Monday, October 17, 2016

(in-class first draft peer-revision session)

let's peer-review our drafts! 

Student assistants will help in this very important session.  

We'll look for:

* Non-content related, followed by Content-related, issues.

Non-content related (easy ones):

1- proper heading, top, left hand side,
2- double spaced, indented paragraphs,
3- proper thesis-counter distribution of paragraphs,
4- proper "who talks" prefacing of paragraphs, i.e.,

SSM (Same-sex marriage advocates vs Same-sex marriage critics)
Fast Food (FF advocates vs FF critics)
Government  Surveillance (GS-advocates vs GS critics)
Police Brutality (Law Enforcement advocates, Law Enforcement critics) 
FActory Farms (Factory farm advocates, Factory farm critics)

5- proper bibliography MLA source presentation 
a) Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
b) No URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs titles, i.e., domain name, like or as opposed to or

6- Proper distribution of outside-sources per paragraph,

7- Proper ratio of source vs. argument (30% souce, 70% argument),

(More difficult issues)

8- Check for "too-wordy" (long sentences, sentences should be short and clear)

9- Check for "dropping quotes" issues!

a) the writer must prepare the reader for each quote,  b) provide context for each quotation. c) attribute each quotation to its source: tell the reader who is telling the quote. d) avoid "he/she said" attribution-rut! USE THESE: she/he adds, remarks, replies, states, comments, points out, argues, suggests, proposes, declares, opines, etc. e) lead the quote with a colon, example:
Professor Ohkenshot denies Marx's claim that capitalism causes poverty: "Poverty predates capitalism by two thousand and odd years of civilization." 
10- Check mark for colloquialism:
"you" (one), "kinda" (kind of), "it is like," (similar to, such as), "okay" or "OK," "real" & "really" (very), "sorta" or "sort of" (rather, somewhat), "pretty" (very), "anyways"(anyway), "a lot," (several, many), "kids"(children),  "cops" (policeman), "guys" (men)... etc.
11. Check mark for "fillers":  "basically," "even," "just", etc.
12. Check mark for redundant adjectives: "totally unique," "completely finished," "thoroughly complete," "productively useful," etc,

this is a great writing center!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

your draft's first two paragraphs and the conclusion

Dear class:

Your first two paragraphs are the most important in your draft. They contain all the arguments you will develop. No argument should appear in the draft's body that has not been already announced in the thesis' (or counter's) paragraph. In a sense, your thesis and counter paragraphs are your argument plan. They announce what you will do in the draft's body.

This is how your two paragraphs should look like.

Paragraph 1: Thesis
In this paper I argue in favor of increasing the minimum wage in America. Increasing the minimum wage can potentially lift people out of poverty, help low-income families make ends meet and narrow the gap between the rich and poor. This last point is underscored by the exorbitant salaries earned by CEOs and other corporate executives, which are the same people generally arguing against an increase in the minimum wage.
Analysis: The first sentence (in red) of your draft is the thesis statement. It's a short sentence stating your position (in favor or against). The following sentence (in blue) presents the actual arguments. See that the sentence states three points defending the thesis:
1- Increasing the minimum wage can potentially lift people out of poverty, 2- help low-income families make ends meet and 3- narrow the gap between the rich and poor.

I need a minimum of 2 points and no more than 3 points in your thesis.

Paragraph 2: Counterargument
Critics of increasing minimum wage disagree. They believe that increasing the minimum wage hurts our economy: it hurts small businesses by squeezing their profit margins, it encourages employers to downsize their staff increasing the cost of goods to consumers. 
The first sentence of the counter (in red) simply disagrees with the thesis. Then, the following sentence states 2 points:
1- increasing the minimum wage hurts our economy by hurting small businesses by squeezing their profit margins, 2- it encourages employers to downsize their staff increasing the cost of goods to consumers. 

The conclusion of your draft should read:

I hope I have shown that______________________________ (make it two sentences summarizing your results ).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How to prioritize your points in your thesis and counter

In the construction of your thesis and counter, you need to be able to move from a general thesis point, say: "In this paper I argue against Fast Food (FF)," to actually provide reasons to support your thesis.

To do this I suggest we come up with three points. Which points?

Think about it. What's your angle? You want to discuss health issues linked to FF? If so, pick one say, 1- obesity, and then 2- Type II diabetes 

we have two points, we need one more. Move to a different FF issue, say
FF & advertising,  or
FF and factory farms, or
FF and low wages 

See that this is what we have:

When it comes to Same-sex marriage, Government surveillance or Police brutality:   

1- issues of justice,
2- issues of individuals rights,
3- economic aspects,

when it comes to Fast Food:

1- issues of health, or animal or ecological,
2- economic aspects,

Factory farms or animal welfare,

1- animal welfare (this is a moral issue),
2- ecological issues,
3- economic or social issues,