Lets Argue!

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A few days ago in our comp class we involved ourselves in a classroom discussion. Bill made the claim that we argue continuously. We argue with ourselves and we argue with everyone. Bill questioned why we think it is that we start our class room discussion without a specific topic. I made the claim that we start our discussion so open ended for Bill to show that we can connect any discussion, writing, and argument to language. The rest of the discussion involved societal norms. A great example was brought up by Adelyn Mandeville about the word “Handicap”. She brought up a video that she has seen called “Ted Talks”. This Ted Talk that talked about handicaps and how adversities can affect languages. This specific Ted Talk was called Ted Talk: Aimee Mullins- The Opportunity of Adversity. The talk fit into our classroom discussion because we were on the subject of scholars evaluating our own values. Caitlin Gaffney made the claim “We don’t give ourselves enough credit for being smart.”

Writer Designer

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The book Writer Designer, there is so much information that is hard to process all at once. The second chapter of the book wants us to focus on:

  • Audiences- Who our readers are
  • Purpose- Why we are writing
  • Context-How it is meant to be read, where the text is read, very open ended
  • Author-Who originally wrote the text
  • Genre-Local culture of the writing, time periods written in, and audiences
  • Contrast- Using different writing elements in one piece of writing
  • Alignment- How everything lines up in your text
  • Proximity-The closeness of spaces, or the grouping of the writings

Chapter three focuses on:

  • What to do projects on
  • How to create a project
  • The processes of the projects
  • Representing your projects
  • Associating things that support your project
  • Pitching your project

Chapter 4 focuses on:

  • How to find credible sources
  • Using the sources and assets in writing
  • What is copy writing, how it protects the authors
  • Fair use of copyrighted material
  • Permissions granted to others to use copyrighted material in your text
  • Using Creative Commons (or CC) in order to not worry about copyrighted material
  • Designing your sitations
  • Providing enough information for your readers

Dead Man Walking Experience

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The Electric Chair

Over view.

Is capital punishment wrong? The term Capital Punishment (the death penalty) was what the book and play “Dead Man Walking” was about. The term capital punishment doesn’t sound as bad as it really is does it? The phrase tries to steer us away from thinking of death when we hear the phrase, which could be considered a doublespeak phrase. The play portrayed a convict, Matthew Poncelet, tried and convicted of rape and kidnapping and sentenced to death. Matthew Poncelet is a character based on a man named Robert Lee Willie, convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder, who was sentenced to death by the electric chair on December 28, 1984. Matthew reached out to Sister Hellen Prejean of the Roman Catholic Church for help with his case. Sister Hellen didn’t have any experience in prison work before Matthew Poncelet, but agreed to help his case. Poncelet was not represented fairly in court when he was sentenced to death, his lawyer raise only one objection the entire trial. Sister Hellen wanted went against what most people advised her to do and carried on helping the convict come to Christ before he died. She also tried to get the governor and the state to get a retrial for a less severe punishment, but they weren’t able to convince anyone of his innocence or of the rightful severity of his punishment.

Matthew Poncelet. 

Robert Lee Willie

Matthew Poncelet was thought to be evil, cruel, a monster, and many other misconceptions. There is many reasons for this, first of all, Matthew says to Sister Hellen that he has never known love before, his father died when he was 14, he was bullied most of his youth, he has trust issues because his ex-wife turned him in for kidnapping after he got out of jail for the first time, and he hasn’t seen his daughter since she was 3. Matthew Poncelet admits do doing dumb things while on death row, like claiming white supremacy, saying he would bomb things, and acting like a monster to the victims’ family. Over time, Poncelet slowly becomes more human and less of a monster throughout the play. In the end he was scared and very apologetic to the families that he had hurt.

Sister Hellen Prejean.

Sister Hellen Prejean

Sister Hellen Prejean was born April 21, 1939 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the play Sister Hellen relates herself to Poncelet by telling him a story of her youth, she told him that she and some friends were having a good time and joking around when they found a possum playing dead, they all got sticks out and they beat it to death to show the possum that they were smarter and knew the possums tricks. Sister came from a wealthy family, her father was a lawyer and her mother a nurse. Although she came from a family of wealth, when she became a nun she started living on a lower budget and living in worse places with poor people. She also used this to relate to Poncelet because it was something they had in common.

Purpose. 

During the show there were a few themes that were very subtle. The two themes seemed to be very contradictory. One of the themes was that in some cases, the death penalty was a great thing. When spectating the families talk to Sister Hellen we see just how distressed they still were after six years without their children. When Sister Hellen asked Poncelet how he would react if someone did the same to him he said he would want to kill them. This scene in the movie was where Matthew Poncelet realized why he was being put to death, and the audience gets a feel for how they might be affected if something similar happened to them.On the other hand, the other theme was that the death penalty is wrong. Though out the play we slowly see Poncelet become more and more human as he talks with Sister Hellen and reads his bible and starts rationalizing what is going on around him. This makes it hard to see him killed in the end of the show. Poncelet’s last words were to the extent of, killing someone is wrong, it doesn’t matter who is doing the killing, whether it’s a murderer, the victims’ family, or the government. During the discussion after the play, it is said that the point of the play wasn’t to get everyone against the death penalty, or to change your views on the death penalty, the reason Sister Hellen wrote the book and made the play was to get everyone to at least think about what was happening and to get educated.

The Dark Side of Doublespeak!

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Make sure your ugly words at least sound pretty.

