Sunday, November 30, 2014

Persuasion...Hollywood Style

Here we go again...this time you can team up with a partner (as in one other carbon based life form) to break down some rhetoric from a famous film.  Get started by clicking on American Rhetoric Movie Speeches.  This is a first come/ first serve list for films so there can not be any redundancy in our presentations.  The list begins now...tell me your selection before you get too far into the analysis.  You may not use any war speeches...We will cover that in January.  Break it down for us.  Create a brief Google Slide Show that covers the following rhetorical elements.
  1. Slide 1-Explain what we know about the speaker and their motive(s).  What do they want from the audience?
  2. Slide 2-Who is the audience?  What do they value?  Why might they be reluctant to move upon request of speaker?  or why might they be excited or intrigued?  
  3. Slide 3-Explicitly lay out the strategy of the speaker.  What must they do to "unlock" the audience?  Establish at least three unique strategies at play in this speech.
  4. Slide 4 +  What are the rhetorical devices in the speech?  How did this device amplify the strategy?
  5. Slide- 6?  One perfect paragraph to model how you would write this in the rhetorical analysis essay.
  6. Save the presentation in Classroom in the form shared with you.
  7. Don't worry about the sample being too short.  You are just walking us through an analysis at the start of the period.  This will sharpen the blade of analysis.
1. Read Winter Dreams by Wednesday-  Do not be brief in your written discussion of these prompts.  You have several days to read process and I expect depth in your responses.
Prompts for reading journal:

A.  What impact does the setting (time, location, season) have on the story?  
Areas to possibly explore include characterization, plot, theme, or conflict.  Be sure to use plenty of textual evidence and specifics.

B.  Describe Fitzgerald's characterization in Winter Dreams: (Dexter, Judy Jones and Devlin)   What motivates and preoccupies them? 

C..  Offer two claims about HOW Fitzgerald writes (beyond simple plot or character patterns).  Suggested topics: syntax, imagery, description / details, symbolism, structure / chronology, diction (careful!!). Use evidence from the story as support for your claims.

Some thoughts on your reading journal responses-

 As a rule of thumb, write until you have fully explored and answered each prompt.  Some prompts may elicit four-five sentences, while some may elicit a page or more.  It will not be uncommon for you to write 2-3 pages in an evening’s journal.  Come to class with your reading done, your entries completed, and ideas to present to your classmates.  As an AP student it is a given that you will read your assignments and complete your work on time; you are then expected to participate and share their ideas and analysis during class.

2.  Get a copy of The Great Gatsby by Thursday.
     A) Purchase at school bookstore ($15- preferred)
     B) If you know someone with a copy-borrow it.
     C)  BYOD- Here is a copy of it.  Not ideal for annotation purposes and your retinas if on phone.
     D)  If A-C are not possible...see me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Apprentice Writing + Reflection IRP 2014

Apprentice Writing + Reflection

So far you have successfully analyzed five editorials of a professional writer through the prism of rhetorical strategies.  Let’s take off the kid gloves and make our own editorial argument.  Here are the requirements for the Apprentice Work page:
  1. Argument can be of any topic you choose.  However, in the spirit of your writer, it should model their argument style (ceremonial, forensic, or deliberative).
  2. Word Count- 400-600
  3. Implement two distinct rhetorical moves from your writer.  Just as we used a “copy cat” style from our critics, try out the moves you studied so closely this past month. Highlight this in the text so that I can pick it out easier.
  4. Have a target audience in mind so as to create the language and appeals to bridge your message to them most effectively. Think back to the numerous models over the past 3 weeks.
  5. Post in the Apprentice Work tab on your editorial Sites page.
  6. You are expected to bring the same level of sentence variety and attention to diction as was reflected in your review writing.
  7. As this is a serious topic, you must also lean upon some form of logos at some point in your argument.
  8. Your topic will have controversy so be aggressive in your counter-arguments.

Model Student example- Matt 

As this was your portfolio using this technology like this, I need as much constructive feedback as possible.  Honest reflections about the process and the technology will promise to give more fluid shape to future projects.  Please don't be brief.

