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ENGL 101 - Hoover: Persuasion: Problem/Solution

Persuasion Links

Films Choices for Friday (Write Rhetorical Precis for whichever one you choose). If you are not able to find access to watching one of these on Netflix or other services, you may watch my DVD copy of DamNation in our library (M-TH only).


DamNation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X2dYnTX55E

13th https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V66F3WU2CKk&t=41s

The Mask You Live In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc45-ptHMxo

MissRepresentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2UZZV3xU6Q




(The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking)  http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/Concepts_Tools.pdf

(Basic Income) https://medium.com/basic-income/cutting-the-gordian-knot-of-technological-unemployment-with-unconditional-basic-income-e8df7f8eaa16  "Cutting the Gordian Knot of Technological Unemployment with Unconditional Basic Income Invisible Sheep, the Missing Right, and the Return of Common Wealth" by Scott Santens

(Basic Income)https://medium.com/basic-income/deep-learning-is-going-to-teach-us-all-the-lesson-of-our-lives-jobs-are-for-machines-7c6442e37a49#.x2d8vcoja "Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines" by Scott Santens

(How Video Games Can Save the World) http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html "Gaming Can Make a Better World" by Jane McGonigal

(conservative values to end drug war) http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=ebc2ed65-83c7-4439-94f6-c7fd052dcc18%40sessionmgr4007&vid=0&hid=4109&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=9601317643&db=aph

(anti-female culture)  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html  "Your Princess in in another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds" by Authur Chu  ALSO the follow-up http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/24/who-died-and-made-you-khaleesi-privilege-white-saviors-and-the-elusive-male-feminist-who-doesn-t-suck.html

(conservatives for basic income)http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/why-arent-reformicons-pushing-a-guaranteed-basic-income/375600/ 

(Solutions for prisons and schools) http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/03/12/can-native-american-style-conflict-resolution-practice-help-solve-americas?cmpid=tp-ptnr-upworthy

(Economic Growth)http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/growth_is_the_problem_20120910// "Growth is the Problem" by Chris Hedges

(Solutions to Multiple Problems) http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/path-to-a-new-economy/the-speech-president-obama-should-deliver...-but-wont “The Speech President Obama Should Deliver…But Won’t” by David Korten

(Gun Control) http://billtotten.blogspot.com/2007/01/loaded.html “Loaded” by Garret Keizer

 (America after 911) http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=7280316&site=ehost-live “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear” by Wendell Berry

(NAFTA) http://ezproxy.olympic.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=3033447&site=ehost-live“The Man Who Took my Job” by Dan Baum

(Letter to White racists) http://www.timwise.org/2010/11/an-open-letter-to-the-white-right-on-the-occasion-of-your-recent-successful-temper-tantrum/ An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum” by Tim Wise

(Victim of a Crime? Thank a Single Mother) http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2009/04/ann_coulter_on_single_mothers.php “Ann Coulter on Single Mothers: The Statistics from Guilty” posted on rightwingnews.com (See full chapter below in e-reserves)

 (on men) http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/20/why-we-need-to-reimagine-masculinity.html “Men’s Lib” by Andrew Romano and Tony Dokoupil

 (on men) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/  “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin

(Young Men Giving up on Marriage)  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/young-men-giving-up-on-marriage-women-arent-women-anymore

(Civil Unions for All)   http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4196/forget_marriagecivil_unions_for_all/ “Forget Marriage: Civil Unions for All” by Terry Allen "do gays and lesbians reall want the right to marry"

(Guaranteed National Income) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income “Guaranteed Minimum Income” Wikipedia

(Wedded to an Illusion)  http://ezproxy.olympic.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/233452842/fulltextPDF/132C6DC1EEA64D8362B/20?accountid=2203    “Do Gays and Lesbians Really want the Right to Marry?” by Fenton Johnson

(Crack and the Box)  http://www.oc.ctc.edu/ereserve/choover/hamill.pdf “Crack and the Box” by Pete Hamill

(The Singer Solution)  www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/19990905.htm  “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” by Peter Singer OR https://www.unc.edu/courses/2009spring/plcy/240/001/The_Solution_to_World_Poverty1.pdf

 (Peter Singer TED talk)  http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_singer_the_why_and_how_of_effective_altruism.html

(The Marriage Gap) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/  “All the Single Ladies” by Kate Bolik

“Your Constitution is Killing You” by Daniel Lazare http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=2264704&site=ehost-live

