Session 1: Welcome. 9.30: Intro to RWS100 and the lower division writing program TA Introductions; photo session ( program of assimilation and mind control revealed). Overview of RWS100. 10.00: Overview of RWS100
Session 1: Welcome • 9.30: Intro to RWS100 and the lower division writing program • TA Introductions; photo session(program of assimilation and mind control revealed)
Overview of RWS100 • 10.00: Overview of RWS100 • The program, RWS100, ITC, Fall students, expectations, assignments, and options.
RWS 100 and the lower division writing program • See the orientation handout for contact info and resources for new TAs. • Argument is at the center of the program and 100. • We mostly focus on non fiction, argumentative texts.
RWS 100 and the lower division writing program • We ask students to interpret, analyze, and produce written arguments, because this is central to academic literacy, critical thinking, and civic life- Lasch: “argument is the essence of education,” and “central to democratic culture”; - Norgaard: Universities are “houses of argument.” - Graff: “Argument literacy” is key to higher education.
We want students to be able to identify claims, evaluate evidence and reasons, locate assumptions, identify argumentative moves, pose critical questions, produce sophisticated arguments, etc. • We do this not only because it’s good for their souls, critical thinking, ability to reason, deliberate, be engaged citizens, etc. But also because it’s key to their professional futures – every gateway requires it.
Why We Fight!(4 your right to write, argue & analyze well) • The ability to interpret arguments, locate claims and evidence, analyze moves and strategies, and evaluate arguments are crucial skills. • They are central to business, law, professional life, and to academic study (including graduate school). • Students tested for these skills in the WPA, the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE – all the gateways to professional life. • Consider the LSAT…
Sample LSAT Question • FIND THE MAIN CLAIMPediatrician: “Some parents have decided not to have their children receive the MMR vaccine because they fear that it may cause autism. They cite a study that found a possible link between the vaccine and the disease. However, two other much larger studies have found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. These parents have, therefore, willfully put their own children and many others at risk of catching measles, mumps, and rubella, while failing to do anything to prevent their children from becoming autistic.” Which most accurately expresses the main claim of the pediatrician’s argument?(A) Parents should not pay attention to medical studies because they can’t understand them; instead, they should get advice from their pediatricians.(B) The study that found a link between autism and the MMR vaccine was unsound because the doctor who conducted it was being paid by a group of trial lawyers who wanted him to find a connection so they could carry out a lawsuit.(C) Public health needs require that parents have their kids vaccinated regardless of their fears about the procedure.(D) Parents’ refusal to have their kids take the vaccine is both medically unjustified and dangerous, because the vaccine has known disease-preventing benefits and refusing it will have no effect on whether their kids become autistic.(E) Despite the results of the two large studies, there is still some possibility that the MMR vaccine might cause autism.
Analytical Writing Tasks • Present Your Views on an Issue (45 minutes, choice of 2 topics) • Analyze an Argument (30 minutes) • Each essay is scored on a 0-6 scale using holistic scoring • Two scores for each essay • GRE Website presents directions, actual topics, scoring guide, and sample essays for both the Issue and Argument tasks (www.gre.org/gentest.html)
Argumentation/Justification • In Wolfe’s 2010 study, assignments from a broad range of disciplines were collected and examined. Results? “A majority of writing assignments (59%) required argumentation. All engineering writing assignments required argumentation, as did 90% in fine arts, 80% of interdisciplinary assignments, 72% of social science assignments, 60% of education assignments, 53% in natural science, 47% in the humanities, and 46% in business. Argumentation is valued across the curriculum. • Example: Stockton found that the history faculty she interviewed unanimously, “agreed that argument is the keyword for good writing and that the absence of argument constitutes the centralproblem in students’ written work” (Wolfe, p. 50). This finding was echoed in other fields.
Richard Arum and JosipaRoksa’sAcademically Adrift, a comprehensive review of undergraduate education, identifies lack of argumentation skills as a major problem. (They also show that liberal arts degrees produce some of the most literate, sophisticated thinkers) • The Common Core State Standards Initiative of the National Governors’ Association – argument=key. • These aren’t so much “justifications” of our approach as points you may want to share with students, future employers, other academics, who sometimes think teaching writing = comma placement.
You will (not) be assimilated… • You need to work within the course framework and assignment sequence, but you can be creative and adapt it – we’re interested in hearing your ideas (esp. for the start and end of the semester). Also, we focus on PACES – but you can go beyond this if you wish (assumptions, implications, counterexamples, fallacies etc.) Just don’t let argument overshadow student writing • RWS100 represents just one way to design a writing course – many others are possible (genre, critical literacy, cultural studies, expressivism, etc.) • Writing programs often serve many masters, since general education programs are collaborative enterprises. Had we world enough and time (and money and control) I like the idea of a hybrid WID-based approach.
