Chico ENGL 232 - Rhetorical types (4 pages)

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Rhetorical types



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Rhetorical types

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Pages:
4
School:
California State University, Chico
Course:
Engl 232 - Second Language Acquisition
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Rhetorical types In reading a second or third language it is extremely important to be aware of how paragraphs and articles are structured Once our students are intermediate or advanced they are ready to learn something about the structure of paragraphs and essays Why There are two reasons First it improves their overall reading strategies and thus their comprehension It helps enormously when reading to get the general meaning of a paragraph even when some of the details are not clear Second when they later begin to do their own writing it helps their organization because the notions of paragraph and essay structure are already familiar making the transition from reading such material to writing such material all that much easier Sometimes the students learn about paragraph and article structure from an exercise that focuses on it For example the reading The pet dog focuses in part on how a newspaper article is organized Similarly the reading using Bertrand Russell s speech What I Have Lived For focuses in part on essay organization Sometimes the students awareness of the structure can come from having them outline a particularly well organized reading And sometimes it comes just from having had the teacher point it out often enough when it is present in a piece that the students are reading One obvious source for examples of well organized paragraphs and essays are nature and science books In these books the organization is often extremely clear and these make excellent intermediate and advanced readings Another source are older composition textbooks in which the authors illustrate different rhetorical types by using examples from outstanding writers Many times these paragraphs need adaptation but these short passages not only make excellent advanced readings but also are a good way to illustrate paragraph and essay organization One nal source but a source of mixed quality are the countless composition textbooks found largely unused on many of our own bookshelves If the model paragraphs have been written by the authors themselves use them only with great caution About half of these are both badly written and extremely boring If these bore us to tears they are completely useless in the classroom The other half however includes many useful and interesting paragraphs and model essays usually taken from authentic sources in which the organization is clear and which are interesting to read There are many ways of making students aware of paragraph and essay organization but one way is by using strips stories For example with Bertrand Russell s ve paragraph essay What I Have Lived For cut the title off Then cut the essay into the ve paragraphs Divide the class into pairs and hand out all ve paragraphs to each pair of students Tell them to nd out the correct organization of the paragraphs For this essay it should be relatively easy Tell the students to be prepared to justify their organization as knowing why one particular answer is right is than more important than the answer itself Two selections this time paragraphs not essays ready to be organized are given below Remember that each of these is a single paragraph with a topic sentence plus supporting sections that occur in a certain order The titles did not come with the original paragraphs The titles have been placed at the beginning of each paragraph to let the readers know what to expect in the paragraph assuming that they pay attention to the title something that usually depends on whether they have been taught to or not Graham Thurgood English 232 120 The rst is a paragraph from Rachel Carson s The Sea Around Us It has been edited quite a bit to make it more readable for intermediate readers Notice that even if the reader does not understand every word it is still quite possible to nd the basic organization Occasionally in fact students have developed the false belief that it is not possible to read a passage for basic understanding unless they know each and every word this paragraph is a good example of one in which the organization is clear without every word necessarily being understood Rachel Carson s paragraph The Whales starts with her topic sentence which summarizes the paragraph and outlines its organization by dividing the world s whales into three groups the plankton eaters the sh eaters and the squid eaters Next each kind of whale is discussed beginning with the rst kind mentioned in the topic sentence followed by the second kind mentioned in the topic sentence and ending with the last kind mentioned in the topic sentence The James Thurber paragraph Courtship serves two purposes it amuses us as it makes fun of human behavior and it illustrates the use of problem solution organization Again this paragraph has been edited to make it easier to read The arrangement is a problem solution organization The rst section states the problem the courtship problems faced by the male ddler crab The next three sentences discusses a solution that would not work that is this section points out that the male ddler crab cannot solve his courtship problem by behaving like a cave man The next section discusses the solution that the male ddler crab has chosen And the next to last section evaluates how successful this solution is Finally Thurber concludes by generalizing about the courtship problems of all species This essay is unusual both because of Thurber s writing skill and because of his sense of humor but the organization is quite typical state a problem optional discuss consequences optional discuss solutions that do not work well present the writer s solution evaluate the solution just presented This type of presentation is extremely common in television commercials Take a mouthwash commercial for example The problem is bad breath with its consequence no social life The solution of course is to use Brand X mouthwash Graham Thurgood English 232 121 Instructions Cut the following paper up into six parts a title plus ve sections The title and the ve sections are part of one paragraph Figure out the correct way to organize the paragraph and put your ve sections in the right order Courtship As in the case of the males of all species however he gets out of bed next morning splashes some water on his face and tries again By nightfall on an average courting day a ddler crab who has been standing on tiptoe for eight or ten hours waving a heavy claw in the air is in pretty tired and discouraged He has one enormously large and powerful claw


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