Next class will be Nov. 10th (no class Nov. 3rd) and the classroom will be 69.
Write draft #3 of your persuasive essay (essay #4). You may choose either of the two view-points you chose for drafts #1 and #2. You may change subject if you wish. However, please remember
to make your subject controversial
to define your terms
to support your claims with evidence (if necessary, provide a reference for your source)
that your personal opinion alone is not an argument – you must support it with evidence and explain how the evidence supports your claim.
to let me know which kind of feedback method you prefer me to use for you personally in future.
We have been asked to change classrooms: from November 10th our classroom will be 69, which I believe is in building #6.
General comments for all students:
Define your terms – you must define the meaning of any and all key words you use in your essay.
E.g. one essay on nuclear power included many mentions of “eco-friendly power generation”. The essay must therefore include a clear definition of the meaning of “eco-friendly power generation”. This definition must come near the beginning of the essay.
I have used 2 different ways to give feedback:
comments scribbled directly on student papers, explained orally in 1-to-1 conferences in class time
the disadvantage of this is that I cannot always speak to every student within the 90 minutes, and
students may not understand either my spoken explanations or my written comments
Therefore I have preferred to use a computer program which lets me write my comments as well as categorize errors.
The disadvantages of this method is that
the software is designed to correct only grammatical mistakes, but most student difficulties are in the areas of logic and rhetoric, and
because the software is designed to correct grammatical mistakes, the student’s paper becomes covered with lots of red highlighting, which may discourage students when in fact most of the grammatical mistakes are minor and unimportant for communication.
Today I proposed a third method which I call “Black-Blue-Red” where
Black is student’s original writing
Blue is instructor’s version
Red is instructor’s comments/explanations
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Re-write your persuasive essay draft #1, print out and bring to class next week.
Incomplete or missing thesis statement.
Your thesis statement must include a summary of all your arguments.
Incomplete or missing counter-arguments.
Counter-arguments show that you have thought about this topic deeply, and that you understand the objections that others have on this topic. Incomplete or missing counter-arguments show that you have not thought enough about this topic, or only thought about one side of the matter.
E.g. “the government should…”
Who will pay for this?
How will the government get the cooperation of citizens and businesses?
Is this the best solution that will respect the individual’s rights and freedoms?
Write a detailed outline for your “Persuasive” essay.
Write the first draft of your essay (complete) and bring it to class next week.
Exchange your arguments and counter-arguments with a classmate and give him/her some feedback.
List your arguments in order of importance.
Textbook p. 99 E: read.
P. 00 Practice 5. Write your answers on a piece of looseleaf paper and hand in at the end of the class.
Start writing your outline and essay.
To be persuasive, an essay in English needs to consider opposing points of view, otherwise it is one-sided and a one-sided essay is not persuasive. For example, an essay that only talks about the positive side of nuclear power, but not the negative, sounds like propaganda. The writer may be considered ignorant – doesn’t he know about the negative side of nuclear power? Is he stupid? Clearly, the writer has not thought about this matter seriously, or done any research.
Some of the topics chosen by this class are:
the death penalty
banning pets shops from selling animals
improving cell-phone manners
Whether or not to join a club
Whether or not school uniform is a good idea.
Downloading music without paying: should it be illegal?
To write a good, persuasive essay, you need to know the main arguments both FOR and AGAINST.
The death penalty:
FOR: it is a deterrent. It deters criminals from committing violent crimes.
AGAINST: life is a gift given by God. It is not man’s to give or to take away. Also, one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.”
FOR: Human beings are responsible for a huge increase in “greenhouse gases” such as CO2, which are making the whole planet warmer. If this is not stopped, the ice caps will melt and the sea levels will rise resulting in much damage and loss of life.
FOR: It is cruel to animals. People do not care for their pets properly and many are abandoned after a short time.
AGAINST: Private property – what business people do is a private matter and the government has no right to interfere. Further, there are serious consequences if the government interferes in private business.
Whether or not school uniform is a good idea:
FOR: It avoids embarrassment for poor students who cannot afford the nice clothes that rich students would wear. In addition, another purpose is to distinguish between different schools.
AGAINST: the original purpose of school uniform in Japan can be clearly seen by the origin for the design – the Prussian military. The differences between school uniforms is minimal (compare that between different British schools, for example), so this argument is weak. If the purpose was to distinguish between schools, why are all uniforms black?
Downloading music from the Internet – should it be illegal?
FOR: Property rights. The creator of the music is the one who should decide whether to give it away for free or to charge for it and how much. The music was created by the musician’s own brain and musical talent and hard work, therefore the rewards (the profits) also belong to that person. Downloading music without paying is stealing.
AGAINST: Digital content cannot be “stolen”. The person downloading is only making a COPY of the original, not STEALING the original.
In addition, if you are recommending some action by the government (as in topics 1, 2, 3 and 7 above), you should be aware of the main purpose of government. In the English-speaking world, the purpose of government is to protect the rights of the citizens.
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