Compare & Contrast Paper Prompt
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Monday, March 27
Monday, March 13: Compare & Contrast Essay Assigned
Approved articles due: Friday, March 24
First draft due: Wednesday, April 5
Final draft due: day of final exam (TBD)
Today’s “Pitch”: Partner/changeover
Wednesday, March 1: Cartoons & the Rhetoric of Humor
Why would an author/rhetor choose to use humor as a rhetorical strategy?
Why don’t more traditional means of argumentation work so well in some contexts?
What “audience problem” does humor attempt to solve?
What are the implicit arguments behind the funny stuff?
What can we learn about AI just by looking at cartoons?
Wednesday, February 22: Accommodation/Rogerian Argument…and Synecdoche
Monday, February 20: Stakeholders, Hot Buttons & Buzzwords
Homework for Wednesday: none (but start studying General Terms for Friday’s Quiz #4)
Friday, February 10-Friday, Feb 17: Ad Presentations
Quiz #3: Take at home before Monday’s class.
February 8: Logical Fallacies, II
Homework: Study for Quiz #3: Logical Fallacies
- Inappropriate appeals to authority:
—Source is not a genuine authority
—Accuracy of the source’s observations is questionable
The source cited is known to be generally unreliable
—The source has been cited incorrectly or the claim taken out of context
—The source’s claim conflicts with expert opinion
—The issue can’t be settled by expert opinion
–The assertion is false or highly improbable on its face (see “Bat Baby” tabloid)
2. False alternatives. Another example.
5. Questionable cause:
7. Slippery Slope.
8. Weak Analogy
Monday, February 6: Logical Fallacies I
Appeal to pity (caveat: these are not always bad)
Bandwagon argument (direct)
Bandwagon argument (indirect)
Begging the question (simple)
Begging the question (circular reasoning)
Wednesday, February 1 & Friday, February 3: Visual Rhetoric (Ad Presentation Assigned)
Dates: February 8, 10, 13, 15, 17.
Directions: Find a partner and exchange contact information. Choose an internet advertisement together and send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan a 15-minute presentation in which the two of you discuss the following:
- Overt vs. implied vs. covert theses
- Overall rhetorical strategy (assertive vs. accommodating/deductive vs. inductive)
- Visual vs. written rhetoric
- Loaded words
- Target audience
You’re going to want to work from smaller details like loaded words to larger, overarching claims like author/thesis/target audience.
Be sure to support all of your claims with evidence!
Today’s terms (see Glossary on left for definitions):
thesis: overt, implied, covert
Friday, January 27: Quiz #1 & Monday, January 30: Inductive Arguments
Monday, January 24: Inductive Arguments
Arguments from Authority
1. Article 1. Arguments from science
- Article 2. Argument from history
- Article 3. Argument from nature
- Robert di Niro says to stay home!
- Elon Musk weighs in
- So does Gal Gadot
- Donald Trump too
Monday, January 23 & Wednesday, January 25: Deductive Arguments
Homework: study for Quiz #1 (on assertions and deductive arguments): Friday, January 27
- Assertion or not exercise
- Notes for today.
- What is a valid or sound argument? Here’s a video.
- Baby cola ad: What’s the deductive argument? Is it valid? Sound?
Friday, January 20: Everything’s an Argument
Today’s notes: What’s an Assertion?
Your personal arguments exercise
Let’s talk about assertion, rhetoric and the rhetorical situation. Video. (Play until 15:38, then skip to 19.59)
Friday, January 13 (yikes): Truth, Facts, Reality (Redux)
Homework for Wednesday: none
Key course points, so far:
- Critical thinking is a purposeful act.
- The process involves breaking down issues/arguments into pieces, examining those pieces, then reassembling them, to see how whole arguments work.
- Our tools will be the terms and concepts of classical rhetoric. The process is called “rhetorical analysis.”
- First, though, we must look inward and evaluate our own biases, susceptibility to dogmatic thought and peer pressure. Awareness of these helps us maintain the most accurate analytical stance.
- It also helps to be familiar with current political ideologies, for easier identification of patterns in argumentation.
- Repeat after me: “Everything’s an argument!”
Wednesday, January 11: Deconstructing the Self
Homework for Friday: none
Discuss Habits of Critical Thinking Survey
Discussion Packet #1: Deconstructing the Self
Discussion packet #2: All kinds of stuff about “truth” and bias
Do you know where you stand on the political spectrum? Take a survey at Political Compass and put your plotted dot here.
Here’s a handy infographic illustrating the major American political beliefs. We’ll need this when we start looking at arguments.
Monday, January 9: Deconstructing the Self
My name is Dr. Julie Chisholm. I’ll be your instructor for critical thinking, an important course in your college experience. This semester, we will first define critical thinking, and look at ways we both encourage and discourage it in our lives. Then we will go into the gym: a mental gym, that is, in which we work out with our brains. We will use a tool called rhetorical analysis, the study of argument, to help get our critical thinking muscles into shape. Along the way, we’ll look at a current event—one we’ll choose together, and the arguments made around it. Ideally, you will learn a few things: not just about the pandemic, but about yourself and the way you think. Welcome to our class!
Critical thinking is a purposeful mental activity. ‘Critical’ means to take something apart and analyze it on the basis of standards.” –Michael Baker, Basics of Critical Thinking
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Discussion Packet: Deconstructing the Self