Archive for April, 2010

A Student’s Prayer

by   |  04.30.10  |  Final Exam Essay

As we enter finals week, I wanted to offer these words by St. Thomas Aquinas as a prayer for the class.  “A Student’s Prayer” was copied below from appleseeds.org.

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Annotating the Reader Packet

by   |  04.28.10  |  Final Exam Essay

Instructors cannot provide feedback to students or comment on the works in the reader packet for the exit essay.  However, students can work together to analyze and annotate the reader packet when preparing for the exit essay. To facilitate a class discussion on the reader packet, please respond to the following questions on your assigned literary work from the packet as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Include the title of the work assigned to your group and names of group members
  2. Describe the identity of the speaker/narrator and provide some evidence to support this claim.
  3. What is the central message (argument) of this work? Or, what is the work trying to persuade an audience to do or think about?
  4. What is the rhetorical (persuasive) strategy of the argument?  How does this work accomplish its persuasive goals?
  5. What specific evidence does the work use to make its argument?
  6. Who might be the work’s intended audience?
  7. What is the tone of the language used in the work (the emotional quality of the language)?
  8. How would you describe the style of the language used in this piece (casual, formal, sophisticated, lyrical, etc.), and how does this language style help the work accomplish its purpose?

Final Exam Exit Essay Advice

by   |  04.23.10  |  Final Exam Essay

To begin preparing for the final exam essay, I would like everyone to read the following 6-page excerpt from A Brief Guide to Writing from Readings titled “Timed Writing Assignments” before class on Monday.

On Monday, the class identified the following tips on writing timed essays from the reading linked above:

Mad Men: Cultural Identity in Early 1960s America

by   |  04.21.10  |  Film and Visual Art

Below are links to two, 4-minute recaps of episodes from the AMC tv show Mad Men. These clips present only highlights from these episodes, so the transitions between scenes are abrupt and may be difficult to follow. However, these scenes present a taste of an imagined culture in early 1960s America that should be somewhat coherent. The main characters are men and women who work in a New York advertising firm or are family members of these ad men. While watching, pay attention to the visual rhetoric and language elements that deal with cultural or social identity. After viewing the clips, please work in groups of threes and post responses to the following questions as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Who are the members of your group?
  2. What do you notice about the men in this culture?
  3. What do you notice about the women in this culture?
  4. How would you describe the interactions between men and women in these scenes?
  5. How would you describe employer-employee relationships in this culture?
  6. Do these clips present any elements of racial identity? If so, how? and to what effect?
  7. From a rhetorical perspective, while thinking about cultural or social identity, what might be one of the persuasive goals behind these clips?

Recap Clip #1: “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”

Recap Clip #2: “Wee Small Hours”

Cultural Identity and Non-Literary Texts – THX1138

by   |  04.18.10  |  Film and Visual Art

George Lucas’s student project film titled “Electronic Labyrinth THX1138 4EB” is a strange movie—certainly low-budget—science fiction genre—and it’s often confusing. However, this film efficiently creates a cultural universe that includes some interesting aspects of social identity. As you watch, pay attention to the ways in which the film constructs identity, especially among different classes of people. After viewing, please work in groups of three to discuss and post responses to the following questions as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Who are the members of your group?
  2. How would you describe the cultural universe in this film?
  3. What happens in this film—how do you understand the ending?
  4. What visual elements/data does the film use to construct social identities in this culture?
  5. From a rhetorical perspective, while thinking about cultural or social identity, what might be one of the persuasive goals of this film? In other words, what is the purpose of this film?

When Fiction is a Bad Idea

by   |  04.09.10  |  Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument)

Sometimes, writers make things up out of thin air when writing introductions of essays intended to be nonfiction.

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Thesis for Research Essay

by   |  04.05.10  |  Thesis

To begin thinking in terms of your thesis, which is required for Step 5, please post a comment to this blog post that indicates the primary literary text(s) you are working on and includes a tentative/working/draft thesis for your research essay. Remember, your thesis must address how your literary text addresses some aspect of cultural identity.

Other resources for developing a thesis follow below: