Agenda WED FEB 07


A Note about the Process.

  1. The purpose of assigning a Hypothesis very early in the semester was not to put you behind or thwart your progress, it was to get the ball rolling.
  2. You identified a topic. It wasn’t well-defined or as sharp as it would need to be to support an academic argument, but it was SOMETHING meaningful that prompted you to begin to explore source material.
  3. From here, the process is cumulative and flexible. Instead of wasting your time “brainstorming” about your vague notion, you start to read in your area of interest.
  4. AS YOU GATHER AND INVESTIGATE SOURCES, your vague notion begins to crystallize. You start to have ideas, find angles, develop theories, encounter surprising details you can’t wait to share!
  5. You gather the best of those sources into your White Paper and cluster them around WHATEVER HAPPENS TO BE YOUR BEST WORKING HYPOTHESIS.
  6. As the semester continues, you do more research, abandon early ideas, refine your thinking, place new sources into conversation with old sources, and DEVELOP A THESIS YOU CAN PROVE.
  7. AT NO POINT IN THE PROCESS is there a place where you can get stuck thinking, “I have to solve this problem before I can continue.” Moving forward is the solution.
  8. You write early drafts of short arguments along the way. First a Definition/Categorical argument. Then a Causal Argument. Finally, a Rebuttal argument, all based on your developing thesis.
  9. Each of these arguments can be revised as many times as you wish, always for grade improvement.
  10. Eventually, the entire project coalesces into a single 3000-word, well-researched, carefully argued Research Position Paper that proves a single thesis.

23 thoughts on “Agenda WED FEB 07”

  1. When writing a piece, you cannot have a concrete idea. The research forms the main idea of the piece, and you sculpt it in a way that sways the reader. We should be most worried about working on the white paper assignment and writing the final paper, not smaller assignment (like homework). Not all claims are the same. Different types of claims are used throughout a paper, and certain claim types are more effective in a specific argument. One example of a specific claim in a certain argument would be causal claims when convincing some one to do something. If they do not do A then B will happen. A causal argument states this action will cause a specific outcome.


    1. Anonymous, I’ve asked you this before. There’s no point leaving comments as “Anonymous.” You get no credit for attending class if I don’t know who you are. Text me please with your identity. Until you do, you were absent.



  2. Definition Claim: claims that are defined in the first five words
    Analogy Claim: claims that share similarity with something
    Categorical Claim: claims that show relation to something
    Factual Claim: claims that can be quantified and proven
    Evaluative Claim: claims judge a situation or characteristic that can be argued
    Ethical/Moral Claims: claims that express moral and/or ethical judgement
    Quantitative, Numerical, or Comparative Claim: claims that rely on measurements, they may be factual or evaluative
    Causal Claim: claims that occur because of cause and effect
    Recommendation or Proposal Claim: claims that are made to convince

    Definition Argument
    1. Start with an argument using terms to limit or expand the concept
    2. Argument has to be relevant in society since everything changes with time
    3. Key terms should be defined


    1. These are good notes, MV. I don’t agree with everything you say, but perhaps we disagree because I did a poor job of describing the various claims. No fault of yours.


  3. We started off class by describing the assignment assigned on Monday. You have to watch the podcast on PTSD and write about your section assigned. We talked about the different types of claims; there is definition, analogy, categorical, factual, evaluative, ethical or moral, quantitative, numerical, or comparative. All the claims have overlap when talking about the topic of PTSD. The assignment is to take the section you were assigned and identify different types of claims in your section. Next we started the agenda for todays class. The purpose of assigning the hypothesis so early was so that during the process of the white paper we would realize that our hypothesis was not strong enough and we would have to change it up a little or completely change the topic. You have to gather the best sources possible for your best working hypothesis. You have to develop a thesis that you can prove. At no point in the process you should stop you have to keep looking for information but if you cant prove your thesis you have to change your hypothesis. In a week there will be a definition/categorical draft due on your thesis followed by a causal argument and a rebuttal argument. We viewed the example of Amanda smith about her glasses and getting lasik surgery to show the different types of claims. Amanda has to make different types of argumentative claims to her parents and to the insurance company to pay for her surgery. We next looked at a model definition argument. We looked at an argument about gay marriage and the statistics and laws of gay marriages. Had a discussion about stealing peaches from a farmer.


    1. As lengthy and particular as these Notes are, AA, they don’t actually summarize THE CONTENT of the course material presented this period. I understand the difference can be confounding at first, but please bear with me. Once you grasp this concept, your writing will improve exponentially.

      It is possible to TALK ABOUT a conversation without communicating the content of the conversation. For example:

      Amanda Smith had a long conversation with her parents about Lasik surgery. They discussed the pros and cons of the procedure and whether it was now considered safe and effective or whether it was too experimental to warrant the expense. Amanda felt her parents were being unreasonable, but they held firm.

