You have just read “Skeptics May Object,” about including opposing viewpoints in your argument. Now let’s practice doing so.
You should already have chosen your topic and written a working thesis for the upcoming argument essay. Now, construct a short argument (300 words) that takes the opposite position of your working thesis. For example, if your working thesis is about banning guns on campus, then in this assignment you should argue the opposite, that guns should be allowed. So, whatever your thesis is, construct an opposing argument.
The purpose here is to make sure that you understand the opposing viewpoints related to your topic. Only by understanding and anticipating what skeptics might be thinking can you effectively establish common ground and counter opposing viewpoints.
Writer’s notebook 4.1
In approximately 300 words, reflect and respond to Richard Lederer’s “English is a Crazy Language.” In your response, address one or more of the following questions.
1. Briefly describe the rhetorical situation of the the article. What do you think is Lederer’s purpose.
2. Some of the “crazy” aspects of English can be explained by the etymology of specific words. For example, Lederer tells us that “there is no egg in eggplant” and he is right. However, the name can be explained by conducting a little research. Early varieties of the eggplant in Europe were not large and purple like the ones we eat today. Rather, they were small and white or yellow, like eggs. Choose one of Lederer’s examples of “crazy” words and briefly research the etymology of that word.
3. If you speak another language, discuss some of the “crazy” things about that language.
Feel free to discuss other aspects of the article that interest or amuse you.
Writer’s notebook 4.2
Use the following questions to help you formulate a reflection/response to Boroditsky’s article. Of course, you may also include ideas or concerns that most interest you.
Writer’s notebook 5.1
Look ahead to the instructions for Essay #3, the literary analysis. For that essay you will be asked to write an analysis of one of the stories included in the short stories folder in this unit.
For this journal assignment I want you to select the story you will use for your final essay and explore potential topics. The first step in approaching a literary analysis is to familiarize yourself with the story. That means reading it more than once and exploring a variety of possible topics. One way to explore topics is described in your reading from this unit:
After reading your story, a topic may just jump out at you, or you may have recognized a pattern or identified a problem that you’d like to think about in more detail. What is a pattern or a problem?
A pattern can be the recurrence of certain kinds of imagery or events. Usually, repetition of particular aspects of a story (similar events in the plot, similar descriptions, even repetition of particular words) tends to render those elements more conspicuous.
A problem, on the other hand, is something in the story that bugs you or that doesn’t seem to add up. A character might act in some way that’s unaccountable, a narrator may leave out what we think is important information (or may focus on something that seems trivial), or a narrator or character may offer an explanation that doesn’t seem to make sense to us. Not all problems lead in interesting directions, but some definitely do and even seem to be important parts of the story. (UNC Writing Center)
Identify at least one pattern or problem with the story you have chosen. Describe the pattern or problem in detail, using quotations from the story where necessary. After you have done this, try to make connections between that pattern or problem and the theme of the story. These ideas may or may not become part of your essay; that’s Ok. The purpose here is not to write a rough draft, but simply to become more familiar with the story.
Writer’s notebook 5.2
You should have already read the instructions for the essay that concludes this Unit. You also should have already chosen the short story you will write about. Now it is time to begin conducting research.
For this journal assignment you will create a brief annotated bibliography. What is an annotated bibliography you ask?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. (Cornell Library Guides)
Locate at least four secondary sources (sources other than the story itself) that you intend to use in your upcoming essay, prepare an MLA citation for each and then annotate each entry by explaining how the source is relevant to your essay. Your research should be guided by the type of analysis you plan to conduct for the essay (i.e. biographical, historical, psychological, etc.). It would be a good idea to review “Finding and Evaluating Sources” from Unit 3 so that you know how to choose credible sources.
A sample MLA annotated bibliography can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/
Click the link above to submit the assignment.