• Feb. 9: Open Mic Poetry Reading: The Mary & Jeff Bell Library will be hosting an open mic poetry reading on the second floor across from Special Collections on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6-7:30 p.m. Students will read poems by black authors as well as their own original works. For more information, contact Dr. Andrea Montolvo-Hamid ext. 6084; or email
  • Remember the Rough Draft for the Critical Analysis is Due on Friday


WP1 - The Critical Analysis

A couple of students stayed after class on Tuesday to ask a few questions about Writing Project 1 - The Critical Analysis. They asked if they should be taking a stand by choosing one of the historical figures from Ch. 2 and make an argument about this historical figure?

The answer to this question is NO!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, you might ask, then, what are we doing with the Critical Analysis?

The answer to this is that you are focusing on a particular piece of writing --the primary source document that you chose from Ch. 2 in Contending Voices and analyzing how that piece of writing is situated in a particular rhetorical situation. This means you will examine the relationships that existed between the following:

  • the historical and social context -where, when, what, why, who, and how
  • the exigence (the reason or issue or cause that caused the author to write)
  • the author's purpose for writing
  • the way the author tried to convince the audience
    • Ethos
    • Pathos
    • Logos
    • and other ways --- such as repetition or calling upon God.
  • the audience

The idea to remember here about all these different terms in the rhetorical situation listed above here is RELATIONSHIP and Context (both historical and social).

  • Berkeley, Bacon, the Frontiersman, the Indians, the King in England, the townspeople of Jamestown all lived and existed in a particular context that shaped the way they saw the world and the way they responded to the events in their lives. It definitely shaped the way they wrote.

Your goal in the Critical Analysis is to demonstrate how the primary source document (the one you chose from Ch. 2) functioned as a part of that particular historical setting.

In doing this, you should begin to get a better understanding that WRITING IS A SOCIAL AND RHETORICAL ACTIVITY! Remember that like Bacon and Berkeley, YOU are a writer, writing in a particular rhetorical situation. Just like Bacon and Berkeley, you are responding to an exigence. You are writing with particular purpose, and you have your own set of motivations and experiences that propel you forward. You have a particular audience. Just like them, you and your writing are embedded in a particular time and place.

In sum, like Berkeley and Bacon, you and your writing are part of a RHETORICAL SITUATION.

Textual Evidence Activity

Let's Discuss Lamott and What She Has To Say About the Writing Process

  • What are some key points that Lamott makes about the Writing Process?
  • According to Lamott, what are some problems that writers encounter when they sit down to write. Please find some textual evidence.
  • Lamott names several different kinds of drafts in this piece. What are they? (at least 5 different ones)

Homework for Friday

Shitty First Draft of the Critical Analysis is due in Blackboard by the end of the day in Blackboard on Friday.

  • This draft should be a full draft ---- aim to get 4 pages of material. Here are the basics things that we will looking at and offering you feedback on:
  • The Introduction and the Thesis
  • Historical Context
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • MLA style and documentation -citing sources

Homework due for Monday

In preparation for an Exam I Activity that we are going to do, you will need to turn in some Shitty First Drafts for all 4 Exam questions to Blackboard.

  • We will be using most of the class period to focus on Test prep for History. We will focus on Question 3.

Religion played a major role in colonial America, as exemplified in the Puritan experiment in 17th century Massachusetts and the disputes between advocates of the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment in the 18th century. Why did Puritans come to the New World, and how did they seek to establish a “Land of Prophets”? Were there any challenges to the Puritan system? How did John Edwards’ Great Awakening differ from Benjamin Franklin’s Enlightenment? Use the lectures, the Give Me Liberty! textbook, and the essay on Edwards and Franklin to write a complete answer.