Lesson: Defining Success across Audiences

Contributed by Elizabeth Alexander, 2014 Goals: To identify audience needs and revise writing accordingly Engage in self-assessment and self-critique for more effective communication with different audiences When to use this: In a unit in which students must revise a piece using a different mode and/or for a different audience Prior Class: Ask students to bring […]

Lesson: The Rhetoric of Comedy

Contributed by Craig Sanders, 2015 Summary: This lesson makes use of the medium of stand-up comedy to help students to understand and rationalize rhetorical argument and its strategies in new ways. By analyzing and demonstrating the rhetorical strategies associated with humor, students build connections with a different mode of discourse and are able to apply […]

Lesson: (Re)Search Parties

Contributed by Whittier Strong Summary: Send your class on a rhetorical scavenger hunt in the library! Students research a text by splitting into teams, each assigned a component of the text’s rhetorical situation to investigate. Later, they report their findings to the rest of the class.   Detailed Description: How I did it: A week […]

Lesson: Quittin’ Time

Contributed by August Johnson, 2015 Summary: In this lesson we use a resignation letter to discuss the rhetorical situation. Description: This lesson requires at least two days, as there is a homework reading assignment involved. We will read Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Serving in Florida” from 50 Essays. This essay contains a grim depiction of a restaurant […]

Lesson: Letter to the Editor

Contributed by Whittier Strong, 2015   Summary: Connect the classroom to the larger world by having students write a letter to the editor regarding  a class subject. The letter challenges students to consider tone, brevity, audience, and authorial  intent. It also encourages students to consider how their writing can change the world around  them. Detailed […]

Lesson: Entering the Conversation

  Entering the Conversation Activity I. In class discussion, we choose a sample “hot’ controversial research topic, such as abortion (easy to demonstrate), and then brainstorm terms to use for searching for sources. Then, we look at common terms that come up during a simple Google search of “abortion.’ Motherhood, person, moral, freedom, murder, etc. […]

Lesson: Choices and Directions

Context In Alaska, I once had a tourist complain to me that “You guys give crazy directions, like  ‘turn right at the boulder.’ Don’t you guys have maps?” This tourist was from Southern California, like me, where Thomas Guides and Freeway directions are an indispensable part of life. But here, because of the vastness, because […]

Observation Unit Plan: Food, Culture, and Language

  Great fun for Lovers of Food! English 111x Unit 1 Observation and Food! A Sequence. Why food? Food is a great way to introduce thinking and writing about culture and language to the class. It opens a natural dialogue between you and the students, and between the student’s themselves– they disclose their cultural backgrounds […]

Prompt: Research Wikis

    Research Wikis (300 Points) Research plan post (10 points) due: Thursday 3/31/11 on blog Research paper prospectus (40 points) due: 4/5/11 and 4/7/11 in conferences Rough draft (50 points) due: Thursday, 4/14/11, in class for peer review session Final draft (200 points) due: Tuesday, 4/26/11 in class  (turn in all drafts, research plan, […]

Prompt: Documentary Review

  This assignment can be a nice way of practicing “good research.” Students are required to look critically at the research and presentation of a documentary, and will hopefully incorporate those lessons into their own research writing. THE COVE — CRITICAL REVIEW PURPOSE: To provide a critical review of the documentary, “The Cove.’ INSTRUCTIONS: Watch […]

Prompt: Engaging in Inquiry

  Assignment: Write a 5-7 page researched essay that identifies and explores an important question related to a contemporary social controversy. Your paper should be followed by a Works Cited page in correct MLA style. Purpose: In Unit 1 we looked at contrasting ideas (they Say / I Say) on a given topic from a […]

Synthesis Unit Plan: The Zombie Project

This is a fairly large-scale project that builds upon itself and is meant to take up the entire unit, culminating in one final research paper. The project includes many smaller elements besides the final paper, including free-writing, blogging, interviews, reviews, and collaborative work with peers. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so here’s the basic […]

Handout: Scholarly Sources

  Yeah, but is it scholarly? And should I care? Yes, you should care! If you’re going to write a paper on a topic, and you’re seeking out other people’s opinions and research, don’t you want to find the most accurate research out there? Why bother reading something if you can’t be sure it’s accurate, […]

Lesson: Print Ad Analysis

Print Ad Analysis For this exercise, I like to bring in some goofy or bizarre advertisement or PSA For the last few semesters, I have used a PSA from PETA that I found at this URL: https://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/MediaCenter/PrintAds/DiegoLunaHR.pdf Here is a citation: “Diego Luna: Safe Sex.” PETA.org. PETA. n.d. Web. 20 Jun. 2011. I like using […]

Lesson: Sentence and Context

This activity asks students to look closely at sentences and challenges them to create and change meaning through a variety of techniques. The goal is to get students thinking carefully about how they construct meaning, at a sentence level. It’s also FUN – there’s lots of room here to play around. I’ve never gotten through […]

Lesson: Vampire Games

(Like Reindeer Games, But Bloodier and Less Festive) A serum has been invented which has the power to turn everyone on the earth into a vampire. All of earth’s inhabitants have elected to take the serum, thereby effectively changing 100% of the human race into vampire-kind. The Pope, your grandparents, your former swim coach. Synthetic […]

Lesson: Exploring Place

  Today’s activity is intended to start you on the path of exploring place for your first essay assignment. We will be making observations about three different “places,” and writing a blog post designed to get you thinking about the specific place you will write about in your essay. Place #1: The Exterior World We […]