(Spike in American Deaths)     http://theweek.com/articles/587242/why-poor-white-americans-are-dying-despair

with original study  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112.full.pdf

(Mushrooms) Paul Stamets on How Mushrooms can Save the World/TED Talk  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY

(we the people petitions and government response) http://www.upworthy.com/obamas-we-the-people-petitions-were-unprecedented-these-10-were-our-favorites?c=upw1&u=333cddbd1c984b2ac5224b56aa8d605890574964






Paper #1—Persuasion: Problem/Solution

Persuasion: Problem/Solution




●Boldly solve a weighty and difficult problem in a way that benefits all stakeholders.


●Thesis and Outline should refer to the problem, the solution, the claim of fact, the claim of value, and the claim of policy.


●Purpose: To Persuade.


●Audience: Affected Stakeholders. You will report on the situation as it exists, and answer likely objections.


●Voice should appropriate to your task (not punitive) and need not be strictly formal (may use first person and contractions).


●Paper is 3-5 pages long.


●Use MLA for format and source citation.


●Process must be turned in and include required steps culminating in a rough draft (may be handwritten), workshop draft (must be typed), workshop rubric, and final draft (must be typed).




--Daydream and prewrite until you come up with a suitable problem area.  In class, I will ask you to list at least 15 possibilities and prewrite on at least five.  Any kind of arguable, provable, and weighty topic is fine as long as the paper meets the requirements of the assignment.


--You will be exploring a problem in order to present a solution. This should be a win-win solution that will satisfy and/or serve all stakeholders—or at least not single anyone out for undeserved harm. It should work for America. It should be authentic, not a rhetorical game.


--Start by brainstorming problems in our culture (unmotivated K-12 students, wealth inequality, loss of privacy, national debt, sexism, obesity, climate change, coarseness of culture, etc.) Then narrow and deepen your topic. You will research to establish facts about the problem and then proceed to develop a frame of values and a solution.


--Consider the assigned readings.  What methods do these writers use that you could use (or avoid) for your topic?  For example, how do they handle the opening and closing paragraphs? How do they appeal to multiple audiences? How do they achieve economy of language? How do they organize? How do they handle pacing and transitions? Do they leverage factual information effectively?


--Consider the required claims:

Claim of fact: What is the objective truth about the problem area? What misconceptions exist in the imagination of your audience? How have the facts changed over time? Research is required. Use a fact-check website when applicable. Do not make unsupported generalizations; provide specific, reality-based support from trustworthy sources.


Claim of value: What is the subjective truth about the issue? Have things changed? Reflect on the problem in the context of values, morals, and tastes. Research might inspire you. Turn to admirable thinkers, philosophers, specialists, professionals, taste-makers, patriots, practitioners and moral leaders for good ideas.


Claim of policy: What could and should be done to improve the situation? Your solution will take the form of a plan that will resolve, or at least mitigate, the targeted problem. Research will probably help you combine others’ proposed solutions with your own original thinking. If your solution would cost money, propose a realistic funding source. This claim of policy must consider the well-being of all stakeholders—any and all Americans who would be affected by the plan you propose. 


You may not shift a harm from one group to another: This is a win-win-win solution. If your plan requires some cost, sacrifice, or enforcement, you must account for that—if there is a cost, propose a funding source; if workers are displaced, create a mechanism for support or retraining; if you propose a law, establish penalties, incentive, and cost for enforcement.


--You must argue the claims in a way that will be understood by your audience. Audience is assigned: all people who are affected by either the problem or the solution that you put forward. Keep in mind that part of this audience will likely be predisposed to agree with you; other parts of the audience will oppose you vigorously.


--Research is required. Our goal with this paper is to use appropriate sources effectively—five or more sources will be needed. Give credit to your sources using the MLA. You must do this correctly to pass the paper.   


--Brainstorm, prewrite, outline, organize, and write at least two drafts before workshop. Three drafts are required for each paper in this class: Rough Draft written from your outline (may be handwritten or typed and printed), Workshop Draft (typed and submitted to peer review; it should be a good paper—if you were to turn it in for a class, you would expect to pass), and the Final Draft (typed, well-developed, and error-free).




--Keep all notes, drafts and prewriting in your journal. Push beyond the pro-con model of debate. Don’t throw any of your drafting materials away.


