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Nov 8th

Page history last edited by Jared 12 years, 6 months ago

  • Project Three due Thursday Night (reminder: this is the second project that can be revised for improved grade, and the final one with this kind of revision)
  • People who didn't conference with me (and some who did) have been regularly booking appointments today and tomorrow, or asking for specific feedback online -- this is still a valuable option for today and tomorrow (given our revision policy on this project) 
  • Moving on to projects 4/5, keeping the big picture in mind... 


What Project One taught us:  How to analyze ads that make powerful rhetorical moves, how to analyze these within a rhetorical situation that includes analyzing the 'author,' the their persuasive strategies, the rhetorical qualities of the text and images in the ad itself, the effects/affects on people and the cultural scene set by advertising.  How to use an analysis to comment on advertising's persuasive and rhetorical affects/effects on particular audiences in context (using these to chart a range of effects that can be argued to shape behavior, decision making, thought processes, in ways that are interesting, harmful, unethical, ethical, etc).  

What Project Two taught us  To analyze how authors use (or abuse) similar rhetorical techniques to argue claimsstructure and enhance arguments, and to reach and persuade groups of readers today...

What Project Three taught us:   Important terms are often rhetorically constructed, have purposes that are designed or change in time and in different contexts.  Definitions can be written so that they have a particular and persuasive purpose as an argument of your own.  To make a definition do rhetorical work on a particular audience we can structure these in a number of ways (as a classical argument or a Rogerian argument for instance) and we can use a wide range of rhetorical tools like logos, ethos, pathos, exigence, synecdoche, to strengthen our argument (and we can also fall victim to several fallacies -- which the 'judges' have pointed out, and which I will next weekend on your projects).

What Project Four and Five will do for us: Teach us to evaluate a social, political or cultural problems/solutions, to effectively argue that it should be judged a certain way, and needs a particular action in response.  To use rhetorical tools to try to propose a response/action that might influence some actionor form of real change.

What Project Six will do for us:  present our writing in a persuasive digital design, present the ability to reflect on the development of aspects of our writing intelligently and to connect these with future goals, use our rhetorical skills of analysis and argument to 'link up' with another online project or forum. 


Trending our progress:  "Persuasion involves influencing the audience’s mental state, commonly as a precursor to ACTION"


“The creation of knowledge is a task beginning with self-persuasion...and ending with the persuasion of others” (Gross).  



Introduction to Project Four



Your 4th and 5th projects are closely linked, not only in subject matter, but in rhetorical moves.


For your fourth and fifth projects, you will work with the first of two closely linked genres of arguments: evaluation(arguments for the quality or value of a policy, idea, institution, event, group, person or even object under your review) andproposal (arguments advocating a particular course of action in response).


Evaluations often contain implicit proposals (arguments for or against the support or adoption of something) and proposals often contain implicit evaluations (in favor of the action being proposed and/or against alternative proposals). Both are also problem-solving arguments: they seek to resolve a controversy (about the quality of an object or a possible course of action). Thus, though your final project 4/5 will contain elements of both genres.


Both of these genres require effective use of support, and to gather evidence in support of your project, it is critical to explore a broad range of positions and opinions and research about the problem and its possible solutions. This evidence can be found in a variety of sources: in current periodicals and newspapers and websites, in quantitative form such as statistical sources, or in the historical and retrospective format of books which may provide valuable background information.


For this assignment, you will indicate to me that you have surveyed the availability and usefulness of some potential literature to support your investigation through an upcoming response (over next weekend). The sources you identify for your evaluation will likely also be useful for your proposal as well -- and may lead you to even more appropriate additional sources.





Project Four Evaluation Argument




Project Five Proposal Argument

(more thorough intro next week)



What's the Difference Between Evaluations and Proposals?

judgment is a balanced weighing up of evidence to form a decision or opinion.

value judgment, a determination of something's worth or goodness, based upon a particular set of values or point of view.

