discussion questions 649

Your Unit 2 assigned essay readings are from chapter 14 – “Who Are You And What Are You Doing Here?” by Mark Edmundson on page 405 of your textbook and “How Big Time Sports Ate College Life” by Laura Pappano beginning on page 416.

Prompt 1

Effective academic writers know how to summarize. In this prompt, use Greene and Lidinsky’s categories to practice summarizing one of the assigned articles from Ch. 14. Create a post that does all of the following:

Describe the key claims of the text. To understand the shape and direction of the argument, study how paragraphs begin and end, and pay attention to the author’s point of view and use of transitions. Then combine what you have learned into a few sentences describing the key claims.

Select a representative quotation to illustrate the author’s argument. Find one quotation that illustrates the “flavor” of the article, and that illustrates the author’s most important ideas.

Present the gist of the author’s argument. Describe the author’s central idea in your own language with an eye to where you expect your argument to go. (Hint: to ensure that you are using your own language, try to present the argument in a different order than the writer does. In other words, don’t try to summarize paragraph by paragraph. Instead, try to explain his position as simply and clearly as you can.)

Contextualize what you summarize. Cue your readers into the conversation. Who is the author? Where and when did the text appear? Why was the author writing? Who else is in the conversation?

Your post for this prompt should be about 150-200 words, and should include in-text citations for any quotations or paraphrases.

Prompt 2

As you learned in this week’s lecture, academic writing can be thought of as a conversation. (Remember Burke’s metaphor of the parlor?) After reading the assigned articles from Ch. 14, how would you describe the conversation of ideas these articles are a part of? What is the subject of this “parlor”? If you were to make a contribution to this conversation, what you say?

Your post for this prompt should be about 100-200 words, and should include in-text citations for any quoted or paraphrased material.

Follow-up posts

In your follow-up posts this unit, comment on a classmate’s post by offering an alternative perspective, asking questions, pointing out something you noticed about their post. Imagine you are in Burke’s parlor — add your voice to the conversation!