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Tuesday, May 9

May 9, 2017

Argument: Today we took a second quiz on Common Sense. Then I gave you a sample argument, “Learning Through Intimidation,” that we took apart as follows:

  1. The claim is a value claim: that having coaches yell abuse at kids (especially female athletes) is bad. It is NOT a policy claim: the author doesn’t propose directly that this practice should be banned or regulated — she just says it’s bad.
  2. The main appeal used to back up this claim is pathos — a personal appeal. In fact, the argument is almost exclusively personal.
  3. The supports for this argument are that 1) organizations such as the armed forces no longer verbally abuse their members, because it isn’t productive, and 2) that having male coaches yell at female athletes smacks of domestic abuse.
  4. When you get to the warrants, however, the whole thing kind of comes apart, because of two simple, key underlying assumptions: that coaches yelling at athletes doesn’t produce results, and that the athletes themselves are suffering harm.
  5. Unfortunately, the author undermines her own argument by conceding the first point, and by offering no evidence whatsoever of the second, either personal or otherwise. This is the danger of using TOO many qualifiers, and using an exclusively personal appeal.

I gave you five points to think critically about as you shape your final argument. All of them won’t apply to every argument, but my guess is that at least one or two will apply in every case.

  • If it’s not happening already, why does it need to happen?
  • If it costs money (especially public money), why should we spend it on this instead of something else?
  • If it’s going to impose hardship(s) on any group or individual, why is that OK?
  • If it’s bad (or good), who else says so? Who else says the opposite?
  • If you say A caused B, where is your proof?

Adaptation: Today was a work day due to the unfortunate internet issues. Haley will go on Tuesday and Nova will go next Thursday (along with the previously scheduled presenters – so please make sure to keep your presentation under 25 minutes so we can fit all three in).

Presentations continue this Thursday (Sam and Sarah, I think?). If you need anything, see me at your earliest convenience.

Siren: Interviews for pulp.

Daily Prompt: Check out the poets on Select two poets and read/watch some of their poetry. You can probably find the videos on YouTube. Write a reaction to the poetry you read/hear.

Publishing: More work on the BatCat stuff. You made some amazing progress today, thank you.

Comedy: Continued watching The Blues Brothers. Will continue tomorrow; after finishing the film, the rest of the day is scheduled to be a work day. Your mockumentary films are due on Thursday!!

Middle School Lit Arts: 

Survey: CNF/Screenwriting: Today was a work day.

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