Critical Inquiry. research analysis argument See discussion in Knowing Words chapter 2. PWR goals. analyze texts in a variety of genres , understanding how content, style, structure and format vary across a range of reading and writing situations . Teaching Analysis.
analyze texts in a variety of genres, understanding how content, style, structure and format vary across a range of reading and writing situations
Dictionary definitions of analysis invoke an act of dissection—pulling something apart to see what it's made of, to see how it is composed. To analyze is to determine how the parts make the whole or how the whole fits into a bigger whole.
Gerald Graff has argued that the intellectual life is the analytical life.
Clueless in Academe
In essence we promise students that what they learn from us will go with them to other contexts and give them power in their personal, professional, and public lives — power, more specifically, to analyze texts . . . to determine their merits and demerits. Are we delivering on this promise? Are we teaching the analytical life? Or is the analytical essay a "school genre," as David Smit argues, that often does not "really convey any information to anyone who needs the information, nor really try to persuade anyone of any particular viewpoint."
Brian Jackson “Teaching the Analytical Life”
Brian Jackson’s (BYU) 2010 survey of 138 writing programs
Things only get interesting when they are
mapping: from invention to organization
characterize / find a shape for information
use a matrix to organize & visualize
Vector based charts
You borrowed your parent’s car and ran into a light pole. Who is going to care about this?
Talk them through questions like:
Who cares? What do they care about? Why?
“I wonder if you people aren't a bit too — well, strong, on the virtues of analysis. I mean, once you've taken it all apart, fine, I'll be first to applaud your industry. But other than a lot of bits and pieces lying about, what have you said?“
Roger Mexico, in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (88)
construct effective and ethical arguments using appropriate reasons and evidence to support your positions while responding to multiple points of view
“To teach students to argue knowledgeably,
thoughtfully, and ethically is to equip
them to participate effectively in the formal
institutions of a large democracy as well as
in smaller organizations, such as religious
groups, school boards, or community action
(Timothy Barnett, Teaching Argument in the Composition Course)
Toulmin? Rogerian? Stasis theory?
Students can be overwhelmed with categories. Knowing Words (chapter 5) presents a basic approach to argument based on Toulmin and Rogerian
Classical Rhetoric: Enthymeme - A Teaching Tool for Analyzing
Arguments in Popular Media
Observation - This man has perjured himself in the past.
Generalization - Those who perjure themselves cannot be trusted.
Inference - This man is not to be trusted.
Generally, an enthymeme is a truncated argument – either the
generalization or the observation is unstated.
The bill will promote the use of quotas in the workplace.
(Quotas give unearned opportunities to minorities - unstated)
Whites’ opportunities will be given to minorities if the bill passes.
Whatever the theoretical framework and however you identify
the basic parts of an argument, students should learn that an
argument is part of a larger conversation. They should see that
understanding the rhetorical situation (the purposes,
audiences and context) plays a significant role in making
effective choices in content, style, and structure when writing
their own argument.
Purposes (message, motive, and moment)
Audiences (primary, secondary, etc.)
Choices (appeals – strategies: content, structure, style, format, etc.)
Ethics and Effects (power, consequences: intended and unintended)
Daryn Cagle political cartoon site, Cagle Post - searchable