Bias and Persuasion

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  • The short reading from Friday makes some interesting points about how we perceive each other, language, and the nature of bias. Take some time to reflect on what Cisneros is trying to say in the story.
  • Write for 5-10 minutes, starting with your thoughts on these topics.
  • Try to keep writing without stopping and see where your thoughts lead you.


  • What do we mean by bias?
  • Where do find bias?
  • So how does this relate to your writing?
    • Check the picture at the top of today's plans. It's Zaphod! (Did you picture him this way? What kind of bias did the movie direct have?)
    • How does Zaphod persuade other people to do things? How do his biases affect his argument?
    • Do the characters/narrators in your projects carry bias too?
  • Let's spend the next 10-15 minutes creating a character analysis of the protagonist in your text:
    • Where does (s)he come from?
    • What are his/her discourse communities?
    • Who/what are his/her main influences?
    • What are his/her favorites (food, music, movies, etc.) and what does that tell us about him/her?
    • List anything else that may be significant about your character; think about what they look like, act like, habits, etc.!
  • Once you have created a good "sketch", we'll get into groups and see how the backgrounds of our characters affect someone else!


  • Examine the biases in your project.
  • See how you might be able to change your presentation to utilize bias to your advantage (ask yourself how you are trying to persuade through the biases of your character/s)
  • Study for history!!!