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ENC 1101: Writing Academic Arguments

v. POPSMART: reading, writing & thinking critically through popular culture.


Prompt #7
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kayleythomas


After talking today about how films portray masculinity - and about Disney subliminal messages - I thought I'd ask you to take a look at this video. It's clearly an argument - the creator has something to communicate, and he backs up his message with evidence in the form of video clips. Watch the video and tell me:

1) What is his argument?

2) What are some of the ways he backs it up?

3) Do you agree or disagree? Can you think of evidence or reasoning that could counter his argument?
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Prompt #6
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kayleythomas
On September 8, 2009, President Obama addressed students across America in a special message about education. Controversy arose around this speech because schools were asked to air the speech live in their classrooms; while many people were supportive of Obama's concern for America's youth, others worried he would take advantage of impressionable young people with his liberal ideals.

This is an important real life example of rhetoric. As President, Obama has enormous amounts of natural ethos; people listen to him. So when he sets out to deliver a speech to a specific audience, it's important to understand his purpose, his message, and how he communicates this.

The following video is 20 minutes long; you don't have to watch all of it, but make sure you see enough to be able to comment upon it. Tell me how Obama effectively and/or ineffectively uses Pathos, Ethos, and Logos. Does he reach his audience? Is he persuasive? Are there any problems in his speech? Highlight one or two points that you specifically agree or disagree with and explain why in a logical manner.

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Prompt #5
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kayleythomas
After reading Ralph Donald's "From 'Knockout Punch' to 'Home Run': Masculinity's 'Dirty Dozen' Sports Metaphors in American Combat Films," respond to one of the following prompts:

1. Donald references a number of films throughout his essay, many of which I suspect you may not be familiar with. Did this affect your reading of the essay? Was his argument still clear? Can you think of any films that you might apply his argument to? Why?

-or-

2. How might Fight Club fit into Donald's discussion? Are there similarities? Does reading this essay after watching the film help you understand it better (or, does the film help you understand Donald's argument)? Explain.
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Prompt #4
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kayleythomas
Walker and Daum both discuss the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty - summarize their arguments, where you think they might disagree with each other, and where you stand on the issue after reading their arguments and checking out some examples of the Dove campaign below:

The Dove Campaign for Beauty page

Dove's overall company web site

A Google image search of some of the Dove ads

OR

Do a search online and/or in men's magazines for underwear. Are your findings similar to the kind of marketing that Trebay discusses? Provide a link to one ad/web site and describe what kind of pathos you think that it is using. In turn, what essentially is Trebay's argument? Do you agree or disagree, and why?
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Prompt #3
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kayleythomas
After reading the "Fallacies of Argument" section in the book and the Powerpoint in the "Readings" section on e-Learning ("Fallacies of Argument"), take a stab at writing your own logical fallacies:

1. Pick a topic: cosmetic surgery, consumerism, masculinity or femininity (ie. cultural assumptions of what it means to be a man or woman), smoking, violence in video games, or a similar subject of your own choosing (something in society you could make an argument about). Identify the topic.


2. Decide what you're going to argue about this topic - women shouldn't get cosmetic surgery because... or America is too consumerist... etc. Identify the argument.


3. Write a logical fallacy for this argument, choosing from the list in the book or the powerpoint (they're mostly the same, with a few different ones in each). Identify the fallacy type you've chosen.

4. Tell me how you might turn the fallacy into a fair, accurate argument - what would you have to do differently, based upon our Logos reading?
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Prompt #2
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kayleythomas
Your prompt for Monday, should you choose to accept it (remember, you only have to respond to one per week; there will be another for Wednesday and Friday):


Watch TV. Read a magazine. Surf the internet.

At some point, you will run across an ad or a commercial. Probably many. Pick one that you think is interesting and describe it to me. Tell me who the company or person is behind it, summarize what the ad looks like/does/says, explain what rhetorical strategies that it uses to persuade its audience, and see if you can identify who the target audience is. Do you think the ad *is* persuasive? Why or why not?


Post your response here before midnight Sunday night.



Enjoy the rest of your weekend! And don't forget to read the selections on Logos and Logical Fallacies - which is, of course, a big part of enjoying your weekend, I know.
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Prompt #1
in tyler we trust
kayleythomas
Everyone must respond to this first prompt, but you are not required to comment on anyone else's reply (you're more than welcome to, of course).
 

After reading about Pathos and Ethos in your textbook, consider Fight Club. Throughout this unit, we'll analyze the rhetoric of a number of different texts, but we'll be particularly looking at the rhetoric of the film Fight Club as well as how Tyler Durden himself functions as a rhetorician.

How does Tyler persuade the Narrator and the Fight Club and Project Mayhem members to follow him? What kind of rhetorical methods does he employ? How does he use Pathos and Ethos? Why do you think he's successful?

You don't necessarily need to go back and watch the film; just write about what comes to mind. We'll discuss your answers in class.
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