Week 10: Arranging Arguments and Outlining Papers

Our recent class discussions have been going very well; I’m glad to see that most of you are completing your reading assignments and coming to class prepared to share your insights about the articles we’re studying. If you haven’t been keeping up with our readings, or if you’ve been leaving your book at home, please turn over a new leaf during Week 10. As we get closer to the deadline for the Research Paper (November 10!), it will become increasingly important to stay on top of our day-to-day assignments.

Next week, we will discuss strategies for organizing research papers and study a few models that should help you arrange the arguments you want to make in your paper. Here’s how we’ll spend our time in class each day:

  • On Tuesday, we will discuss strategies for integrating your primary research with the published articles you plan to cite in your paper. Before you come to class, please review “‘Create a Research Space’ (CARS) Model of Research Introductions,” by John Swales (WAW, pp. 6–8), and read two student papers in Writing about Writing: “Motivation in Literacy Development,” by Tyler Cecchini and Hugo Perez (pp. 442–57), and “Coaches Can Read, Too: An Ethnographic Study of a Football Coaching Discourse Community,” by Sean Branick (pp. 557–73). As you read these student papers, pay close attention to the way the authors structure the papers, not just the arguments they make.
  • On Thursday, we will continue our discussion about organizing arguments. Your homework is to create an outline for your research paper, in which you label the major sections (and subsections) of your paper, then draft two sentences for each paragraph you plan to write. The first sentence should state the main point of the paragraph, and the second sentence should state the rhetorical function of the paragraph. (If this sounds confusing, don’t worry — we’ll talk about it a little more in class on Tuesday.) Please bring two printed copies of this outline to class. Finally, please read “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” by Kyle D. Stedman (linked on the Readings page).

As always, if you have any questions about these plans, please come see me during office hours or drop me a line via email.

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