In the text “Doubts About Doublespeak,” written by William Lutz we see just how harsh double speak can be! In this text we are shown phrases such as an “involuntary conversion of a 727.” This was double speak for the crashing of a commercial 727 killing 3 people an injuring 21 others. The quoted doublespeak was used not only to avoid talking about the incident in a negative manner, but also was to keep the companies stockholders loyal. The article mentions that most understand the truth behind the doublespeak that is used, but decide not to act because it doesn’t sound that extreme. Lutz used many other examples, one of them being a new way to say “defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the country-side, the cattle machine-gunned down, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets,” now, using doublespeak, “this is now called ‘ethnic cleansing.'” (Lutz 201-202). Doublespeak is something that we need to be sharper on. So much of this gruesome information can go by us without us even giving it a second thought just because it’s phrased differently than we are used to.

When in Doubt . . . TAKE NOTES!

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If you ever walk in class a good 20 minutes late and don’t know what the class is doing, a good idea would be to whip out some paper and a pen and write everything down!

  • Academic papers are arguments
  • Conventions are usually agreed on
  • MLA is a social agreement
  • we should quit fighting against the rules of the game when you don’t even have to play the game.
  • If you are playing the game don’t fight the rules!]
  •  if you play the game you have to master the convention
  • As you move up in life, you are gaining authority.
  • All disciplines advance by being challenged.
  • Addie asked if all conventions are social.
  • Before we answer we must be sure to know what the question is asking
  • In the field of writing there are different styles we all have.
  • “it is frightening that how much we do, we do because other people agreed we should” Bill Mangrum
  • Questions should not be construed as resistance
  • Address the urgent need that requires some kind of text,writing, speech
  • Be critically aware at every moment
  • These types of conversations accomplish a lot
  • We accomplish  interactions and conversations. These are what helps us become better writers
  • we need to learn to listen, then discuss
  • If you take notes and converse, your writing WILL improve
  • We need to reconnect our conversations to our writing

SHHHH! Quiet Hours Are Coming!

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Ever see the quiet hour times posted in the dorms? Of course you have! They’re everywhere! This particular theme of the quiet hours leads you to believe that if you don’t keep quiet during quiet hours there will be a punishment to pay, in this case, there will be raptors. The raptors get a lot of attention just because they are something new and interesting that most don’t see in their dorms at night. This poster is also helpful because it lets us know when the quiet hours will be in effect. The bold and capital print on the words “KEEP QUIET” are implying that that is the overall message.

Are You a Rock Star?

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Who wants to be a rock star!?

Who wants to be a rock star!?

Does this image make you want to party like a ROCK STAR??

This image does a great job at showing multimodal themes! first of all the poster is cut into a star, which, for obvious reasons, is playing off the star theme of the poster. This type of mode would be spacial because of the layout inside of the star. As you walk down the hall, it would be hard to miss the bright color filled star. As the star draws you near, you can see the details of the star, the word ROCK STAR seems to jump out and grab your attention, which would be a linguistic The all caps words that are colored in help work with the yellow star to hold your attention long enough to know that there is some type of event going on in the lounge. These caps were all done by design of course because they know that it will get the reader’s attention and who doesn’t want to be a rock star?

Keep ’em Turned On!

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Don’t turn off your audience! Keep your argument classy! If you become too sensitive to the responses in an argument, you wont have a good time. Some turn offs in an argument would include

  • Getting emotional. Don’t base your argument on your emotions alone! Although emotions are very unreliable in writing, they are one of the most powerful support tools. If you can fuel your audience with emotion about the subject and make them feel a certain way, you’re golden! But don’t rely on it.
  • Relying too much on credibility. Some people see the credibility that the author has and believes them based on that alone, this is another don’t! You should be sure your audience knows that they can trust you based on more than just your profession, where you went to school, or how much schooling you have had.
  • Fallacies. Fallacies can be useful! If you start making hasty generalizations the audience will catch on and quickly get turned off. Although not all fallacies are false, some can even help your argument out,  its a good idea to be extremely careful while trying to put one in your writing!

If you realize that your audience is getting turned off… and you will know.. look at your argument! Are you getting too into it that you scare them away? Can your audience trust what you say even if you didn’t have a doctorate in the field of interest? Did you just offend them, or even cause the audience to distrust you? Just some things to consider when your audience no longer care what you have to say! Try and keep them Turned On and interested!

Repetition helps us remember! Repetition helps us remember!

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Although we all know most of what the book SO WHAT is telling us, the repetition of the knowledge helps us to remember! That is why, for some, this book can be extremely easy to read, because we know all of the information. Over time though, all get ahead of ourselves and try to skip a step or two. We don’t go through the research process and we don’t write more than one or two drafts before we call our essays “Good enough”. The information in the book can be a little repetitive at times, but a refresher helps us all realize that we are falling away from the old techniques that we once knew, which most likely negatively affects the quality of our work.

WHO CARES

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BORED

Oh my gosh.. stop talking…

Do you ever find yourself trying to argue and you realize no one care?  Does your audience looks like this? You realize your argument is fairly plain and you can’t argue effectively? That’s about to change! In this book SO WHAT? We not only learn HOW to argue, but WHY we argue. Before you go out and try to argue or debate anyone, look at who your audience is, and why you’re arguing. The information should be used in an interesting and unique way.  GET YOUR AUDIENCE THINKING! If you reuse ideas they might be easily ignored or even disproved quickly. In other words, keep it fresh!