Reflection: Student Ownership How Evidence Functions in Rhetorical Analysis - Section 3: Identifying Evidence and Function


The discussion today was much more focused than yesterday when students were just trying to rip apart the text.  And they certainly recognized some of the problems in the text that they were so swayed by the day before.  I was particularly pleased when one student said the author sounded like "they were out to criticize the author more than the writing," noting a specific passage from the text that reads "As a journalist rather than a nuclear physicist or someone with credentials earned by education and training" as an example (and further noting the "someone with credentials. . ." section as sounding a bit spiteful).  Another group noted that the writer mentions a number of things wrong in the thesis, then doesn't explain them all--an issue also noted by the authors of the textbook.  So, this part of the lesson went quite well.

This idea of criticizing the author versus the piece is particularly important regarding the genre of rhetorical analysis, since there needs to be a sense of objectivity.  I asked the students at one point what kind of persona they want to put across to a reader of their rhetorical analysis (who is likely judging their work), and whether the tone this particular student takes at times in criticizing the author is good, given the situation.  This led to a nice discussion about the students as writers, and how they need to be conscious of the persona they are displaying through their writing.  This is definitely something I will come back to throughout the year as I work to develop strong writers, and not simply students who can do a paper to pass a class.

  Thoughtful Discussion
  Student Ownership: Thoughtful Discussion
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How Evidence Functions in Rhetorical Analysis

Unit 2: Understanding Rhetoric
Lesson 12 of 13

Objective: SWBAT recognize how evidence functions in a rhetorical analysis essay through analysis of a student text.

Big Idea: Relevant, specific evidence makes a claim worth reading.

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