In this class, we will discuss the implicit and explicit claims that writers – like Mike Rose – use to construct their arguments. This unit challenges you to further investigate and interrogate the various claims that Rose makes in his book. At the same time, you will take a stance and respond to the ideas of another author by affirming, challenging, and/or contradicting one of these claims. In other words, you will synthesize – or pull together – various parts of a text into a single, unified argument. Your essay should make meaningful connections between different parts of texts in order to develop an argument about a claim.
Brainstorming, Research, and Analysis:
In Lives on the Boundary, Mike Rose provides stories of his educational experiences both inside and outside of school. Often, these stories may appear to be unrelated to one another. However, for this essay, you will read this text closely and critically in order to understand how these stories work together to develop specific claims about myths within the American education system.
Then, in a 4-5 page paper, construct an argument that affirms, critiques, expands upon, and/or challenges one of these implicit claims. In other words, you will analyze one of Rose’s claims by personally engaging with it in some way, perhaps by comparing it to another text we’ve read in the course, connecting it to current local, state, national or international events, or relating it to your own personal experiences. For example, you could use the examples of Ken Harvey (in chapter 2) and Harold (in chapter 5) to challenge the idea that working hard is the key to social mobility. Regardless of which claim you choose to analyze, you should explain how the specific anecdotes, stories, and other types of evidence in Rose’s text work together to develop this claim.
The goals of this assignment are (1) to synthesize ideas from multiple texts into an original argument and (2) to become conversant with some of the theoretical issues that concern composition scholars and teachers.
The Process and Writing Calendar
Wednesday, September 23 – Friday, September 25 – Conferences (first draft due at your conference)
Tuesday, September 29 – Second draft due (bring two copies)
Thursday, October 1 – Portfolio 1 due (along with the final draft of the Implicit Claims Analysis)
(Subject to change as announced and posted.)
Follows prompt, use approved topic
Clear, focused purpose
Well-written thesis that represents the essay in its entirety
Brief summary of the original text to help the reader(s) understand the topic