You will (not) be assimilated… • But even so, your experience in this program will be valuable as a) it’s an influential model, b) the trend is toward aligning k-12 and higher ed. around argument, and c) SDSU’s program is regionally influential. • Our program is fairly “mainstream.” Our mission statement and learning outcomes are similar to WPA and NCTE statements on teaching writing. • Fulkerson “Composition at the Turn of the Century” presents a map of “Comp-landia.” Varieties of social construction/cultural studies, expressivism, and rhetoric. Within Rhetoric, the “argumentation” approach is most widespread.
You will (not) be assimilated… • In other words, in the future, you may go on to teach writing in an entirely different way – and that’s great. But it will be useful to have familiarity with a program like this, which is large, multi-leveled, comprehensive and tightly designed. Many other TAs will work in programs where there is one semester of freshman comp, and that’s it.
ITC: Expectations • ITC = an important part of your work. You are expected to attend. You get credit for it. Wednesdays 1.00 – 1.50. • More importantly, it’s part of collaboration, professional development, andnetworking. • Modest home work is assigned but it’s all to prepare for your class. Meetings are 50 minutes. • Your contribution is important and most welcome. We provide a lot of support, but you are welcome to adapt & remix, or add your own materials. TA contributions have improved 100 a lot – many TA ideas are on the wiki.
Teaching in a time of crisis… • Class sizes have just been increased to 32 • This is really big for a writing class • Most major academic organizations (including the WPA) have shown that university writing classes should have at most 20 students. • Our pedagogies aren’t really designed for classes this big. We may wish to share coping strategies. • In fact, we may want to “jigsaw” the work of preparing class plans, etc.
Teaching in a time of crisis… • We can't provide quite as much support as usual, and jobs are harder to come by. • You may well have to teach RWS200 next semester, where learning curve is steeper, and you may benefit from the support of your fellow TAs. • So using ITC and your fellow TAs is especially important this semester. • The union/“8 hour” issue – balancing priorities(no more common book or theme)
Meet your audience • Spring semester students are often ‘developmental’ writers. Many will have just completed 92A and 92B. (You’ll be able to tell - roster will say level “1,” as opposed to “0”). • Some may be fairly sophisticated readers and writers, but you’ll be presenting them with a different way of approaching texts, and they’ll find this challenging at first. Some are “L 1.5” • You may have some ESL/international students. You can refer them to LING100 if you think they’ll struggle.
Main Texts • Gladwell, Pinker, Food Inc. (Kenner) • RWS 100 Reader • Graff et al. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. • Little Seagull Handbook • Short texts in the Reader: Bleich, Kristof, Rifkin, Parry, LaPierre. You can select your own, and other short texts on the wiki. Use to introduce the course/key concepts • Various short texts for unit 2 assignment – you can select, or use ones on wiki. • Some texts can be used repeatedly. E.g. you may wish to consider Parry’s “The Art of Branding a Condition” for introducing rhetoric, and also in the strategies unit.
BUT - in a sense the “central” text in the class = the students’ texts. (Your fabulous teaching performance vs. their written performance) • You may want to delve deep into the issues raised in texts. You may want to perform brilliantly, and may be tempted to model your teaching on the last class you took (a grad class). • Their writing is the key text, and teaching them how to read their own writing practices (reflexivity) is important • “The ability to reflect on what is being written seems to be the essence of the difference between able and not so able writers from their initial writing experience onward”(Yancey 4)
Assignment Sequence • 1. produce an account and analysis of a single argument (Gladwell)2. gather sources, situate an argument within a field of other texts, map out and analyze relationships between them (extend, complicate, illustrate, etc.) (Pinker)3. identify, analyze and evaluate rhetorical strategies (Food Inc.) 4. an optional 4th assignment
Optional Final Assignment (Assignment 3.5/4) • ■ For the final assignment,you can select from a • number of options. We recommend one of the following, • although you are welcome to suggest alternatives. • ■ Last semester a number of TAs chose to extend the • strategies assignment – in essence, have students do 3 • & ½ major assignments. They did a formal written • strategies assignment, plus a presentation (sometimes in • groups) and self analysis of rhetorical choices.
Assignment Options • 1. Portfolio: Students have done small writing assignments over the semester. You can assign further short writing assignments in the final part of the course, and give students an aggregate grade for the completed portfolio. • 2. Reflection essay – have students write a paper that asks them to reflect on the writing work they have done, what they have learned, the way they approach writing, the things they still need to work on, etc.
