Week 6 Discussion Questions

IMPORTANT — I post these questions here, in the Content area of the course, for your convenience and perusal.  You do NOT answer them here, though: you reply to them in the Message Center, where they are also posted. **

Remember:  Post your Message Center Discussion Question answers (200-250 words each

1.  I know this course has been far different from what your experience has been in tradition, face-to-face English classrooms.  Briefly describe some of the differences and similarities between the two approaches.  What aspects of an on-line writing course work best?  Which aspects of the course do you wish we had a ‘real’ classroom to augment?

2.  In Suzanne Britt’s essay “Neat People vs. Sloppy People,” she lists many specific characteristics of both styles.  Which category do you believe that you fit into, based on her criteria?

3.  Sanders’s essay describes ‘warriors and toilers’ as the first two groups of men that he became aware of as a child.  What are the two main groups of women that you first became aware of, and what were the circumstances?  (For me, it would be ‘nurturer’ (my mother) and ‘sage’ (my grandmother).)

Now, I’m also posting Week 7’s Discussion Questions here, well ahead of time, because they are a bit more involved.  (Don’t forget — you will reply to these questions in Week 7’s Message Center.)

Week 7 Discussion Questions (Chapter 10)

To help you with Chapter 10 on Persuasion and Paper 5, following are the most common types of logical fallacies:

a)  slippery slope, in which the arguer states that taking a first step will lead inevitably to an undesirable second step, etc.;

b)  ad hominem, in which one attacks the person, the speaker, rather than the issue;

c)  ad populum, in which an arguer appeals to a belief generally held by the masses without proving that the belief is relevant or true;

d)  hasty generalization, in which one assumes a general principle to be true based on too few instances of the statement actually occurring;

e)  post hoc, in which an author assumes that sequentiality necessarily implies causality;

f)  false dilemma, in which one posits that an either-or choice will result from some course of action, when in reality there will exist many options.

For any article of your choice from this chapter, I want you to

1)  Discover at least four instances (and types) of faulty reasoning.

2)  Come up with at least two reasonable arguments of your own that counter sub-arguments in the essay.

3)  Comment on the use of authority in the article.  Where does the author make reference to outside sources?  Are they reliable?  Are there enough of them?

This should help you avoid making awkward logical mistakes in your own writing (and reasoning) far beyond the boundaries of this class.

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