Exercise 1.5

Write an initial, exploratory 250-word mini essay that answers one question of rhetorical analysis on an index card. First, you will need to write out a question about Margulis and Sagan’s rhetorical decisions (you may use the Rhetorical Situation handout). The more carefully you craft your question the more effective your writing will be when it comes to the essay. Write your name and your question at the top of your index card.  Be sure that it follows a line of inquiry as fully as possible in order to produce an insightful argument about the text. Not all questions lead to insightful arguments, but those questions that propose a rhetorical analysis such as we have practiced in class is likely to lead to insight. Because you are writing it in the context of a course conversation in which others have been considering the same material and questions, it is important to include that knowledge in your writing process and, eventually, your published writing (the final essay). Tip: the best essays focus on a small area of the text, such as one or two passages/ It is much harder, surprisingly, to produce an insightful argument about the whole text in general.

Once you have written your mini essay, exchange it for another’s in a “raffle” and read your peer’s mini essay. Find a line of your peer to quote and on another card respond to the quotation with your own inquiry and analysis. That is, continue asking their question or extend their thinking into another passage of the text. Quote your peer as you would quote any other author by giving context and attributing them to the text (name them). You can add to what your peer wrote by extending or problematizing it.

At home, type up an edited, 250-word version of your in-class writing from either or both index cards and post it using the category Exercise 1.5. Post is due Tuesday by 8pm. 

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