Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AP Language Final Exam Assignment

“Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.” - Plato.

Please meditate and consider the quote above. For our final Socratic Seminar on Friday, May 28th, you will discuss what you understand about the meaning of Plato's words. In other words, you will write a thesis that defines your opinion and interpretation of Plato. In order to show "evidence" of your understanding, please bring in three examples in today's public conversation that support your argument.

Please do not ask me questions about this assignment. The "test" is for you to figure it out and demonstrate your understanding of both rhetoric and the public conversation through a discussion in class.

You will be graded out of 100 points.
50 points- in class discussion
50 points- 1-2 page reflection paper.

Good luck, and you see you on Friday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fallacies of Argument Postings March 17, 2010

Dear kiddos,

So this week we have been discussing "fallacies of argument", or rhetoric that relies upon false claims or misinformation to appeal to an audience and persuade. Yesterday we discussed bandwagon, scare tactics, begging the question and hasty generalizations, and in our class text we also see discussion of ad hominem arguments, straw man, and many more.

For this week's blog I would like you to create a post in which you find a real life example of an argument that contains a fallacy (in a newspaper, in a video, an image, or any written work), post a link to this item, and discuss and define what fallacy it contains.

Please view other students' work and comment on what they find. Your grade will be two parts: 1) post completion, and 2) a reaction/comment to one other students' work.

Be kind, do your best, and enjoy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Global Weirding is Here: February 18, 2010

This week in class we read a chapter of our text entitled "So What? Who Cares?", dicsussing how we address all audiences on topics that may or may not be of interest to them, and how we make an issue rise to importance. Oftentimes, you may make an argument to an audience that is saying to themselves, "why should I care about this?" This is a challenge of rhetoric, and writers use many tools to convince audiences that their topic and argument are valid.

Please read the following op-ed entitled "Global Weirding is Here" by Thomas Freidman. The topic is global climate change, and the debate over whether it exists or not. Some people think that this is a topic that has been overrated, and are asking "so what"?


Then, write a response in which you address the following concerning the article:
1) Who is the audience?
2) What is the topic?
3) What stategies does Friedman use to convince the audience that his topic is important?
(Hint: Appeals/rhetorical devices)
4) Are you personally interested in this topic? why or why not?
5) What information would a writer need to provide to convince a skeptical audience that this topic is important?
6) What do you think Friedman's purpose, or objective is?
7) In your opnion, does he do a good job addressing "so what" and "who cares" or would you do it differently?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weekly News Blog February 4, 2010

This week we learned that our school placed third in a regional "AP Challenge" index and was written up in the Washington Post (see website for article). As you know, public education is a matter of great debate within national and local politics; how much money education recieves, how it is spent, teacher observations, etc.

Please take a look at the blog below called "Class Struggle" that is published by the Washington Post. Read the postings over, and then when you are done, write an analysis of some arguments presented in the blog, naming the speaker, the topic, the argument, and any RHETORICAL STRATEGIES, being used...


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekly News Blog January 25, 2010: Censorship, killing our spirits left and right

In class I am handing out a packet of news articles regarding the Chinese goverment censorship of both the internet and citizens' text messages and emails. Recently this has been in the news because Google has suspected and accused the Chinese government of hacking into the Google system and using searches done on the internet to identify potential anti-government citizens. The Chinese government is communist, and unlike the U.S., does not have a Bill of Rights that protects the press and freedom of speech.

After reading and annotating your articles, please write a response regarding how "censorship", or the restriction of free speech, affects the lives and freedom of citizens. Get fired up....this is a huge issue!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekly News Blog, December 7th

This week, 56 papers in 46 countries across the world published a joint editorial about climate change. Usually, papers publish their own thoughts and opinions on the editorial page, but this week, they decided to come together and publish the same message: we must help defeat climate change before it defeats us.

Please take a look at the article below, and answer the following questions:
1) Why would all the papers unite and publish a common editorial?
2) Who or what si the intended AUDIENCE for their message?
3) What is their argument?
4) Can you find one newspaper that has published the editoiral? Search around the internet and find out...


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weekly News Blog November 18

"Gay marriages should be allowed because the U.S. Constitution does not discriminate against individuals based ont heir sexuality."

This is a controversial statement. It is big news right now. It is an issue, a discussion...and more importantly, an argument. Please read the following update on gay marriage legislation here in DC, and answer the following question:


Who is making a proposal in this debate?
(Please frame the rhetorical triangle to dicuss the proposal, or say who the speaker is, the audience, the thesis/topic, the occasion, and the purpose.