Monday, June 16, 2014

Final Essay

Final Essay is due: Wednesday, June 18 by 5:40 p.m.

Response notes 11 and 12 are due by Thursday, June 19 by Noon.

Fixing "to-be" Verbs

Problem-Solving Strategies to Eliminate the “To-Be” Verb
1. Substitute-Sometimes a good replacement just pops into your brain. For example, instead of “That cherry pie sure is good,” substitute the “to-be” verb is with tastes as in “That cherry pie sure tastes good.”
2. Rearrange-Start the sentence differently to see if this helps eliminate a “to-be” verb. For example, instead of “The monster was in the dark tunnel creeping,” rearrange as “Down the dark tunnel crept the monster.”
3. Change another word in the sentence into a verb-For example, instead of “Charles Schulz was the creator of the Peanuts cartoon strip,” change the common noun creator to the verb createdas in “Charles Schulz created the Peanuts cartoon strip.”
4. Combine sentences-Look at the sentences before and after the one with the “to-be” verb to see if one of them can combine with the “to-be” verb sentence and so eliminate the “to-be” verb. For example, instead of “The child was sad. The sensitive young person was feeling that way because of the news story about the death of the homeless man,” combine as “The news story about the death of the homeless man saddened the sensitive child.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

Revision Guidelines --Again (reminder)

You can revise your first essay for a better grade, but in order to get credit you need to adhere to the following:

Revision Guidelines

You are allowed to revise your first essays. You are not allowed to submit an essay that was not previously submitted – this assignment is not a make-up for missed work.

All revisions are due on Monday, June 16, 2014. You are responsible for scheduling a conferencing appointment, or seeing me during office hours if you want to discuss your revisions.

Revision, real revision, is perhaps the most important aspect of becoming a better writer. To improve as a writer, you must be willing to write in ways you have not written before, be willing to try new things, to take risks. Successful writers revise their work several times before they are comfortable that what they have written is the best work they can produce. The goal is to achieve the best possible written work you are capable of producing.

What is revision?

To be a revision, an essay must demonstrate significant change in global issues such as focus (what the paper is trying to accomplish), arrangement (how the paper is organized), or development (amount and relevance of detail and/or support for generalizations). If you haven’t actually changed the original essay, I will simply hand it back to you without other comments. Note: Simply correcting errors in spelling, punctuation, usage or grammar (though expected in a revision) does not count as revision because such corrections do not meet the above criteria.


To receive credit for revising an essay, you must do all of the following:

highlight and explain any additions and/or changes that you made to your draft

write a Reflective essay explaining your revisions; for example, you need to explain why and how you changed the essay’s focus. Why you rearranged, or added more information. Etc.

• submit only the original graded draft, the revised draft, a reflection essay, and everything should be printed up and handed in as you walk in to class on Monday.

If you simply change sentences and grammar without addressing the bigger issues, I will not change the grade. If you do not highlight and explain changes, I will not change the grade. If you do not write a reflective essay, I will not change the grade.

Also, the grade for revision will only change if a significant change was made to the essay along with a deeply reflective essay accompanying it. 

Research-- Sources--and Response Notes

Hello Class,

As I read through your response notes that ask you to annotate a source, I am noticing a lot of mistakes and poor choice of sources.

Citing “an article” is NOT the proper way to cite a source. Citing “web blog” that provides no name for the blog, no name for the author, and no other information is NOT a valid source.

A tweet is NOT a source.

Remember, you can use to make citing the sources easier. Also, recall that you need to cite VALID sources.

Please, review this link

As well as this link

ALL sources, whether print or internet, should have an author, a title of the publication (as well as title of the article), and a date of publication - AT THE VERY LEAST.

Your textbook has information on using sources as well. Read it. If anyone has any questions, just e-mail me. If you want me to comment on your essays, I will need time to read them, so get them to me by Sunday before noon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11


Reading Quiz for up to 4-points of extra credit.

Review of sample Rogerian Essays (and discussion)


Write your thesis-rough draft (see instruction on the syllabus). DUE: Monday, June 16 by class time.

Bring in a typed up, hard copy of your essay for peer review.

the FINAL ESSAY will be due Wednesday, June 18, through e-mail ( no later than 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Response note 12

After watching these empathy videos, empathize with the opposing view of your argument

RSA Video

Ted Talk Video

In other words, write two hundred words (at least), that presents an argument you don’t agree with, but that you can empathize with.

Response Note 11

Annotate another source

Monday, June 9, 2014

Response Note 10

Annotate another source.

Response Note 9

Annotate another source.

Keep in mind that you should be summarizing the main points that the source is making and then briefly addressing those points and discussing how those main points shape your paper.

Monday, June 9

Monday, June 9:


-Review Rogerian Argument Organization.
-Review sources and topics: -10 minute of group discussion
mock arguments—play devil’s advocate in order to help your peer.

-Discuss role of empathy in Rogerian argument: How empathic are you:

The role of empathy, globally:

A radical idea about empathy:

Review sources and how to deal with sources: Read MWF: pgs. 238-242 on summary.
Group work: Take five minutes to write down the argument you want to make.
Share that argument with your peer. Then write a summary of your peer’s argument and discuss if your summary is correct. In your discussion, look for strategies in outlining your Rogerian arguments using summary skills.

Discuss—repeat exercise with paraphrasing and quotations.

Read Models for Writers. Pgs. 238-254.
Writing sentences- pgs. 228-232

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday, June 4

Wednesday, June 4:

In- Class:

-Short review of Homework (textbook) readings

-How to support an argument:

Read and review "Volar" pg 233-237. 