      The same conversation could be Purposefully Summarized to communicate MUCH MORE CLEARLY the content of the hour they spent together. THIS is what I want your Notes to look like:

      Amanda Smith spent an hour trying to convince her mother to get Lasik surgery. Amanda insisted that the procedure has been proven safe and that compared to a lifetime of contact lens purchase, eye exams, and treatment for lens-caused infections, Lasik surgery was an obvious bargain, but her father still insisted he didn’t want to risk his wife’s eyesight on a relatively new technology.

      I hope that difference is clear, AA, and that you’ll see the value of adopting the second style. But just in case, let me offer one more example. You say:

      Had a discussion about stealing peaches from a farmer.

      Sure. We did. But you might have said:

      Demonstrated that depending on the rules, taking the same peach from the same farmer is sometimes theft, sometimes not.

      I love interaction and would welcome your response.



  4. During class we talked about how our hypothesis should look and the steps to get to a hypothesis worth writing about.
    Claim types: arguments appeal to our reasons, talks a little about ethos pathos and logos. Aristotle, Toulmin and Rogers ideas. Aristotle made appeals, Toulmin made claims.
    Model definition argument: explains it through how a lawyer is needed because definitions are not always as clear as they should be.


    1. Morty, I appreciate your Notes, but I want to deliver a really clear message about “talks about” language.

      It’s useless.

      And I will demonstrate WHY it’s useless.

      Here’s what you said, in 21 words:

      During class we talked about how our hypothesis should look and the steps to get to a hypothesis worth writing about.

      While you were writing it, that Note seemed meaningful, but in two months, it will offer no insight at all about hypotheses.

      Here’s what you could have said in 21 words:
      1. I don’t need to panic about my hypothesis because I can revise it in reaction to what I learn from research.
      or 2. My hypothesis is just a way to start the research process; reading in my topic will develop an actual thesis.
      or 3. Like a scientific hypothesis, mine is just a theory that can be tested by reading academic sources. It’s temporary and flexible.

      In other words, the model for Notes is that they make specific claims worth remembering about the subject matter. Does that make sense? (Reactions welcome.)



  5. To start class we reviewed the material from Monday’s class about critical readings and claims. Professor Davidbdale is about to make ground breaking evidence that the spots above the dogs eyes are in fact a defense mechanism. Accomplishing all of the assignments and research that is required will significantly improve our final product and make it easier to write with all the information already collected. We went into the background of Claims and Aristotles idea with using emotions: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. We talked about all the different types of claims, with the example that we need to complete. We will be given an example of a definition/classification argument from Davidbdale that we can get idea of what it should look like. Definition Argument is an argument not a definition it must also have real world relevance.


    1. First, I appreciate the wit.

      Second, I like the “minutes” aspect of these Notes. You record the “business” of the class meeting as if your record might become part of the history of the course.

      Your clever note that I hope to demonstrate something previously unknown (that dog eyespots improve their survival chances) is—I sincerely hope—a reminder to yourself that the essays we write in class should strive to break new ground. I will credit you with that insight.

      I also credit you with the observation that the preliminary work and early short arguments all serve to prepare you for a highly competent final argument.

      The quality of your notes flags significantly when it lapses into “talks about” and “got background about” language:

      We went into the background of Claims and Aristotles idea with using emotions: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. We talked about all the different types of claims, with the example that we need to complete.

      You could so easily, in the same number of words, have made lasting observations on those topics.

      But you finish strong, and overall you make clear that you’re paying attention.



  6. A factual claim holds persuasiveness and completeness and states a certain statistic or number that can be proved right or wrong. A definition claim defines and states that a certain thing is the topic you are discussing. An analogy claim fits into a category and can also be called a categorical claim. It is a critical response to a claim. An evaluative claim involves judgement and can be argued, and can question the effectiveness of an action. An ethical or moral claim provides judgement on a social situation. For example, the word “deserve” signals that something must be done, making it an ethical claim. A quantitative, numerical, or comparative claim use cause and effect, consequences, preconditions, or predictions. A recommendation or proposal claim convince their readers by using words such as “should”, “must”, or “demand”.

    Not all claims are to be proved or have the intent of “victory”. The argument is like the moderator in a heated discussion. They take a step back and analyze what is really being argued or what is really happening. We might make different claims depending on who it is we are directing it towards.

    We’ll never know if we are really stealing Farmer Hodges peaches. In my opinion, I enjoy peaches, so if there are peaches hanging over my fence into my yard, I would definitely take them.


    1. You’re welcome to the peaches, AmongOthers.
      These are frantic Notes, giving me the impression that I rushed so quickly through my descriptions of the Claims that the explanations bled into one another. 🙂
      Still, they are a clear attempt to record the actual content of the lecture and therefore qualify as Good Notes.


