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Background & Links



Unit 1 Thompson Main Teaching Materials



Materials from Previous Semesters (Varies in Quality) that Can be Adapted

Sample Schedules and Class Plans for Unit 1


Charting, PACES, Analysis and Strategies 


Drafting & Peer Review






Unit 2 the Sources Assignment: Boyd, Digital Natives and Digital Literacy





Danah Boyd, "Literacy: Are Today's Youth Digital Natives?'"


Background on Boyd & her book


Videos of Boyd and other Writers discussing Digital Natives



Main Collection of Teaching Materials for Boyd and Unit 2



Digital Literacy Materials for Unit 2



Digital Literacy exercise: GIBill.com

As an exercise in digital literacy you could have students look at the site GIBill.com. This was a site set up by a group of for-profit colleges designed to persuade 
veterans to enroll in for-profit schools. It was shut down by the federal government as it was deemed to be a deceptive site that tricked veterans into thinking it
was organized by the government and was primarily informational and educational. The site has now been replaced by this message:


Using the archive.org site you can go back in time and see the GIBill.com site. For example: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://gibill.com


Consider these snapshots of the site

Jan 29, 2011: https://web.archive.org/web/20110129071743/http://www.gibill.com/ and see the FAQ section (what seems missing?)
Dec 28 2011: https://web.archive.org/web/20111228165411/http://www.gibill.com/

Jun 27 2012 https://web.archive.org/web/20120627203241/http://www.gibill.com/


You could ask students to consider how the site works to persuade its audience, and why the government might have objected to some 
of the strategies used. It might be interesting 
to compare the GIBill.com site with the department of veterans affairs site that 
has replaced it, 



Unit 2 Teaching Materials from Previous Semesters


The Assignment, Grading and Rubrics



Sample Schedules & Ideas for Modeling How Authors Extend, Complicate, Illustrate, etc. a Text 


Drafting and Peer Review


Researching, Finding/Evaluating Sources, Creating an Annotated Bibliography, and Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Teaching students about research, finding and evaluating sources, creating an annotated bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. By Emma Lee Whitworth, with editorial assistance from Michael Underwood and Julie Williams.





Unit 3: Strategies Assignment



Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"



Responses, Extensions & Challenges to Carr


Teaching Rhetorical Strategies 



Sample Student Paper



Lesson Plans: 


Past Prompts:



Mixture of print and visual texts to introduce rhetorical strategies:



Assignment Description Unit 4


Texts that Respond to Carr


Texts Students Could Draw on to "Enter the Conversation"



Alternative Assignments





  • Happy endings for your class (ways of ending the class and organizing evaluations, etc.)
  • The WPA (preparing students for WPA). Here's a file of information that I've used for a final unit on the WPA that could work for 100 or 200, it includes info on the WPA, an outline on the lesson plan, sample article, essay and WPA evaluation. Here's an evaluation assignment (students respond to a classmate's essay) that partners with the unit.
  • A helpful prezi presentation by Eddie Ling on the WPA: https://prezi.com/ksuffxtraeeg/sdsu-wpa/ 
  • An in-class assignment I've used either on the last day of class or on final's day so students can reflect on their progress and I can receive feedback apart from evaluations. (Alicia)



If We Use Gladwell

Here are some links that might be useful.



Using Haidt Text on Ethics, Evolution, Reasoning etc


Framing Articles? 

Perhaps we could use this article on framing, "The Art of Reframing Political Debates," by Charlotte Ryan and William Gamson, Contexts, Spring 2006.


It is short, pretty engaging, helps with discussions of assumptions, could set students up for 200, and in a sense the issue of framing moves them toward rhetorical analysis without it being called this. It could also open the possibility of students using visual texts, and might also follow on from the work just done on strategies.


Students could use this text as a way of analyzing another text that discusses a social movement, issue, or social problem, or they could take a visual text like the Daily Show and examine how it reframes an issue. 


Or, perhaps the assignment could be for the student to analyze the way a text frames an issue, and make the case for a productive reframing of that case so as to be more persuasive, reach a broader audience, etc.


Could also use one of more of the following to help explain what framing is about, or as target  texts to analyze: 


EXAMPLE One Event: Three Frames, Three Solutions


Charlotte Ryan, author of Prime Time Activism, offers a good example of how one event can be framed in many ways, with a profound impact on the event's meaning. Consider the following three different versions of one news story:

  1. "An infant left sleeping in his crib was bitten repeatedly by rats while his 16-year-old mother went to cash her welfare check."
  2. "An eight-month-old South End boy was treated yesterday after being bitten by rats while sleeping in his crib. Tenants said that repeated requests for extermination had been ignored by the landlord. He claimed that the tenants did not properly dispose of their garbage."
  3. "Rats bit eight-month old Michael Burns five times yesterday as he napped in his crib. Burns is the latest victim of a rat epidemic plaguing inner-city neighborhoods. A Public Health Department spokesperson explained that federal and state cutbacks forced short-staffing at rat control and housing inspection programs."

Each version of the story represents a different frame-in other words, each has a distinct definition of the issue, of who is responsible, and of how the issue might be resolved. The first version, by emphasizing the age and actions of the mother (leaving her baby to cash a welfare check), suggests that the problem is irresponsible teens having babies. The solution would be reforming welfare to discourage or punish such irresponsible behavior.

Most articles about low-income people use the first version news story frame. It illustrates a news story that is episodic in its approach to a specific problem.


In version two, the issue is a landlord-tenant dispute about responsibility for garbage. The solution depends on the reader's perspective: either stronger enforcement of laws related to a landlord's responsibilities, or laws that would make it easier for a landlord to evict irresponsible tenants.


Only the third version really gets into larger issues about the impact of funding cuts on basic services in low-income communities. It illustrates a news story that is thematic in its approach to a specific problem. 


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