6 Assignments and Activities


After students have read 1-2 pieces about argumentation, focusing on the moves typically found in academic arguments, put them into groups of about five students. For homework, have them find and prepare to present on a college student-written newspaper article from any college or university publication. In the following class meeting (or perhaps a week later), each student group should explain to the whole class the author’s argument and critique it based on the argumentation components that they already read about. Each student group should turn in a copy of the newspaper article and an original one-page summary of the group’s explanation and critique. The various student presentations could take nearly an entire class meeting if your class meets twice a week. Do emphasize beforehand that you expect every member of each group to speak, to contribute something to the oral presentations. – Nathan Shepley



Social Media Addiction, a 30-minute documentary film from 2015 and accessible through the database Kanopy (MD Anderson Library). To prepare to write an evaluation argument, my students watched this film, took notes on specific ways in which the documentary creators made their case about social media, and then examined possible thesis statements (from me) that either could or could not be supported by the film. Warning: parts of the film touch on traumatic issues like suicide. So consider giving your students a trigger warning and/or let them view part or all of the film on their own. You could assign an alternative film if anyone likes. – Nathan Shepley

How to Use this Resource: Several weeks before you plan to use the documentary, check the Kanopy database to make sure we still have access to it (streaming media titles in Kanopy are licensed for a 1-year period). If we do not have access, you will be prompted to complete a request form. Allow several weeks for processing time.


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Open Educational Resources Guide for English Copyright © 2020 by Nathan Shepley and Ariana Santiago is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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