Managing the Final Paper • 3. Group projects/presentations where students get to make an argument that draws from one of the issues raised in the class, or which focuses on one of the texts covered. If you choose this option, we suggest you construct a group assignment with clearly defined roles for each student, so that individual grades can be assigned and you minimize “free riding” and conflict. • 4. Lens paper: the “traditional” 4th assignment was to use the “lens assignment” (see past 100 syllabi, assignments, materials etc. for details.) This paper involves taking one of the texts we’ve read and using it as a “lens” through which to analyze another text or a contemporary issue. The student can present an original argument, interpretation or analysis. (e.g. Food Inc. on recently passed food safety bill.) • 5. Roll your own assignment
Overview of RWS100 • Sample syllabi, schedules and assignment sequences are on the wiki
10.45 The First Week(s): • Crashers and scheduling (Jamie). • Introducing rhetoric, the course, • and working with short texts
Common Class Activities & Patterns [See p. 3 of handout] • Pre-reading and “pre-discussion” work (questionnaires to get at assumptions, surveys, etc.) • “Jig saw” work (students share researching key parts of text and share in class) • Class discussion, group work • Critical reading/rhetorical reading – posing questions, interrogating assumptions, reading actively and critically (modeling qns to ask) • Charting – what is the text doing; what/how/why moves are made • PACES (project, argument, claims, evidence, strategies) • Pre-writing exercises + templates, rhetorical precis, metadiscourse, transitions, quotations, mechanics • Drafting, peer review, student “read alouds,” conferencing • Assessment and response • Analysis (single argument, relationship between texts, strategies, “lens” work, evaluation of arguments) and presentation of student arguments • Reflection and reflective practice (applying concepts to students own writing – e.g. charting, analyzing students’ moves and strategies, etc.)
Example: pre-reading exercises • 1. In Class test • “Careful, you might run out of planet: SUVs and the • exploitation of the American myth,” by Goewey. • Questions: • Is Goewey critical or complimentary of SUVs? • Does the author believe that there is time to make a change? • Does the author put more emphasis on car quality or social issues in assessing the value of SUVs? • Is the author likely to be a supporter of major oil companies? • Was this essay written in 1979, 1989, or 1999?
Pre-reading 2. Examining Titles Carefully: Chua - Chua’s article “A World on the Edge” is part of her book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. Consider the Source: “A Variety of Religious Experience” is a chapter from a book titled The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football, and Basketball, and What They See When They Do 3. Headings you can find out a lot by going through the section and • chapter headings. Eg Pinker: 1. Introduction 2. The Moralization • Switch 3. Reasoning & Rationalizing 4. A Universal Morality? 5.The • Varieties of Moral Experience 6. The Genealogy of Morals • 7.Juggling the Spheres 8. Is Nothing Sacred? 9. Is Morality a • Figment ? 10. Doing Better by Knowing Ourselves
Surveys/Questionnaires • Food Inc. • ■ Warm-up: What factors influence me/my family’s choices about what to eat? • Ask students to name some of these factors. Possible responses might include • price, convenience, what types of food are readily available, taste preferences, • nutritional content, habits, cultural influences etc. • ■ Do you know which agricultural products are subsidized, whether that makes • a difference to what people eat, and what is in most foods? • ■ Do you know which groups of people in the U.S. have the highest rates or • diabetes? Of obesity? • ■ What role should the government play in a) regulating what people eat, b) • informing people about what goes into their food, c) taxing, subsidizing, or • incentivizing people to eat some things and not others? Examples: NYC bans • hydrogenated oils; soda taxes – should taxes be added to sodas the way taxes • are to cigarettes, to discourage consumption, and help pay for the health • costs? • ■ etc.
See the handout for a detailed account of each of these major activities. • There are handouts, class exercises, and class plans based on each of these key activities (see wiki or Blackboard).
Some Roadmaps for RWS100 • Overview of RWS100Overview of RWS 100, Assignments, Classroom Activities, Coursework, and Detailed Description of First 3 Weeks • Gives you multiple views – broad overview, to detailed description of 4 units, to class-by-class description of first three weeks.
Introducing rhetoric • We ask that you tell students that RWS 100 is a rhetoric class. Some may base their expectations on high school English classes/literary analysis. Emphasize that the interpretation, analysis and production of argument is central, that they will be reading non-fiction texts, doing a lot of analysis. • You may find “Content is king” - locate, remember and deliver content. You may encounter a “textbook mentality” in the reading practices of many of your students, and an “information processor” model of writing. • Textbooks are often “anti-rhetorical” - presenting knowledge in terms of a decontextualized, disembodied voice of authority, a “view from nowhere,” and of knowledge as “settled,” unified and authoritative • The contested, contingent, contextual, community-centered, argument-driven…in short, the RHETORICAL dimensions of knowledge – of academic discourse, are largely absent.
