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Thursday, February 2

February 2, 2017

Argument: Today we went over the five types of claims: what they are, how to identify them, and when to use them. Here’s the handout: fall-2014-argument-and-controversy-types-of-claims

You tried to identify the type of claim you made Tuesday, then tried to rewrite it as a different type of claim. We’ll review these Thursday.

Adaptation: Today we picked up the discussion roughly where we left off on Tuesday, but with better notes this time. Hopefully. Here is a picture of the board:


We did not get to talk about the Benjamin reading yet, so the response is homework for Tuesday. The guidelines can be found here: adaptation-2-2-17-response-2-task-of-the-translator. Please type this.

In other news, we are going to read/watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s for our novel/film study. If you can find a copy of the book on your own, super. If not, I’ll be giving out photocopies on Tuesday. The film will be viewed in class, likely starting next Thursday while I’m out.

Siren: LAVA rehearsal #2.

Prompt: Today we did an in-class activity, which was to draw maps piece by piece. The results – well, let’s just say they varied. 🙂 You can put this map directly into your notebook as the activity prompt, or you may write something inspired by it or the activity. Five entries are due on Tuesday, as they usually will.  

Comedy: Today we started watching the very first feature-length comedy ever made: Tillie’s Punctured Romance. We will finished watching this on Monday. If you were absent, it is available here:



Survey: Creative Nonfiction: Today we reviewed the moments and riffs in the David Sedaris essay “Today’s Special.” It was a little tricky because moment and riff aren’t quite as neatly separated in this piece as they were in the examples I gave you. (That’s why I gave you the examples.)

Remembering that moment is what happened and that riff is your commentary on that moment, the essay looks like this:

Moment: David Sedaris and his friend Hugh are at a fancy New York restaurant, getting ready to order from a super-fancy menu.

Riff: Sedaris talks about how ridiculously fancy many New York restaurants are.

Moment: Back to the original scene. The food comes and Sedaris is dismayed.

Riff: Sedaris talks about how restaurant food wasn’t always this overcomplicated. He makes a comparison to an earlier time.

Moment: Back to the original scene. Sedaris and Hugh decline dessert. They leave the restaurant and spot a hot dog cart. Sedaris buys a hot dog, thankful that he found some simple, honest food.

It’s not quite as simple as I described — but it’s close enough. And this is the kind of essay you’re going to write, for at least the first couple of times around.

In particular, we want to begin and end with a moment: specifically, because we need that imagery early and late in essays. Just like in poetry.

Next, I gave you a choice: to write about a moment in which you discovered something important, or a moment in which you learned that adults can’t always be trusted. You gave me these cards, and that’s where we’ll pick things up on Tuesday.

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