Read Models for Writers pgs. 261-266-- we will begin next class discussing this reading and doing the  exercises. 

Response Note 8 (Eight)

List 5 (FIVE) possible resources you might use; annotate one of the sources. 
Here is a link on how to annotate a source:

Additionally, you can read the Models for Writers book pages 651-657. 

Response Note # 7 (seven)

For this response note, write 200 words about your topic. Why did you pick the topic you picked? What are the varying angles of your topic? What do you know about the topic? Etc.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2- Monday

June 2 (Monday):

            -Review Rogerian Argument
            -What an argument is not:

            -Read web-text on Rogerian argument:

            - Review Handout on Rogerian Argument structure.
            - Review Annotated bibliography
            - Review Research Methods—Start big and narrow down.

- Read: Models for Writers pgs. 539-546 “Argument”

Essay Number 2

Rogerian Argument

Learning Outcomes

• Accurately reconstructs opposing arguments on an issue
• Employs appropriate tone and diction as to not alienate the reader
• Successfully researches and integrates sources from multiple perspectives on an issue
• Employs the Rogerian style of argument
• Use academic conventions such as MLA
• Use the writing process, including invention, drafting, revising, peer review, and editing strategies
 - Addresses the core competency of MDC

Genre Conventions
       Audience: primary: opponent; secondary: instructor and peers
       Purpose: present a Rogerian argument on a divisive current, social issue
       Format: MLA

Thesis or Focus

What are the two sides of the contentious issue? How can you move both sides closer by using understanding, compromise, and critical thinking? The genre of this project is an analytical essay that prepares for social action by identifying the strategies used by those with differing points-of-view.

 For this project, you will construct a Rogerian argumentation, named after psychologist Carl Rogers. Your Rogerian argument will convince someone who disagrees with you about a contentious social issue to see your side of the debate.

This project challenges students to explore, analyze, and engage arguments based on Rogerian argumentation. Students enhance their knowledge of the conventions of academic discourse by developing an annotated bibliography and integrating research into their argument. Additionally, students enhance their writing abilities by receiving feedback from peers and your instructor.

Rogerian arguments emphasize compromise, mutual respect, and empathy. A Rogerian argument persuades by showing readers how their own points of view are compatible with the writer's perspective. In other words, Rogerian arguments are more like negotiations than arguments, as the writer needs to go to special lengths to demonstrate a full understanding of the opposing point of view. 

Your topic should reflect a currently debated topic that interests you. The essay should find a common ground with the opposing position and then advance why you have a compromised solution. You must employ neutral language so that your essay remains neutral and considers the opposing viewpoint.

Write a 1,200 – 1,500-word Rogerian argument about a social problem about which reasonable people disagree. You will argue for your own perspective on how to resolve this problem.

Organize your essay following the standard Rogerian argument organization, which follows a particular and non-classical paper order. For instance, your thesis almost always comes at the end of a Rogerian argument. Follow this order as you write your paper by heeding the advice of this handout* and by following the other links placed on the web page.

You must use and document at least four outside sources in your essay. These might be informative sources that describe the details of your chosen issue, or they might be opinionated sources from both sides. (After all, to show your audience that you understand opposing viewpoints, it makes a lot of sense to show that you've read and understood writers who disagree with you!)

Role of Research

Students will research the best arguments for both sides of whichever topic they choose in order to compare and contrast the major, reliable claims of either side in the most responsible way possible.

Project Tips
The key to Rogerian argumentation—and to this assignment—is strategic empathy. First, this means that you need to be fair to those with other points-of-view by explaining their claims, priorities, and values and then recognizing their importance. Second, you should persuade your readers that their priorities and values can be reconciled with your own argument about the social issue, even if they seem too different.

For instance, if your topic was the possibility of a carbon tax to counteract global warming and you were arguing in favor of such a tax, you would need to recognize the legitimate objections others might have to your plan. For instance, such a tax would do little good if not applied in other countries; it would punish small businesses too much, and it would not motivate people to change their consumption habits. After recognizing these objections, you might show how they can be met by your proposal for a carbon tax: a carbon tax will eventually bring down energy prices and thus offset any burden to small businesses; and by America taking the lead, other countries will be encouraged to initiate a carbon tax as well. Ultimately you’re still arguing for your own point-of-view, but rather than persuading others to change their minds you are focusing on compromise and connecting arguments together. Similarly if your topic was on the legal drinking age, and you were arguing in favor of lowering it, then you might concede that alcohol is a very powerful drug that should not be used irresponsibly.

You might also find yourself with these issues:

1. “I feel uncomfortable making someone else’s argument.” Part of the challenge of this paper is exploring different points-of-view, even if you find them objectionable. Effective writers try to work past what psychologists and sociologists call “confirmation bias,” a tendency to only interact with people and ideas that confirm our already-held beliefs. By demonstrating an attempt at compromise, your readers will be encouraged to reach past their biases and consider your position as well. Remember that you are persuading your readers of your own point-of-view by showing how it is—at least in some ways—compatible with their own viewpoints.

2. “Why bother researching another person’s point-of-view?” The goal of this assignment is not to change your own opinions but rather to help you make the strongest argument possible about your position on a selected social issue. Oddly enough, by recognizing the validity of opposing claims, you can help to make your own argument stronger. This can happen for several different reasons: First, in order to understand an issue, a writer must understand how that issue impacts all interested parties, and that means looking at things from their points-of-view. Understanding a different perspective might not change your own opinion, but it can help to complicate it in a constructive way.

Adopted from: The University of South Florida (