Nudging students toward a rhetorical stance… • We want to move students from a focus on what texts say (content) to what they do and how they do it (rhetoric). Rhetorical self consciousness = achieving a kind of double vision – of looking “at” as well as through language. • Rhetorical self consciousness – understanding what texts do - is an important skill for students. Revealing the rhetorical moves that writers make, the strategies they draw on, is part of achieving academic literacy, and of acculturation into disciplinary communities. When you recognize the moves you not only understand the disciplinary conversation better, you are better equipped to join it. • In the first week of class we’d like you to introduce key conceptsthrough the analysis of some short texts. There is a folder on Blackboard to help you with this. • Focusing on strategies and what texts do = good ways of introducing rhetoric.
Basic Rhetorical Strategies • How do texts position readers? • What point of view do they adopt? • From what perspective do they invite us to view the world?Consider these chewing gum ads:
Rhetoric Is “Everywhere” & an “Everyday” Thing • When a politician tries to get you to vote for them, they are using rhetoric. • When a lawyer tries to move a jury, they are using rhetoric. • When a government produces propaganda, they are using rhetoric. • When an advertisement tries to get you to buy something, it is using rhetoric. • When the president gives a speech, he is using rhetoric. But rhetoric can be much subtler (and quite positive) as well: • When someone writes an office memo, they are using rhetoric. • When a newspaper offers their depiction of what happened last night, they are using rhetoric. • When a scientist presents theories or results, they are using rhetoric. • When you write your mom or dad an email, you are using rhetoric. • Thought itself is rhetorical - when you think, you engage in “inner argument,” or “inner persuasion” in order to reach a decision or act.
HEADLINES DESCRIBING MEDICAL MARIJUANA DECISION • Salon Magazine “Court rules against pot for sick people” • New York Times: “High Court Allows Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Users” • USA Today: “MEDICAL MARIJUANA BAN UPHELD” • San Diego Union Tribune: “Court OKs Marijuana Crackdown” • L.A. Times: “Justices Give Feds Last Word on Medical Marijuana” • Christian Science Monitor: “US Court Rules Against Pot For Sick People” • Christian News Source: “Medical Marijuana Laws Don't Shield Users From Prosecution”
Telemarketing Strategies Script • Pre-introduction: (Ask to speak to the decision-maker) Introduction: (Introduce yourself and the reason for your call) Attention Getter: (Mention the key features of the offer and qualify them for eligibility) Probing Questions: (Always ask for information that will be useful for rebuttals) Offer: (Explain the product/service and terms of commitment) Close: (ALWAYS ASK FOR THE SALE) Rebuttal (deal with objections)Sales Continuation: (Agree, use rebuttals, sell benefits, CLOSE) Up/down/cross-sell: (If there is another product of less-price this is the time to sell it.) Confirmation Close: (Review the terms of the offer to reduce buyer remorse) Final Close: (End on a positive note. Thank the customer and leave a dial free number for customer support)
Introducing project Rose "Reframing is changing the way the public sees the world. It is changing what counts as common sense. " --George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant!
Everyday words, names, definitions, categories – how they are selected or constructed = rhetorical. Consider: • Cash advance (vs. high interest loan) • Second Mortgage vs. Home equity loan • “War on terror,” vs. “war against Islamic extremists,” vs. “fight against Al Queda” (scope, agents involved, action) • “War on drugs”’ “Axis of Evil”; • “Body bags” vs. “transfer tubes” • “Doctor assisted suicide” vs. “death with dignity” • “Defense of marriage” vs. “marriage equality” • “French Fries/Freedom fries” • “Death Tax/Estate Tax” • “Habit forming” vs. “addictive” • “Erectile dysfunction” vs. “impotence” • “Halitosis” vs. “bad breath” • “Male pattern baldness” vs. “losing your hair” • “Viagra!”
Common expressions reveal rhetorical moves • “TO BE HONEST/FRANK/FRANKLY/TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH..” • "Parrhesia" or "sincere style.” Most common strategies: • False sincerity (sales pitch) • To establish intimacy/insider status (because we are close, I can confide in you). • To signal seriousness. To signal shift to serious topic – politeness or performance is being set aside in favor of frankness • To establish emphasis. I want to really emphasize what comes next. E.g. Obama & “look” to signal both seriousness and emphasis. He’ll say to audiences, “Look, the reality is…” = I’m dropping out of performance mode and speaking to you plainly and seriously. • Confess to potentially unpopular position, and manage “face” - may effect other’s opinion of you (status-threatening) (“To be honest, I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000; To be honest, I thought Paradise Lost was a bore/the movie was terrible. "To tell you the truth, I'm not going to make the deadline."