Reflect on the writing process for your first essay. Answer these questions:
- What did you do well in your essay?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your essay?
- Where did you struggle, if at all?
Intro to Report
Reports are as diverse as all the classes you will take. You can write a report on a lab experiment, conduct interviews and assemble into a report, and even research a topic and publish it for the benefit of everyone.
Reports are a genre that you may be familiar with but not know it. Reports are what we have done since elementary school. Reports are produced by government organizations, websites, companies, universities, and even individual students like yourselves. A report can answer a question, explore a topic, review what is already known about a subject, or report new knowledge, to name a few.
There are a few qualities that a report usually has:
- Presents information
- Uses reliable sources
- Aims for objectivity
- Information is clear and well structured
For this assignment, I want you to choose a topic that interests you and you want to learn more about. It can be related to your major, future or current career, something you are familiar with, or something you want to know more about.
You can research a problem that you want to know more about.
We will learn to research the library databases in order to find reliable sources of information.
Subgenres of Report
The report can be in any style or format that you think best suits it. If you choose to do a PowerPoint, that is your report. You do not need to write a separate report, the PowerPoint should have all the information on it. Here is a list of possible choices:
- Research Report –What it takes to be a teacher
- PowerPoint – Mexican-American Report
- Wikipedia style entry
- Featured Article in Newspaper
- Other, cleared by Professor
Grossman “From Scroll to Screen”
From Scroll to Screen by Lev Grossman was first published in the New York Times.
What is Grossman’s report about? What is his purpose?
Does this sound like an argument or a thesis?
How is he organizing the information?
The Unending Conversation
The metaphor of the unending conversation. What we are studying now, has a long history. People have been writing and researching about everything.
For example, the conversation on how to speak well goes back a couple thousand years to Aristotle, Plato, and others that came before.
Everything you will write about from now on, needs to be based in a conversation. A scholarly one, a scientific one, a popular one. To know what has been said before, you need to read and research.
Burke’s “Unending Conversation” Metaphor
Kenneth Burke writes:
Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally’s assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress.
Conversation and Report
How is the conversation connected to a report?
Let us brainstorm some ideas. We first need to choose a topic to write about.
- Build from lists
- Mapping ideas
- Memory Prompts
- Search online for ideas
Come up with at least two ideas that you want to write about. They can be general now, they will become more focused as you begin the research.
Chapter 8 “As A Result”
Chapter 8 covers transitions and connecting the parts of your essay. In groups, summarize each section of the reading and tell us what we need to know, remember, and how we can use it to revise our essay.
You will teach us each section. You have 7 minutes to bring it together.
What two topics are you considering for your report? List the topics you came up with in class.
- Chapter 5 (“And Yet”: Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say)
- RADLEY BALKO, “What You Eat Is Your Business” [p. 651] JOURNAL 8
- DAVID H. FREEDMAN, “How Junk Food Can End Obesity” [p. 681]