Do you think college is fun? What is fun about it? What can we do to make it fun?
Chapter 1 argues that good academic writing responds to what others are saying. What “They Say” is important to include in academic writing and is one way we can include the conversation when we write. The chapter includes templates for introducing standard views, implied or assumed and ongoing debates.
It has become common today to dismiss college as a necessary chore that people must go through in order to get a job.
In her book, Reality is Broken, game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal makes the case for using games to make the world a better place.
Four Defining Traits of a Game
- Goal. The outcome that the players will work to achieve. It focuses attention and gives you a sense of purpose.
- Rules. Limitations on how to achieve the goal. It will unleash creativity and foster strategic thinking.
- Feedback System. Tells players how close they are to achieving their goal. Provides motivation to keep playing.
- Voluntary Participation. Requires that you knowingly accept the goal, rules, and the feedback. You have the freedom to enter and leave the game at will.
With these four ideas in mind, how can we apply this to college?
Is Google making us Stupid? Carr argues that the internet affects our cognitive capacities, diminishing out ability to concentrate and to learn.
Take two minutes and write something to share with the class.
Why does Carr begin with lines from 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Entering the Conversation
The introduction to the textbook, page 1, explains that the book relies on templates to help us do the basic moves of writing. The templates are guides that when used, help us to structure and generate our own writing. We will talk a lot about approaches to writing and how to think about writing, as well as use the templates provided, to help us practice the principles of writing.
It is true, of course, that critical thinking and writing go deeper than any set of linguistic formulas, requiring that you question assumptions, develop strong claims, offer supporting reasons and evidence, consider opposing arguments, and so on. But these deeper habits of thought cannot be put into practice unless you have a language for expressing them in clear, organized ways. (TSIS)
State your own ideas as a response to others. You are just entering a conversation that has been going on for thousands of years. You are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to begin to understand what others have said before and how to find it.
To argue means more than just stating your own position. To argue you need to enter into a conversation with others views. Then you can try to convince others of your position or just to see your position as valid.