  7. There are nine types of claims we talked about in class today. Each type has its own features. For example, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a definition claim and a categorical claim. An example of a categorical claim is naming the symptoms of PTSD. A definition claim would be saying what PTSD actually is.The notes on the process of writing described the steps of continuing the research of my topic and how to keep writing my essay.


    1. An example of a categorical claim would be claiming that a particular symptom, say migraine headaches (like other ailments such as hyperalertness, sleeplessness, irrational anger) belonged to the category: symptoms of PTSD.

      An example of a definition claim would be claiming that prolonged intimate exposure to a PTSD sufferer might be so unsettling that it results in symptoms that mimic actual first-hand PTSD. In other words, secondary PTSD isn’t the SAME as primary PTSD, but it can easily be mistaken for it.

      I like your Notes technique, LB, but I didn’t want those explanations to stand unchallenged.



  8. We started class by reviewing what we had done last class. A couple students walked in late, and Prof. stated that it is important to be in class on time because the early part of class is usually “house keeping”.

    The real “meat” of the class started with going over “A Note about the Process” or a general overview of how the insane amount of front loaded work in this course will pay off in the future. Prof. repeated the idea that this class shouldn’t be something to worry about. Just put out our best writing, and revise it as we go for a better grade and a more satisfying writing piece. He also expressed his displeasure with needing to go over the specific types of models of argument, but we still went over the rest of the “Claim Types” document. Using Amanda Smith, a 20 year old who wants to undergo Lasik surgery, we talked about the different types of claims.

    The next part of class took us all the way back to the white paper page under the title “Topics for smaller papers.” And then we moved to the “Model Definition Argument” page. Don’t. Use. The. Dictionary. We went over a model of a definition argument essay that was written about LGBT marriage, and whether it’s constitutional to say that they can’t be married.

    The last page we went to was “Definition (or Categorical) Argument.” We used a person’s peach tree as an example for whether or not something was stealing. We decided that a clear understanding that peaches available after the harvest are good to be taken. We then made it so that the person is no longer a farmer, and then we placed it in different situations. One was bowing over a person’s property, and another was bowing over the sidewalk.

    Class was enjoyable. A little boring in the middle, but I was able to return my attention when it mattered.


    1. Knuckles, you’re thorough, you’re (mostly) attentive, and you’re both consistent and persistent in your Note-taking technique. I’m going to grant you the benefit of the doubt that this style of recording the occurrences in the classroom (as opposed to the content of the class) benefits you in absorbing and retaining the essential information.

      Permission granted to continue with your personal style.


      (Was it you, or was it me, who described the front-loaded workload as “insane”? Just asking)


  9. There are Definition claims, Analogy claims, Categorical claims, Factual claims, Evaluative claim, Ethical/Moral claims, Quantitative/Numerical/Comparative claims, Causal claims, and Recommendation/Proposal claims. Categorical claims and Definition claims can often look similar. Very few claims are factual claims. Many of the claims overlap each other. The “Student Sample” link leads to the list of types of claims. Any hypothesis that has overwhelming data to support it is not worthy of study because it has already been proven multiple times. The more research we do on our topic, the more likely we will be to change our hypothesis. The Classical model, Toulmin model, and Rogerian models were given the appropriate amount of discussion time. Our arguments should be in a calm tone; they are not seeking to throw more fire into a heated argument, instead, they seek to moderate a heated argument. Audience determines what argument the arguer should present. Proposal claims appeal to the pathos (emotions), logos (reason), and ethos (ethics, character, and authority). The dictionary will not provide the definition necessary for a paper; the dictionary changes and the definition that someone seeks for his paper should be his own argumentative definition.


  10. – reviewing claim types.
    – definition/ classification argument.
    – model defintion argument.
    – learned so much!


    1. Good to hear!
      Can’t tell from these notes!
      I’m a big fan, but your note-taking skills give me no confidence!
      Entirely up to you whether you care or not!
      Still a big fan either way!


  11. There are nine different claims that we can utilize and recognize in our assignments and exercises. The Lasik Surgery demonstration explained the claims into further detail using Amanda as an example. The process in which the class is following should make putting they actual portfolio together at the end of the semester very simple. There are no excuses for “not being able to find sources” as one can summarize what they find and then crystallize their thinking to narrow down to a specific claim/theory. The process is about change and improvement. Also, there was a discussion about peach trees and how you would know whether or not you were stealing based on certain situations and how clear the situation was.


    1. PJ, did you attend, or are you reporting what you heard from someone else?

      This is not a serious question. I know you were in the room. However, I’m perplexed by the disembodied voice that narrates these Notes.

      “the demonstration explained”?
      “one can summarize what they find”?
      “there was a discussion”?
      “you would know whether you were stealing”?

      Do you make these rhetorical choices consciously, or do you unknowingly evict yourself from the room? Just curious.



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