shot
 not take a shot, didn't you?
After reading Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, please blog your answers to the five questions on page 985 of your TLC (The Language of Composition) books.

We will do more with this essay in class tomorrow.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Joy 101

The joy of learning is as indispensable in study
as breathing is in running . -Simone Weil
Take the article Joy: A Subject Schools Lack by Susan Engel and write a paragraph-level response. Your response should include your claim (position) clearly stated, evidence to back up your claim, an acknowledgement of the counter-argument, and a rebuttal. How are you going to make sure it's all there? Well, use the following template* created by Dr. Kathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff to write your response. Post this response to your blog and have a great break!

The general argument made by author X in her/his work, _______________, is that _______________. More specifically, X argues that _______________. She/he writes, “ _______________.” In this passage, X is suggesting that _______________. In conclusion, X’s belief is that _______________.

In my view, X is wrong/right, because _______________. More specifically, I believe that _______________. For example, ___________. Although X might object that __________, I maintain that _______________. Therefore, I conclude that _______________.

*Yes, you have to use this template even if you will otherwise have all the elements there.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fallacious D

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

  • The "Spot Fallacies" packet by Jay Heinrichs 
  • Language of Composition ed. 2 packet pgs. 97-109 
1) In order to augment the reading from our packets, research the following fallacies here* and 2) then research and find 7 examples of real life fallacies that fit into categories from the "Spot Fallacies" packet (summarized on the final 2 pages, but discussed throughout the packet). 3) Put those examples on your blog, but don't label them. Remember what they are, because we will talk about them in class and try to figure out what you've chosen. They can be images, video clips, texts, etc.

Side note: Beware of the "Spot Fallacies" author's alternate naming conventions as they are different than what most everyone else uses.
Look familiar?
  • Begging the Question
  • Slippery Slope
  • False Dilemma
  • Post Hoc
  • Biased Sample
  • Gambler’s Fallacy
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Ad Hominem
  • Straw Man
  • Tu Quoque
  • Red Herring
* Use the  Nizkor Project site and this site as well as your readings to help with this task.

I know many of these were mentioned in your reading as well, but it doesn't hurt to get some more information about them. I also know this is a lot of reading, but this task will be done over 2 class periods.