INSTRUCTOR  Owen M. Williamson, MA  


In case of absence, or if class is ever cancelled due to circumstances beyond Instructor control, students are still expected to complete and submit all assignments shown on this Calendar page if possible.

Week 11--Nov. 2-6, 2015

UPDATED Lesson Plans


Each half of the Writing Group will write their own persuasive arguments with warrants and evidence strongly supporting their own side of the issue. At this initial stage no antithesis or refutation is needed. A draft of this part of the Final Report is due Monday, Nov. 2 at the beginning of class.

\ In class exercise: Briefly respond to "Working Alone:"  How does this apply to you, personally? Are you a member of a "rich club?"

Written exercise


It has been a pretty good semester and you are passing all your courses, though it still depends on how you do on your finals. You arrive home late from studying at the Library on the day before finals week and receive the sad news that an elderly family member of yours who lives on the West Coast (or in Chihuahua City, or some other distant place) and who you have never met has suffered a devastating stroke and is in a coma. She is not expected to live. You learn that earlier today your uncle in Houston has just quit his $45,000 a year job and he will be coming through El Paso in an hour or so in his van to pick up the entire family and then head out for the vigil at the bedside. 

Everyone in the house is madly rushing around packing suitcases. When they see you they yell at you to toss your books somewhere in a corner  and to for heaven's sake hurry up and pack your best black suit or dress and a duffle bag with enough clothes for a week or two.  None of your professors offers "incomplete" grades if you miss the final, and you realize that if you leave now you will almost certainly fail all your courses for the semester.

Your task: If you decide to go, write a persuasive letter to one of your professors, explaining the reasoning behind your decision to fail all your courses. If you decide not to go, write a persuasive letter to your family explaining the reasoning why you are breaking their hearts and (according to them) disrespecting your relative and betraying the whole family.  Either way, use lots of pathos in your letter.


Peer leader "great" presentation on how to do Public Speaking, based on Gosling and Noordam's "Giving a Great Presentation."

Discuss Weekly Exercise Assignment #10:

Weekly Argument Assignment: Read Kennedy (click for link), 115-117 and 213-217 and Then, find a brief statement from someone famous (living or dead), with something that strongly supports your standpoint. Finally, in two paragraphs, explain, arguing primarily from ethos, why your reader should follow what this famous person said or wrote. 

Read Kennedy (click for link), 115-117 and 213-217.




Resource on Vituperation: Attack Ads on first day of campaign. FSPA website.


Tentative: Practice 6-part Ciceronian argument exercise:

In cases of grave social injustice, should you, personally, be ready to follow the example of Thelma White? (Yes or no.)



Adapted for undergraduate use from:

Learning the Ropes of Peer Reviewing

By Elisabeth Pain


Reviewing classmates’ manuscripts means applying your critical skills to research that's often cutting-edge. It also exposes you to new knowledge. Either or both of these experiences can lead to new ideas and new approaches to your own work. Reviewing other people's manuscripts may also help you improve your own writing and scholarly skills.

Experts recommend reading the whole manuscript once to get a general impression of how it reads and whether it makes sense. At this stage, you're looking for major flaws and missing information. Next, look at the paper in more detail. You have to use your knowledge of the field and judge the originality and the basic design of the study. Identify any claims or arguments that are not supported by the data, have alternative explanations, or could be presented better.

A good review should offer some specific, concrete, and opinionated comments,  Be thorough and constructive. Whether you found the article good or bad, you need to detail why, referring to how appropriate the study design or the methodology is, for example.


Always support your own points with sound evidence and arguments. It's also a good idea to write your comments down in a numbered list, clearly marking which changes are major and badly needed, or minor and optional. That makes it easier for the author to respond and for the Instructor to affirm or reject your suggestions.




 For educational purposes only.

Owen M. Williamson - Education Bldg 211E - phone: (915) 747 7625 - fax: (915) 747 5655
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
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