As the quote above states, part of my job as your teacher is to force you think both intensively and critically. We will begin the discussion of your proposed topics this week, which will lead to me pushing you to step outside of your comfort zone or to think beyond what someone else says on a topic. Choosing one topic to focus on all semester can be scary, but since each assignment builds on the other it will make it easier for you in the long run. I encourage you to choose something that you are passionate about and that you won’t find yourself bored with by the end of the term. I also encourage you to choose something that gives you room to go in different directions. You don’t want to choose a topic that is overdone or one that doesn’t leave room for growth. We will spend some time brainstorming ideas as a class, but in the mean time make a list of all your current interests as a starting point.
I’m sure you’re all waiting for actual details on the proposal assignment, so here is the Topic Proposal Assignment Sheet and a quick blurb:
For this assignment, write a two-to-three paper about the issue (you are interested in exploring. You should begin by setting up the issue, providing your knowledge and personal experience with the topic so that the reader knows “where you are coming from.” In other words, set the context as clearly as you can for the reader. You might end the first paragraph with what you think will be the focus or thesis of your future argument paper. Alternatively, you may explain your research question. Then, explain why this topic or issue is important to you, if you have not included this information in the introduction. If you have already conducted some preliminary research, include your findings. Finally, ask yourself what other research or information you will need to gather to prove your point or to illustrate the argument you are creating.
For Tuesday’s class, come prepared to discuss both Chapter 1 and 12 from Everything’s an Argument. You should have also spent a little time browsing the about me pages of blogs that interest you.
On Thursday we will discuss Guide Chapter 3 “Analysis to Argument” (pps 51-58); Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay“Letter from Birmingham Jail”; and Everything’s an Argument Chapter 6 “Rhetorical Analysis” (pps 90-119).