Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Apprentice Practice- We should 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
* Yik-Yak
* Unlimited political donations
*Teaching evolution/intelligent design
*Fracking-Keystone XXL
* Drone attacks
* Repeal ban on perfomance enhancing drugs (PED) in sport
* BCS playoffs

Monday, November 16, 2015

Writing Round-Up- Paris Attack

These are a few things that will not solve the terrible and tangled web of causation and violence in which the attacks of Friday night were spawned. A 242-ship Navy will not stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant. The F-35 fighter plane will not stop a group of motivated murderous fanatics from detonating bombs at a soccer match. A missile-defense shield in Poland will not stop a platoon of motivated murderous fanatics from opening up in a jammed concert hall, or taking hostages, or taking themselves out with suicide belts when the police break down the doors. American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will not stop the events like what happened in Paris from happening again because American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will be dying there in combat against only the most obvious physical manifestation of a deeper complex of ancient causes and ancient effects made worse by the reach of the modern technology of bloodshed and murder. Nobody's death is ever sacrifice enough for that.

From Charlie Pierce 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Editorial Project 2015- IRP

Writer Apprenticeship Final IRP #1 for 1st Semester

“Good writing isn’t a science. It’s an art, and the horizon is infinite. You can always get better.” -David Foster Wallace

Task:  Inspired by DFW's words on writing, we will continue our study of the craft. Our next project will involve you following a columnist from a major newspaper/ publication over the next few weeks.  The purpose of this project is for you to learn at the feet of a contemporary master of argumentative prose.  You will collect a minimum of five current columns and analyze the patterns of persuasion and style of this writer.  The editorial you select should not exceed 700 words, regular length of an editorial.  

 Too easy!  

Areas of annotation for each column:
  • Speaker’s tone and possible tone shifts
  • Rhetorical strategies
  • Organization and arrangement
  • Methods of appeals
  • Intended audience reactions- laughter, anger, confusion

Questions to guide your observations for analysis:

  1. How does the title inform the piece?
  2.  What is the thesis and where is it?
  3. What introductory technique(s) did the author use?  Is the technique weaved through the essay?  How?
  4. Our texts have reflected some of the purposes of argument.  Using the language of your text, identify the purpose (s) of this argument.
  5. What appears to be the balance of ethos, pathos, or logos in this editorial?
  6. Comment on the method of conclusion.  What can you learn from this method of closing?
  7. What appeals are in the argument?
  8. After studying this piece, what, if anything, would you like to emulate as a writer?

Look no further than New York Times Opinion pages or the syndicated columnists from Yahoo News Opinion for your selection of writer. Washington Post maybe? How about an international point of view from The Guardian or Independent UK?

Remember that the "I" in IRP stands for Independent. Outside of today, there will be limited time to work on this project in class. This means that there is a level of trust and academic maturity required to meet the demands. If you wait until the last few days to complete the analysis of the writer, the project will suffer as your analysis will be weak as will your Apprentice essay. On the flip side, keeping a disciplined regiment of analysis of a new editorial piece every 1-2 days will pay off as you will be less stressed and will allow for a proper reflection on the technique of your writer. This reflection will make the drafting of the Apprentice essay smooth.
While we will not use Google Sites this year, you can follow this model Editorial Project and Apprentice Essay from Matt Wenz. This is what it will resemble in Google docs. Target no less than 5 solid observations per editorial. You will then write a rhetorical analysis of one of the techniques of the editorial directly under the article. The rhetorical analysis paragraph will essentially be commenting on the dynamic of technique impacting audience with direct evidence. Too easy!

Due dates
Editorial Annotation/ Reflection on Writer Style Nov 13 
Editorial Essay-November 20th (Project Free over break) 

Expect one drop in where I verify that you are keeping up with the intent of this project.