Must be completed by midnight of September 21st Readings:
1. Language (339 - 372)
2. The Speech the Graduates Didn't Hear (374-375)
3. Analyzing Warrants (269-283)
5. MLA System for Citing Publications (419-428 and 452-463)
Language (339 - 372)
When we argue with people, we have the advantage of using our voices, hand gestures, body language, and tone to make our points. We cannot resort to any of those resources when we argue on paper. We need to make our points with the only resource we have - our language. The choice of words and the way we arrange these words becomes extremely important in a written argument. Connotation, slanting, shortcuts, picturesque, concrete, and abstract language are all described at great length in the chapter on language (339-372). Please read through carefully and thoroughly. You can use all these devices in your arguments with your politicians, spouses, partners, parents, children, and anyone else you can think of with the exception of your professors - especially the English ones (we recognize the devices)!!!
Language in any context is very important and yet, when I ask my students on the first day of class how many are looking forward to the rest of the semester in my class, one hand or maybe two are held up. The rest of them look at me really incredulously like they would much prefer to be hung from the ceiling by their toe nails! Some of them have told me that in their line of work, they are not going to need any language skills. Is that really true? How would you like your boss to write a letter of recommendation for you like the following one: General Products Company
312 E 4500 W
Terrytole, XA 31245 Human Resources
4 Argyle Street
Sarty, YA 67890 12/30/2009 Subject: Letter of Recommendation To Whom It May Concern: J.W. Willoughby has been on the payroll of General Products Company for the past two years. He has asked me to write a letter of recommendation for him, and I am very willing to help him find another job.
During the past year, whatever has occurred in this organization, he has been responsible. The quality of his work, his appearance, and his relations with his fellow workers have been beyond description. In fact, as I sat down to write this letter, I could not find words strong enough to describe how I feel about him and what he has done. I cannot praise him too highly. Indeed, you will be fortunate if you can get him to work for you. Thankfully, Sylvetser Fox
I am sure you agree that this is not the kind of letter you want to have in your file! It is one of the most ambiguous pieces of writing I have come across! Language is an "amazing" tool; please learn to use it to your advantage.
Week 4 - Exercise 1
Read The Speech the Graduates Didn't Hear (374-375) and answer the following question:
Pick five phrases - adjectives and adverbs - used by Neusner to characterize both students and teachers. Are these terms loaded? In what way? (200 words)
Analyzing Warrants (269-283)
A warrant is an assumption, the principle that makes your reasons count as relevant to your claim. In its simplest form an argument is just a claim and its support. Underlying the claim and support, however, are loads of warrants. For example, when I claim,