Each Monday, I will post a poem/cartoon/essay on my WebPage or hand a copy out in class. Read the assigned text, print it out, and attach it into your journal. Paste the text on the left side of the page and begin your response writing on the right hand side. Each response should be two pages (500 words) handwritten in the journal. Bring the journal to class everyday for occasional in class quick writes. This journal will help you see the progression of your response and in class writing over the course of the semester.
As you read and study the text, ask yourself how is the text making an argument and what is the particular argument it is making.
In poetry, look for argument constructed out of the subject matter (is this a political poem or is the poet writing in response to an event), look at the construction of the poem (form, style, line), at what literary devises the poet is using (metaphor, simile, alliteration). How is the poem presenting its argument to the reader (is it subtle, is it declamatory, is it personal experience, what is the voice)?
In advertising, look at the medium from which the advertisement came (magazine or newspaper) and what readership they are targeting (businessmen, pregnant women, people with pets). How does the ad make an argument? Is it visual, textual, or both. What images are used and what do those images represent? What is the visual look of the text itself? What is the overall image the ad is trying to create and how does that make an argument? What kind of text does the ad use (street lingo, formal language, short sentence structure, sentence fragments, whole paragraphs)?
The above questions are only to get you started thinking. Question, question, question. Once you determine what the argument is and how the author has constructed the argument, ask whether the argument is valid and if you as a consumer or reader buy into their argument.
The journal will be taken up on a sporadic basis to be spot-checked. Therefore, keep up with each week and bring your journal to class everyday. It is worth 150 points for the entire semester. I will deduct points if you do not have your journal in class when I take them up or if you are not up to date. Again, each entry should be approximately 500 words. I will be grading on how well you answer the questions of how the text is making an argument, what that argument is, and whether you believe this argument to be valid.