Archive for ‘In-Class Writing Assignments’

Exploring Cultural Identity

by   |  03.08.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Research and Cultural Identity, Thesis

To practice thinking and writing about the idea of a research question, which is required for the research paper, please choose to focus on either “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie or “My Faith in Nonviolence” by Mohandas Gandhi and respond as a group to the following items about your selected text and post your response in a comment to this blog post:

  1. Which text are you responding to and who is in your group?
  2. An issue is more specific and more focused than a topic. Given the topic of exploring cultural identity, what specific issue(s) can you identify regarding cultural identity in this text?
  3. What specific evidence (language, details, ideas) from the text creates this issue?
  4. A research question, I would argue, is even more specific than an issue. Try to frame your response to item #2 above as a question that could generate further research.

Below is a photo of Sherman Alexie:

Alexie photo by Larry D. Moore – (CC) Larry D. Moore.

Assigned Topics on Viewing the Movie Doubt

by   |  02.24.10  |  Film and Visual Art, In-Class Writing Assignments, Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument)

As a comment to the blog post, please write a paragraph or two in response to the topic you selected to cover when viewing the movie Doubt as follows:

  • Describe your selected topic
  • Explain aspects of your topic another viewer may have missed
  • Explain how your observations help you understand the rhetorical purpose of the film

Evaluating Song Lyrics

by   |  02.10.10  |  Evaluation and Critique, In-Class Writing Assignments, Poetry

Group Assignment:

  • Compare the lyrics from U2’s song “All I Want is You” on the handout to the lyrics from one of the three songs in Etheridge’s essay “Music as a Safe Haven” (525-31).
  • Of the two songs, which lyrics represent better poetry—which has a more effective argument, and how do you know?
  • Post a paragraph or a list in response to the questions above as a comment to this blog post. Be sure to introduce the songs you selected by title and note the names of the people in your group.

Other Resource:

Sharon L. Williams Andrews provides the following “Song-Analysis Questions” for her Introduction to Poetry course at Louisiana State University. Before posting your group’s response, consider Andrew’s questions below to generate possible criteria for your evaluation:

More »

Nonfiction Essays – “Somebody’s Baby”

by   |  01.27.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Nonfiction (Essays), Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument)

Regarding the essay “Somebody’s Baby,” please respond to the following items as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Describe the rhetorical (persuasive) strategy of the essay (how does it accomplish its argument?).
  2. Does the essay have an emotional appeal (pathos)? If so, exactly how is the emotional appeal created?
  3. In what ways does the essay appeal to logic or reason (logos)?
  4. How exactly does the speaker establish her credibility with an audience (ethos)?
  5. What is the thesis of this essay (or its persuasive goal)?
  6. Include the names of the people in your group.

Group Exercise on Poetry Analysis

by   |  01.25.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Interpretation and Purpose, Poetry

As a group, choose one of the poems in the reader from pages 297-309 and write a response to the following:

  1. Name or describe the identity of the speaker and the title of your selected poem.
  2. Provide evidence from the poem that supports your claim about the speaker’s identity.
  3. Describe the occasion of the poem (the event or situation that is taking place in time).
  4. Describe the rhetorical purpose of the poem (or the human experience of the poem).
  5. Describe the tone of the language used in the poem.
  6. Describe how the tone of the language contributes to the meaning/purpose of the poem.
  7. Provide evidence of language from the poem that creates the tone defined in #5.
  8. Write the names of the writers in your group.

Group Exercise on “Parker’s Back”

by   |  01.22.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument), Short Stories, Thesis

As a group, please write a response to the items below on “Parker’s Back” as a comment to this blog post.

  1. What are some specific issues (questions) this story raises about relationships?
  2. Write a possible thesis (position) claim about the story’s purpose regarding human relationship.
  3. Exactly how does the story text accomplish its argument or purpose you identified in #2 above.
  4. Include the names of your group members.

If not already addressed in your responses to the items above, try responding to the following questions: More »

Exploring Thesis Statements

by   |  01.15.10  |  In-Class Writing Assignments, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument), Short Stories, Thesis

In groups of 2-3, please discuss the following items and have one member of your group post a response to these items as a comment to this blog post:

  • Articulate what you think is the thesis of Melendi’s essay, “All of Heaven for Love.”
  • Offer your own tentative thesis about the short story “Die Grosse Liebe” (one that is different from Melendi’s thesis). Remember, a thesis must be debatable (a claim that people can disagree with). Try to offer a thesis about howDie Grosse Liebe” accomplishes its rhetorical purpose.
  • List the names of the people in your group, so they can receive credit for today’s in-class assignment.