Friday, April 9, 2010

Writing Project 5--Comparison/Contrast of Washington and Guevara Documentaries

As Etta James sang, "At last." Yep, this is the last short writing assignment for the semester.

In this writing assignment you will be doing a compare and contrast of the George Washington and Che Guevara documentaries viewed in class. In this compare/contrast examine the ways the docs portray these revolutionaries figures. Be sure to use principles from previously introduced ideas on rhetorical analysis in this examination, and devote equal time to each documentary in your text. To aid in your examination of these revolutionary figures be sure to integrate the class readings (speeches) in your text.

SOP (standard operating procedure) for this writing assignment...also, be sure to include both the documentaries and assigned readings in your text and works cited.

Good luck and enjoy.

Quick Look Unit 14

04-13-2010 Begin Michael Collins, Writing Project 5 due

04-15-2010 Finish Michael Collins, final rough draft due, student meetings

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick Look Unit 13

04-06-2010 View George Washington, Writing Project 3 due, read this Washington speech for class:

04-08-2010 View Che Guevara, read this Guevara speech for class:

Writing Project 4--Leonard Peltier Rhetorical Defense

For this writing assignment, you will be crafting an argument for the innocence ("not guilty because of reasonable doubt" or "self-defense argument") of Leonard Peltier. So, the task will be to place yourself in the shoes of one of Leonard's defense council and then craft a rhetorically sound argument for your "client." Be sure to include aspects of ethos, logos, and pathos in your argument.

You will have to establish credibility as a writer of this defense and also establish credibility for Leonard. Elements of logos will likely come out of the documentary Incident at Oglala or other readings you do out of class. Elements of pathos could come from the documentary or perhaps even from the history of relations between Native Americans and the Fed.

This writing project follows the standard format we have been using including font, page length, and spacing. If these instructions are not followed in a concrete manner, I will not grade the writing project. Be sure to cite and create a proper Works Cited page. In this paper, I am asking that you use at least 3 sources from three different source types.

Good luck and I look forward to reading your arguments.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Look Unit 12

03-30-2010 View Incident at Oglala, Writing Project 3 due, read "Report from Keweenaw Bay Standoff" for class. Link to the article:

04-01-2010 Finish Incident at Oglala, discuss, read "Keweenaw Bay Tribal Struggle" for class. Link to the article:

Writing Project 3--Rhetorical Analysis of Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan

For this writing assignment you will be doing a rhetorical analysis of the documentary film viewed in class, Letters from Karelia, or Unit 11's reading of Finns in Michigan.

Letters from Karelia is a pretty incredible documentary, and shows the power filmmaking can have in telling an objective historical story about a very controversial working class topic. The doc was not made with much money, but has a very powerful tale to tell regarding the struggle of the working class to find a place in a number of different social settings and the meaning of family over the test of time.

Finns in Michigan is a non-traditional look at one of the many ethnic groups that have made Michigan an incredibly diverse state. The book was written using a New Social History framework, which chooses to analyze history not from a top-down perspective, but rather focuses on the history of people and groups who are customarily overlooked by traditional histories.

Writing Assignment 3 will consist of doing a rhetorical analysis of Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan, whichever you prefer. This analysis will look, in form, much like the analyses we have done in class. So, the idea is to write in a formal manner identifying the audience of the doc or the book, the doc or book's argument, and specific instances of the use of ethos, logos, and pathos in Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan.

We will use the format we used on the board to outline the rhetorical analysis; so your writing assignment should be formatted as such:

Audience: The audience for Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan is…
Argument: In Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan the filmmakers try to get the audience to realize…
Ethos: Give three examples of the use of ethos in the doc or book
Logos: Give three examples of the use of logos in the doc or book
Pathos: Give three examples of the use of pathos in the doc or book

Again, we are going to deviate from the structure of a formal essay, so make sure to format your assignment as such. Identification of the audience should take 1-2 sentences; identification of the argument should be a short 3-4 sentence paragraph; and the sections on ethos, logos, and pathos should be standard 4-7 sentence paragraphs. A short, one-entry works cited page should contain the correct MLA or APA entry for Letters from Karelia or Finns in Michigan.

I strongly suggest taking notes during the in class documentary presentation...they will be helpful in writing up this assignment. While it may be easy to identify the above parts of the rhetorical analysis, you will especially be judged on the "flow" of your writing. While the 3Cs are still in play, getting a nice flow to your writing will also be of paramount concern. So, no short, choppy sentences that have no led into one another. Short sentences are fine, as are long sentences, but the trick to writing a good, flowing paragraph is variation of sentence length and structure.

An example of bad short, choppy sentences:

Dick wore short shorts. These shorts were red. Dick did not notice that his shorts had a blue stain on them. When he did he felt embarrassed. He felt so embarrassed that he got as red as his shorts.

This type of writing is very boring. Again, short sentences are okay to break-up longer sentences, but should be used in conjunction with longer or "medium" sized sentences to complete a paragraph. The reader will get used to the short, choppy sentences and loose interest over time with the writing.

An example of better sentence variation in a paragraph:

Dick wore short, very red short shorts. It happened so, that one day, Dick had a large blue stain on his shorts that caused him to be really embarrassed. He was mortified. At this point Dick became as red as the red on his very short, red shorts.

The above short paragraph's sentences vary in length and structure, and make for a more enjoyable reading experience. Work with this in your rhetorical analysis because the type of analytical writing we are doing in this rhetorical analysis has a chance to become formulaic and that is exactly what we do not want to do for this writing assignment. The documentary is intriguing and powerful; your writing should be the same.

As usual, your assignment will need to be at least two full pages in length, standard margins, 12-point Times New Roman font. Name and class info, of course, need to be on the first page as well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unit 11 Quick Look

03-23-2010 View Letters from Karelia, Writing Project 2 due, read for class: Finns in Michigan, Introduction to pg. 65

03-25-2010 Finish Letters from Karelia, discuss, read for class: Finns in Michigan, 66-123

A note about grading and the writing projects: I will not grade a writing project until the previous writing project has passed with a 3.0. I will accept up to two writing projects at a time, but the more recent project will sit in queue until until the earlier writing project has passed.