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WORKSHOPPING ARGUMENT PAPERS ___________________________________________________________________________ Workshopping your argument project will be much like the research workshop. Begin by pointing, providing saybacks, then move to on the edge moments. In addition, keep your eye out for other “argument” related issues. 1) Point to a minimum of two strong moments in your peers' paper AND explain WHY the moment resonates. 2) Then look for the following traits in peer papers (and be sure you’ve included them in your own). Feel free to use the grid on page 6 to help guide your comments to peers. 1) make sure to open with a clear/strong CLAIM that drives the argument 2) provide clear connections between research/quotes and how this evidence supports the CLAIM the argument is making 3) introduce experts (if you are quoting someone as an expert, be sure the audience knows “why” they are considered an expert) 4) KEEP away from FIRST PERSON uses of “I” unless there is a reason that you are an expert on the topic. If so, be sure to introduce why you are the expert. (Life experience, profession, etc.) 5) break statistics down to show the audience practical applications. If 33% of Americans support funding for the World Health Organization to end poverty, it might be better to say "one in three Americans". If a satellite were orbiting at 6,520,800 feet, you could say it was 1,235 miles or the distance from Columbus to Houston. 6) avoid fallacies within the paper [i.e. use strong, appropriate logic—preferably both inductive and deductive] and be sure to let a peer know if she or he has fallen prey to a fallacy so that it can be edited 7) review your comparison/contrast moment. Did you use a block or alternating style to explore the issues? Was this format the best way to reinforce our argument? 8) close with a call to action—what should the audience do as a result of the argument made? (do more research prior to getting surgery? become active in a local club for children with hearing loss? write a letter to the school board about the need for internet access after hours in the local high school library?) ________________________________________________________________________ 1
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SUGGESTIONS FOR PEER WORKSHOPS Workshops are not simply group discussions where members exchange personal opinions or share personal experiences. Instead, workshops are meant to offer a focused exploration of a member's project with the learning community responding to the information and building on each other's thoughts. Discussions usually should be limited to the project being workshopped and comments should always be tactfully presented and probing questions voiced.
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