Basic Web Research and Response

Overview

The purpose of this assignment is to continue your practice with the rhetorical, academic moves you are learning in your textbook, the “They Say, I Say” format, in order to compose a short response to a text. In They Say, I Say, you are learning how to define what others are saying, as well as craft your own response in order to produce academic writing and response. For this essay, you will work on synthesizing your skills in comprehension, analysis, summary/paraphrase/quotation, response, and anticipating objections.

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Furthermore, today’s employers place a lot of value on thinking critically, ethical judgment and integrity, intercultural skills, innovation, and a life-long desire to learn. One way to continue to learn outside of school, get exposure to new ideas, and hone your own position is by regularly reading, viewing, and listening to high quality material, as well as discussing it with others. This assignment will allow you to organize your use of the templates in They Say, I Say, as well as show the progress you are making in the acquisition of academic skills and desirable professional qualities.

Academic Values: Critical Thinking, Critical Analysis, Discourse, Claims Based on Evidence, Close Reading, Basic Web Research

Process

For this assignment, you will locate, analyze, and respond to a review or critical viewpoint related to a television show, podcast, movie, album, video game, social media platform, or other cultural product that you enjoy. You should choose an article that reviews or makes a critical argument about the tv show, movie, podcast, album or cultural product. (Here is an example of the type of article you might analyze about Game of Thrones: “Game of Thrones and the Paradox of Female Beauty
(Links to an external site.)
“.) After reading this assignment, you should start looking for an article on the internet that might interest you. Good examples of publications with thoughtful reviews and analysis include The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.

In order to respond to the text, you must first read it and comprehend the author(s) viewpoint, position, or argument. The first part of your assignment will therefore be an explanation of the author’s position using summary, paraphrase, and perhaps some quotation. The second part of the assignment will be your response, using the concepts you learned in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of They Say, I Say. Your essay will start to bring together and synthesize your growing understanding of the templates in They Say, I Say, and the practice with them we have been doing in this course, as well as introduce basic internet research.

Therefore, on this assignment you will be assessed on comprehension, summary, analysis, understanding of the rhetorical situation, and the logic of your own response. You will also begin to use MLA format in order to design your document and cite your source(s) and practice generating an original title for your essay. Remember, you are not expected to know everything there is to know about academic reading, writing, and rhetoric, but to show that you are building the skills necessary for success in academic and professional contexts. The more practice you have, the better you will become!

Example Student Essay

Assignment Criteria

An essay that “Achieves Excellence” will be distinguished in the following criteria:

The writer explains the author’s ideas, position, and/or point of view using the concepts and methods addressed in Chapters 1-3 of They Say, I Say.
The writer identifies the reasons and/or evidence upon which the author is basing his or her position.
The writer identifies the conclusions drawn by the author.
The writer uses summary, paraphrase, and/or some quotation appropriately in his or her explanation of the text.
The writer responds to the text with his or her position using the concepts and methods addressed in Chapter 4 of They Say, I Say (“Yes/No/Okay, But”).
The writer distinguishes throughout his or her position from that of the author (Chapter 5).
The writer anticipates and responds to potential objections to his or her point of view using the concepts in Chapter 6.
The writer defends and supports his or her position with sound evidence and reasoning.
The writer draws well-supported conclusions about the position taken by the author.
The writer demonstrates reading comprehension, analysis, and critical thinking.
The writer meets the standards for effective communication (clarity, logic, precision, accuracy, significance, and fairness).
The writer adheres to MLA guidelines for formatting, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page.
The essay is 700-900 words and has an original title.

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