Week 1 Discussion Guide: Tuesday
Class will start with a quick tour of the course web site and discussion of English 105's learning objectives, the assignment sequence of all graded work, a documentation quiz and diagnostic essay. Then we will review of some essential knowledge and skills you should have mastered in the first semester, especially the typical functional parts of an academic paper and what each part does.
Definition of "analysis," use in critical thinking for academic writing--"the Hand" exercise. See your hand as a member of a scholarly discipline (major).
Identifying a paper's "best readers," especially the academic "author-reader-subject" relationship--"get Arnie's Mom to Pearlstone." Academic prose papers' "best readers" belong to the disciplines (departments) for which the paper is being written. For each paper in English 105, we can preduct your best readers' identities, what they know, and what they think is important.
The art of seeming/being authoritative when you are still a student in your profession--read this outline of how disciplines of expert knowledge are created.
General questions you should ask about topics as you read in order to develop evidence and to focus theses:
1) What issues are debated about this topic?;
2) Who is debating those issues and why?;
3) What evidence and methods are being used in the debate, and are there sources of evidence or kinds of reasoning that have been overlooked?;
4) What matters to you about this topic?.
Before the next class, read the instructions for the "Product Purchase Recommendation" paper (click here to read and print them). On Thursday, we'll have a short workshop to brainstorm topics and apply the questions above to the "PPR" project.
If you did not take English 104 with me, click here for a list of things I assume you should have learned in 104.