Requirements for the Reflections Page:  

  • Why did you choose this topic as the subject of your editorial?  What prior context do you have with this topic?
  • What did you learn about your understanding of rhetoric as you studied this writer?  Describe the “A Ha!” moment when you were able to crack their style.  Remember to be specific here.
  • Describe the writing process of your editorial.  Was it easier because you had this writer as a style mentor or did it pose struggles to your own writing (too restrictive...)?
  • What was the advantage to using this technology for this project?  Did I need to offer more more technical assistance or other forms of modeling for it?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Should we ban...?

Using Singer as your model, write your own brief 1 page editorial calling for the banning of _____.  Of course it will be polemic but that is what will make this fun to write.   Consider this a pre-draft to prime your mind for your editorial you write at the conclusion of the IRP.  Check out the Room for Debate series by the NY Times for ideas.


  • 1+-page minimum
  • Introduction-creative
  • Counter-argument ( Some argue...)
  • Use of logos (legitimate source- ex. Singer cites FDA study/ Proctor- Stanford Science historian)) 
  • Parallel structure 
Here are some possible ideas:
*Photoshopped photos in advertising
* Too many standardized tests
* Homework
* Unlimited political donations
*Teaching evolution/intelligent design
*Fracking-Keystone XXL
* Drone attacks
* Repeal ban on perfomance enhancing drugs (PED) in sport
* BCS playoffs

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

McWhorter- Rhetorical Analysis of a TED Speech

You may need to read/view the speech again to catch these techniques and strategies  You can complete this assignment on the McWhorter handout:
  1. What kind of argument is McWhorter advancing?
  2. As mentioned prior to viewing the speech, McWhorter is presenting a controversial idea to an audience likely reluctant to accept it initially.  Outline the structure of his evidence and its intended effect on the audience.  The paragraphs from his speech can be bracketed and summarized with your notes in the margin of the handout.   
  3. What other "bridges" does he build to his audience?  This is sentence level persuasion.  Annotate no less than 6 examples.  Briefly explain the intent of that persuasion.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Analyze this! College Commercials....

For the weekend:

  1. Choose one of the following college commercials to analyze:  Wittenberg-Michigan, Alabama, Oregon, or Texas.
  2. Prompt:  In order to recruit top tier academic talent, universities must pull out all the stops to grab the attention of a very thin pool of candidates and their parents.  Choose one of the following commercials and analyze the various rhetorical techniques used to persuade a prospective student to apply to their university.
  3. Write introduction- a)  Establish the wants/ needs of an incoming freshman b)  Establish the exigence of the university- what is their intent?  c) preview the strategies that will directly appeal to this audience.
  4. 2 paragraphs of rhetorical analysis.  Be very specific about visuals (exactly who is represented and why this matters) and voice over.  "The effect of this..., The intent is to..., This resonates with students because..."

And this is just for fun---

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brooks Editorial Analysis

HW:  Read The Quality of Fear: What the Ebola Crisis Reveals About Culture by David Brooks

A)  What type of argument is this editorial?
B)  How would you describe the structure of evidence Brooks uses to support his thesis?
C)  Write-Find three forms of persuasion/ technique from the editorial.  Explain the intended effect on the reader.
D)  Write-Evaluate the thesis of editorial.  One paragraph response- Defend, challenge, or qualify Brook's claim.Remember to use the forms of evidence required in a free response.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Banneker rhetorical analysis

HW:  Two rhetorical analysis paragraphs of Banneker's strategy towards Jefferson.  Here are some ideas to organize:

 Strategy #1- How does Banneker “build a bridge” to Jefferson?
A)    What does Banneker do to reach out to Jefferson? 
B)    Rhetorical strategy #1- Textual evidence/ Rhetorical Device?
C)    Why would this work on Jefferson?

             Strategy #2- Appeal to….
A)    Describe the rhetorical strategy and its intended effect on Jefferson.
B)    Rhetorical strategy #2- Textual Evidence/Rhetorical Device?
C)    Why would this strategy specifically embolden one to work against slavery?

             Strategy #3 – Patterns of language to reveal Banneker’s tone.
A)    Do you see any patterns?  What is unique about this word choice and what positive effect would it have on Jefferson towards Banneker’s intent?
B)    Specifically reference the amount of times the pattern occurs and provide a sample.

C)    Why would this strategy specifically embolden one to work against slavery?