--Your thesis must be well defined.  It should be one sentence that includes your claims and support summary.  It may not be a question (thought it might be the answer to a question). This should be a boring, hardworking sentence.


--Purpose is assigned: to persuade. You are seeking a sincere change of heart and mind through your solution to a controversial or intractable problem. Forget about “winning.” Make the problem go away. The basis of persuasion should be that you have the best ideas.


--Audience is assigned: Stakeholders. Your audience is actively informed, but divided. Perhaps your audience members have fallen prey to misinformation or have a stunted or outdated perspective on the problem. Though stakeholders may be resistant to your plan, you must ensure that none will be unnecessarily harmed by your solution. You will be proposing to act—genuinely—in their best interests.


--Show compassion for your audience and try to make them your friend rather than your enemy. You are proposing a solution that some members of your audience may be inclined to agree with, while others may be inclined to reject.  Alternately, you may find that your entire audience disagrees with you, but for very different reasons.


--Describe the “state of the problem.” You must objectively describe the situation as it really exists—in the real reality. Your full audience should more or less agree with this assessment.


--You must explore audience opinions and likely objections to your thesis. Report on three or more distinct perspectives on the problem. Preempt likely objections to your solution.


--Using sources, make a claim of fact that presents relevant, reliable, verifiable data.


--Using sources, make a claim of value that directs your reader to understand these facts in the context of relevant American values.


--Using sources, make a claim of policy. Seek to find, combine, or invent a solution (or solutions) to solve the problem (or problems) you have identified and that meets our needs as a nation.


--Your voice should invite dialogue; do not make word choices that would predictably be understood by any members of your audience to be combative, punitive, or propagandistic.

--Both the workshop and final drafts must be typed and double-spaced, using the MLA format. Your last name and a page number must appear on every page.  Do not justify the right margin.  


--On the first page, use the MLA format.  (A sample “page one” may be found in your handbook on page 117.) In addition, add a paper ID in brackets as the last item in the heading—this will help both of us keep track of multiple drafts and ensures that you receive credit for multiple drafts. This paper’s ID will be [Persuasion, Workshop Draft], then [Persuasion, Final Draft] when you turn it in to me.  Later, if you rewrite it for your portfolio, it will become [Persuasion, Revision Draft].  Do not use a cover page or plastic covers of any kind.  Instead, secure your paper, final draft first, with all drafting materials in reverse order, in the upper left-hand corner. Use a bulldog clip.


--The length must be between three and five pages.


--The organization for the paper must include the following:




Introduction   Grab your reader’s attention.  Do not merely preview.  Give the impression that this is going to be a dynamic, fruitful experience for your audience.


Body   The order of development and the formal outline is up to you, but you should include these things:


·         Situation Report—Objectively describe and clearly define the nature of the problem.


·         Resolve Stakeholder Objections—Anticipate, acknowledge, and accommodate opposing ideas. Put fears to rest and show that you have the best interests of all in mind. 


·         Claim of Fact— Report information that the reader needs to know in order to understand your position. Clear up misconceptions, myths, and urban legends.


·         Claim of Value—Clearly define the values, principles, morals, and aesthetics that you are applying to the problem and solution. Link these values to both your claim of fact and your claim of policy.


·         Claim of Policy—Propose your solution in the form of a plan.  Think through the true costs and unintended consequences of your plan, and accommodate all stakeholders. For instance, if your plan would incur a financial burden, make funding one feature of your proposal.


Closing       Provide closure for the issue, and leave your reader with something to  ponder.  Do not merely summarize.


--Behind the final draft of your paper, attach all drafting materials as outlined in the Portfolio Table of Contents.




--Ask yourself: Am I cutting to the heart of my topic? How might I solve a problem that society at large has not been able to solve? How can I simplify the complexities of the problem/solution without losing momentum?

--Read your paper out loud to yourself and listen for correctness and clarity.

--Remember that an extreme position sounds less “reasonable” and is therefore more difficult to defend, even if it is correct.

--Think for yourself.

--Rely heavily on the legitimate expertise of others.

--Write until you learn something new.

--Use your curiosity to make discoveries and inform the voice of the paper.

--Rely on the skills you have, and experiment with new skills as you acquire them.

--Be willing to change your thesis if you find that the evidence does not support your original thinking.

--Start doing some light research right away, so that any changes you make to your thesis are not attempted at the last minute.

--If you have questions, or get stuck, call me or come see me in my office.  Email using your student account to choover@olympic.edu.