Graduate Writing Class Spring 2017 Week 9

ESL writing Class


Attendance and review (5)

Last week

  • midterm exam
  • two weeks ago, a quiz
  • started a new section of writing about arguments and ideas

This Week

  • hand back quiz
  • quick review of midterm exam
  • talk about schedule
  • talk about final project
  • introduce new writing concept – warrants
  • some feedback on past writing

Quiz and Exam Quick Comments (10)

  • link
  • Quiz – 10%
  • Midterm exam 25%


Schedule (10)

  • Week 9: April 24 – class (today, warrants)
  • Week 10: May 2 – class (inferences, warrants and arguments)
  • Week 11: May 9 –  no class (election day)
  • Week 12: May 16 – class (last new writing assignment, hypothesis and argument)
  • Week 13: May 23 – class (last day to hand in writing for feedback, finish before and after writing assignment)
  • Week 14: May 30 – class (quiz #2, 8 presentations)
  • Week 15: June 6 – no class (holiday)
  • Week 16: June 13 – last regular class of the semester (7 presentations, exam review, return final student writing)
  • Week 17: June 20 – final exam

Conclusion: 6 classes left (including today, excluding final exam day)


Writing Project (15)

Now it’s time to introduce the main project for this class. It is called the Moral Dilemma Project.

  • Week 14: May 30 – 8 presentations
  • Week 16: June 13 – 7 presentations

Presentation Schedule (5)

The scheduling is based on one key assumption: each presentation will be 8 to 10 minutes. There will be 5 minutes for discussion. That means each presentation will require 15 minutes.

Respecting these time factors is essential:

  • it ensures everyone can complete the assignment
  • it forces you to focus on the main points
  • it is a sign of your professionalism

There will be sign up list for you to choose a date and time.

  • Hand out random moral dilemma problems.


Hour 2

Resources (5)

George Hillocks Jr.

Writing teachers are stuck on form and why that’s less effective.

A short article about using Stephen Toulmin’s ideas about warrants in argument to improve critical thinking.

Terrific book about teaching young people how to write with a focus on logical arguments.


Introduction to warrants (25)

  • What is a warrant?
  • Why do you need them?
  • How to create them?

Click here to review the slide show.


Practice Exercise #1 (15)

What’s the warrant?

Practice Exercise #2 (15)

Read the short story called Alligator River.

  • Work with a partner to answer the questions.
  • Rank the character from the best person to the worst person.
  • Make an argument for your rankings.

Hour 3

Electric Car Analysis (15)

Complete this old exercise. Analyze the TV commercial about an electric car.

  • Describe the argument and warrant.
  • Evaluate the argument (is it believable, true)

Number 2 Exercise (20)

Analyze this TV commercial – Think Different
  • Describe the argument and warrant.
  • Evaluate the argument (is it believable, true)





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