13-09S23 notes

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Innis College Courses
Roger Riendeau

September, 23, 2013 Purpose andAudience • Why write? • Who is the reader? Why Write? • Personal = writer-based = egocentric • Rhetorical = audience-based = altruistic Personal Motivation for Writing • Experience • Interest • Circumstance • Belief • Bias Rhetorical Motivation for Writing • Knowledge / Insight • Issues / Controversy • Questions /Answers • Problems / Solutions • Perspectives / Objectivity • Response / Clarification • Advocacy / Defence • Relevance / Meaning Who is the Reader? • What is the nature and scope of the audience as a discourse community? • What is the size of the audience? • What is the level of familiarity between writer and audience? • What is the expectation of the audience? • What is the level of interest within the audience? • What is the knowledge of the audience? • What is the bias of the audience? • What impact does the writer hope to have on the audience? Types of Written Discourse • Creative writing • Expressive writing • Journalistic writing • Professional writing • Academic writing Creative Writing Works of fiction • novel • short story • poem • play Expressive Writing Non-fictional accounts or stories • personal experience • personal impression • emotional response Journalistic Writing Factual reporting or commentary for • general public consumption • newspaper • magazine • internet site Professional Writing Informative communication especially geared to the needs and practices of the workplace • report • brief • executive summary • memorandum or other correspondence, Academic Writing Formal, non-fictional discourse (usually in book or essay form) based on authoritative sources and designed to inform and to stimulate an intelligent • audience • focused critical perspective • specialized research • systematic presentation • documentation to acknowledge sources Modes of Academic Discourse • Narration • Description • Exposition • Argument Description Presents the physical attributes, parts, or setting of a topic, often through a spatial order of development, for the purpose of conveying a personal impression Narration Presents an event, an idea, or a process in a chronological order of development for the purpose of conveying a sense of a progression of action Exposition Explains a particular perspective on a specific topic for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding of its complexities Argument Attempts to persuade the audience that the writer=s point of view on a controversial or debatable issue, perspective, problem, or question is valid (if the assumption is that it may not be) or is the better alternative Forms of Exposition andArgument • Personal response • Synthesis • Critical analysis • Critical review • Research essay / paper Personal Response Expresses an informed opinion about a specific topic, based mostly on previous knowledge and experience Synthesis Reaches a new or unique conclusion about a specific topic based on information and perspectives derived from various authoritative sources CriticalAnalysis Systematically investigates the complexities of a specific topic for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding, a definite judgment, or an interesting interpretation Critical Review Systematically evaluates a substantial work such as book, film, play, internet site, musical composition, or video game for the purpose of conveying a clearer understanding, a definite judgment, or an interesting interpretation Research Essay / Paper Asynthesis or critical analysis of a specific topic based on substantial and authoritative research, usually from specialized sources Methods of Presentation • Chronological • Spatial • Comparison and Contrast • Division and Classification • Definition • ProcessAnalysis • Cause and Effect Chronological Explains or argues a point of view on a specific topic by systematically focusing on its progression from the earliest to the latest points in time What is it? How has it evolved? Spatial Explains or argues a point of view on a specific topic by focusing on its development by area – side to side, top to bottom (or vice versa) – or direction – east to west, north to south (or vice versa), clockwise or counter-clockwise What is it? How does it appear? Comparison and Contrast Explains or argues a point of view by focusing on similarities and/or differences between two or more aspects of a specific topic, using either a point-by-point or holistic pattern of organization What is it? How does it relate to something else? Division and Classification Explains or argues a point of view by dividing a complex topic into parts, groups, or stages for the purpose of analysis or evaluation in terms of distinguishable classes or categories What is it? How do parts relate to a whole? Definition Explains or argues a point of view on a specific topic relating to the intricacies of a word, concept, or principle which is subject to various interpretations or meanings What is it? What does it mean? ProcessAnalysis Explains or argues a point of view on a specific topic that focuses on clarifying methodology of a complex action or development for the purposes of revealing its essential characteristics or qualities How does it work? How does it serve a purpose? Cause and Effect Explains or argues a point of view on a specific topic that relates the antecedents or causes of an event or development to its consequences, effects, or outcomes Why is it so? What is the result, significance, or implication? September, 30, 2013 Being Critical • To be critical is an essential quality of academic writing • In a popular context, to be critical is generally assumed to mean “to find fault with” – to be negative • In an academic context, to be critical means either to find fault or to praise, to a comparable extent – a balance of the negative and positive in order to inform fully • Critical = Evaluation or Judgement Definition of Critical Thinking Critical thinking is the effective use of cognitive skills and strategies to engage systematically in purposeful evaluation and judgement in the process of reaching a rational decision. Critical thinking involves: • the reasoned identification and evaluation of evidence to guide decision making • analysis of the form and content of evidence in order to reach a conclusion and to communicate it clearly and accurately • a strategy for determining how to persuade others, and whether to be persuaded by others ACritical Thinker • asks pertinent questions, reflecting a sense of intellectual curiosity or skepticism • assesses statements rather than merely accepting them at face value • is interested in solving problems and thus examines them closely • tries to be well-informed • reserves judgment until all facts have been gathered and considered • listens carefully to others and is able to give feedback • is open-minded and mindful of alternatives • is able to reject information that is incorrect or irrelevant or to adjust opinions when new facts are found • is able to admit to a lack of understanding or information • is able to define clearly a set of criteria for analyzing ideas • judges the credibility of sources fairly and intelligently • looks for evidence to support arguments • is able to identify and to judge the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its premises and conclusions • can effectively develop and defend a reasonable position • cautiously draws conclusions when warranted Asking the Right Questions • Critical thinkers tend to be less concerned with finding the “right” answers than with asking the “right” questions. The level of questions asked influences the depth of thinking that occurs in response. • Common questions tend to generate a factual response that can routinely be memorized. • Critical questions are more thought-provoking, requiring responders to go beyond the facts and use knowledge (recognizing assumptions, implications, and consequences) to exercise judgement. • Critical thinking questions tend to generate more questions in both the questioner and responder, thereby producing even more critical thinking and ultimately better arguments. The Essence of Argument • In common usage, "argument" tends to denote a verbal dispute or disagreement. • In academic writing, an "argument" is a statement made in the attempt to convince or persuade people who hold a different view, and/or people who have not yet made up their minds, about which view is more acceptable. • If we want "the other side" to consider our side fairly (if we want them to be open to the possibility that our point of view is just as, if not more, acceptable than theirs), logic, courtesy, and practicality all demand that we also consider the other side (or other sides) fairly, and that we are open to the possibility that their point of view is just as, if not more, acceptable than ours. • If we are not willing to listen to the other side, why should the other side listen to us? Definition ofArgument An argument is a connected series of statements or propositions, some of which are intended to provide support, justification, or evidence for the validity or soundness of another statement or proposition.Arguments consist of one or more premises and a conc
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