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Public Argument (PA) (computer games)

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Essay 3: Public Argument (PA)
Now that you have thoroughly and carefully researched an issue of your choosing and written an analysis of that issue, you are ready to take your place among those who have argued on this issue and make your own argument. Based on the research you have done, you now may choose an aspect of the issue to argue.
In this UNIT you must follow 3 stages:
1. Decide on what argument you want to make, choose a multimodal genre and an audience
2. Write a rhetorical situation analysis
3. Design your multimodal genre (or public argument)
4. Present your public argument
1. Decide on what argument you want to make, choose a multimodal genre and an audience
Choose an argument: Of the different arguments you found in your CA research, take a side and do your best to convince your audience that your argument is credible.
Choose a multimodal genre: The form of your argument should be designed in the form of a multimodal text, based on the following options:
• A commercial or mini documentary to be shown in class and possibly posted on the internet (e.g. you tube). The length will depend on your genre. For instance, commercials are usually short -around 3 minutes, whereas documentaries tend to be longer. I don’t want to restrict this very much, so make sure that you develop a strong argument; however don’t go beyond 5 minutes.
• An article meant for publication in a particular journal or magazine offline or online on a blog, wiki, or website of your choosing.
• An electronic poster that combines image and written language, even sound if you design an electronic poster.
Choose an audience: No matter which form you choose for your argument, you will need to include some of the sources you discovered for your Controversy Analysis, and you must designate a particular audience and purpose for your argument. If you choose a publication in a general-interest newspaper or magazine, you must narrow your audience to a particular segment of that readership. Under no circumstances may you designate “general audience” as your audience. Part of the challenge of this assignment is to design a piece of text to appeal to a particular group of people, and a “general audience” will not prompt you to do that; hence you would not have fulfilled one of the important criteria for the assignment.
2. Write a rhetorical situation analysis
The rhetorical situation analysis is a short paper of around 1000 words in which you will
explain in detail the rhetorical situation of your multimodal text. Think of this paper as a manual for someone to understand what composes your multimodal text (public argument) and what strategies, devices and materials you used to convince your audience of your argument.
The rhetorical situation analysis must include the following:
• Describe the audience you are targeting.
• Explain the particular characteristics of this audience that determine what their expectations of your argument will be and any biases/beliefs/assumptions you will need to address.
• What is your specific purpose? What is the type of argument that you intend to develop? What is your main claim? What reasons and evidence will you employ to build your PA? (see WPL, chapt.17).
• Explain how you attempt to appeal to this audience in your argument. Refer to how the genre you chose will contribute to this. Additionally, establish how you will use rhetorical strategies such as ethos, pathos, logos. What techniques (strategies) will you use? For instance: what introduction strategy will you use? How (in what order) will you develop your claims? What concluding strategy/technique will you use? (see WPL, chapt.17). Depending on your genre, (multimodal: visual-spatial; electronic…) what techniques will you use to support any intended meaning?
• How will you achieve visual coherence, visual salience, visual organization, and visual impact? (see chapter 16)
• Write a conclusion to your rhetorical situation analysis.
Think about what is effective communication based on what we have learned during the semester. Use this knowledge to make an argument that will be effective for your chosen audience. Also, consider how your research for the Controversy Analysis essay helped you to become knowledgeable about your issue; use this knowledge to give you authority and credibility. YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE TOPIC YOU WROTE ABOUT FOR YOUR CONTROVERSY ANALYSIS. But you don’t necessarily have to remain within the boundaries of what you presented in your CA; you can focus on one aspect of it or include more resources and claims.
3. Design your multimodal genre (or public argument)
Once you have written your rhetorical situation analysis, you need to design your multimodal argument. Most of the times, though, both stages happen at the same time. I will provide you with some readings or materials about how to design visual texts, websites, videos and so on.
4. Present your public argument
You will have ten minutes to present. First you will present, play, or show your PA text and then you will explain your process of putting it together. You must be ready to answer questions from the audience. You should have a reason for any choice you made in the creation or elaboration of your PA text.
About attendance and participation in the presentations:
The grade assigned to your presentation comprises both your performance during the presentation and your behavior and participation as a member of the audience (no cellphone, laptops, getting out/in of the classroom, etc.) when others are presenting. You will be docked 5 points per absence you accumulate during the period of presentations and you will be given 5 points for actively participating during the presentations by adding comments or asking questions.
You must use MLA documentation format to document your sources (images, music, etc.).
The time frame for the Public Argument is fairly short, given that you have already done the research and are now mainly writing your argument. Note the following due dates:
• First draft of rhetorical situation analysis: Nov. 17. Upload to Discussion Forum
• Second draft of rhetorical situation analysis and PA: Nov. 21. Bring hard copy and upload to Dropbox.
• Third draft Rhetorical situation analysis and PA: April 21. Upload to Discussion Forum.
• Due day of Rhetorical situation analysis: you will submit this paper the day of your presentation. Bring a hard copy to class and upload your paper as well as the PA text to the Dropbox. You will lose points if you don’t bring the hard copy to class that day.
• Presentations will begin on Nov. 24.
Grading: Percentage of Course Grade: 25%
Rhetorical situation analysis 50%
Presentation, attendance and participation: 50%

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