The Quote Sandwich

The best way to use research in a paper, or any context really, is to make a quote sandwich. The quote (or paraphrase, piece of evidence, example) should be situated between context and analysis.

Introduce: Where did your quote/paraphrased idea come from? Who said it? A doctor? A lawyer? A love expert? A magazine editor? Your bff? And in what context? What is the conversation surrounding this idea?

Quote/Paraphrase: I think this is self-explanatory. Don’t forget to use proper MLA citations! Even if it’s a letter, you can always edit them out of your real copy, but for class purposes, I will need to know that you know how to do them.

Interpret: How did you understand it when you did a close reading?

Analyze and Connect the Dots: What does this quote mean to your argument or inquiry? What does it add to your discussion? Why is it important? Why does it matter?

Rhetorical Analysis

Using the two articles that you (hopefully) brought to class today, we are going to practice performing rhetorical analysis. Rhetorical analysis is important because it helps you to deconstruct arguments, assess their validity, and also to emulate the author’s craft if you find her or his rhetoric particularly effective. It also looks at the cultural aspects that come into play so that you are no longer simply focused on the simple “yes” or “no,” “for” or “against” debate, but you can actually start to think about why things are they way that they are.

Performing rhetorical analysis isn’t super difficult, but it does take some practice. We’ll start with babysteps.

1. Write a brief one paragraph summary of each article thinking about the 5 Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) and maybe the one H (How?) if necessary.

2. For each piece, think about the rhetorical triangle that you learned a few weeks ago. How do the parts of the rhetorical triangle come into play in each piece? How does the author establish ethos (ethics/credibility/authority), pathos (emotional draw/audience awareness), and logos (rationality/logic/formal textual functions)? Then, consider whether, given the criteria, these arguments are effective or flawed, and how so?

3.In order to effectively be part of a discourse community, you need to learn the language of that community. Go though these two pieces and begin to pull out the key words. What is the language necessary to understand and use to be part of this debate/advocacy plan?

4. This is the most important one. What does the way that these pieces are constructed tell you about the culture surrounding the debate/advocacy plan? What kind of rhetoric is being used, and why? What does that tell us about how these debaters view the society that they must address?

If you’re still confused, Brigham Young University’s Creative Commons offer some additional questions that may help to clarify the foundations of rhetorical analysis:

How to Send an Appropriate Email to Your Professor

So, I’ve been noticing that I get many emails from students that wouldn’t be acceptable to most professors (hey prof, wuzzup?). I’m not so particular about how you address me, as long as it’s respectful and clear, but many people are and will judge you accordingly. They will think that your inattention to Standard English conventions are a sign of either poor education or a lack of respect.

With that said, my former professor and thesis adviser from Montclair State University, Dr. Lee Behlman, wrote a fantastic guide on how to email professors. I recommend that you all give it a read. It’s barely a page long and mostly brief examples.

Give this a read: General Tips on Writing to Professors by Lee Behlman

A silly thing that makes me antsy…

I don’t know why so many students make this error, but I see it over and over again.

writing defiantly when you mean definitely

Definitely means absolutely, clearly, obviously– all those good things. Defiantly means disobediently, going against something. The root word is defy. This is one of those errors that significantly changes the meaning of your sentence.

Spellcheck will not pick up this switch, so when proofreading, stop at every “definitely” to double check.