Judgement (or judgment[1]) is the evaluation of evidence in the making of a decision


Strictly speaking, evaluation arguments are focused on judgments (this is how you should feel about something), whereas proposal argumets are focused on actions (this is what you should do). In practice, however, a judgment about an object often suggests a particular action and suggesting a particular action implies a judgment of some sort (thus, evaluation arguments often contain proposals and vice-versa). In other words, the real difference might one of emphasis or degree rather than kind.

Keeping the Big-Picture in View... Balancing Evaluation and Proposal:  


Your project 4/5 will deal with the same subjects, and the balance between the two might not work out as a 50/50 split (4-6 pages each).  You may balance the evaluation/proposal projects differently, giving emphasis to one or the other.


You will need to ask yourself:  Is the real challenge convincing your audience that a problem exists or is it convincing them of a viable solution to a problem they already know exists?

  • Prioritizing the Problem: Depending on the particulars of your topic, one or more of these items may be prioritized over the others. For instance, if you are proposing a fairly straightforward change that requires little detail - say, convincing an audience to ban stem cell research - you might spend the majority of its times on item one (convincing the audience that stem cell research is a problem), with items two (it should be banned entirely in the US) and three (negative consequences if the ban is not enacted) relegated to the final couple of pages.

  • Prioritizing the Solution: Conversely, often your proposal might be addressing what the majority (if not all) of your audience will agree is a problem; in this case, the challenge is providing a viable solution (if the finding the solution is not a problem, presumably the problem would have already been solved). For instance, most WSU students would agree that parking on campus is a problem; however, providing a feasible solution to this problem is difficult.


What did we think about Forbes' evaluation of Detroit as the "most miserable city"?

"Misery is defined as a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress. The economic indicator most often used to measure misery is the Misery Index. The index, created by economist Arthur Okun, adds the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It has been in the narrow 7-to-9 range for most of the past decade, but was over 20 during the late 1970s."  

  • selects only the negative aspects in evaluating -- many of you...
  • the evaluation uses the same criteria for different cities:
    • Commute times 80
      Income tax rates 87
      Superfund sites 135
      Unemployment 149
      Violent crimes 150
      Weather 95
  • but is still selecting the cities to 'evaluate' in a discriminatory way (because it could pick many other 'mid-sized' cities with even worse problems) -- Derek 
  • the evaluation reinforces common stereotypes about crime and neglects other 'cultural' criteria that make people "happy". Therefore there is a disconnect between the use of economic criteria and deeming a city miserable...when other criteria make us miserable or happy)-- Daree
  • the article goes into some depth, but all the criteria might as well have tasked with defining "shithole" -- Colton 



Evaluation Arguments


How do we invent Evaluation arguments?


Much like definitional arguments ("Is X a Y?"), evaluations usually also involve a criteria-match structure structure, but in this case you are not providing the criteria that a thing must meet to be defined in a category, but the criteria it must meet to be evaluated as a "good" or "bad" instance of whatever category to which it already belongs.


In other words, it follows the structure "X is (not) a good Y because it (fails to) meet(s) criteria Q, R, P."


"Detroit's demolition plan is shortsighted because it leaves much of the environmental cleanup to future generations (ethical), destroys numerous historic sites (ethical/aesthetic/practical), and outsourced its work to several disreputable companies (economic/practical). 


Key steps in inventing an evaluation (and part of today's exercise) involve:

  • Selecting an "item" (idea, plan, policy, event, organization, person, group, object, etc.) to be evaluated
    • this often involves effectively narrowing your scope to a manageable 'problem' 
  • Find out the stakes involved in the central evaluation claim you're making (is this evaluation controversial and/or interesting to others? Who would be opposed to this evaluation and why?)
  • Develop criteria for evaluating that item (which make it good or bad? which are most important? which are obvious and which ones do you have to argue for? Which are most likely to impact your audience?)


Back to the Exercise Labwith Evaluation DETROIT!





Comments (1)

dw5149@wayne.edu said

at 1:29 pm on Nov 8, 2011

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