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4) Online Conference with Student regarding Rhetorical Analysis of a Local History Assignment

[The following is an unedited transcript of a conference between me and a student working on a specific assignment. Each line indicates who is talking. The materials that appear between dotted lines with a name, indicate something from another document that is being pasted for display.]

Welcome to the enCore Web Interface

-- Start log: Sunday, February 14, 1999 9:51:58 pm Old Pueblo MOO time -

dano says, "let's start with your introductory paragraph. I'll paste it here and we'll talk about it (we can do that paragraph by paragraph). Sound okay?"
This essay will discuss and analyze the Biographical Histories in the following exhibit: In the Steps of Estaban: Tucson's African-American Heritage. The main focus will be on the history of Janet Bragg. Janet Bragg was an Affican-American woman who became a nurse. She later got interested in flying, and she had dffficulty getting a commercial pilot's license and admission into the Air Force. Eventually, she did get her pilot license, on the second try. Some of the people written about include: Janet Harmon Bragg
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Andrea says, "So something like: Janet Bragg's history appears in the steps of eEstaban:' and it transmits the values of helping others, community, and accepting other. s.
dano says, " ah, that sounds much better."
Andrea smiles
dano says, "Then you want to integrate that second paragraph info more naturallysomething like this information about briggs was collected as an oral history(you might want to explain what an oral history is in a sentence or two). "
dano says, "the claim you make above, that it transmits values is much better than this sentence in your current draft: "The author(s) write with a position that causes the text to be perceived as"
dano says, "that wording is a bit awkward and passive."
Andrea says, "So maybe in the second paragraph, I should start out with something like: An oral history is histories"
Andrea says, "An oral history is when histories are passed on by word of mouth."
dano says, "yes, that would be good. especially if you are going to talk about how the authors have shaped the oral history to emphasize and transmit (or construct) those values you identify in your thesis. "
Andrea says, "Cool, sounds good!"
dano says, "your example of the flying lesson is good, but you end the paragraph with the claim: This helped to transmit the value of community into Society today. As stated above, other values"
Andrea says, "Should I just take that claim out?"
dano says, "but, when you claim it helped to transmit values, your job in the analysis is to explain how”
Andrea says, "oo,"
dano says, "no, don!t take the claim out, you need it, but you need to develop and explain it. that's the heart of your analysis."
Andrea says, "Don't the examples take care of that, or I guess I should elaborate on them?"
dano says, "it cant be self-evident. what assumptions does it play on in our ideologies right, explain why this example would suggest those things to a reader
dano says, "you say it transmits the value of communityhow so?"
dano says, "what about it specifically suggests the value of community?"
Andrea says, "So, I could say something like: The example that talks babout the flying lessons helps to show the reader these values because within it, people help each other f1fly palanes, and together they put an aitrport together.
dano nods
Andrea says, "All right, this is helping."
dano says, "yeah, that sounds like you are beginning to explain how the text is drawing on what we would identify with in dominant ideology."
dano smiles and is glad.
Andrea Is happy!
dano says, "okay, at the end of the next paragraph about acceptanceyou write: " Janet was finally allowed to get a pilot license- She was finally accepted. "
dano says, "so, in placing that info in the history, or even janet's choice to tell that information, what is being suggested about ideology and change?"
Andrea says, "So I guess I should elaborate on thatit is suggested from theis history tha t societyp's values are finally changing African-Americans, like Janet, are starting to be accepterd.
dano says, "we think of things that we believe as "natural" right. like during racism! s peak, people would say, that's just the way it is but janet challenged that, and it did change. does that suggest that ideologies are socially constructed and they can change, and does that seem like a reason for the article?"
Andrea says, "Oo, so I could say: When Janet was accepted by being allowed to get the license, she proved that the ideology ofof not accepting African-Americans could change if it were challenged."
dano says, "sure, that would be part of it! then you could complicate what you say in the next paragraph, and talk about how the article was created not simply to show what african Americans went through, but to challenge the dominant ideologies, to continue to show that ideological assumptions can be changed. right now you have written:"
This article was produced as part of a U of A web exhibit. It was produced
so that people could easily read it and learn about the African-American
people's heritage in Tucson. The article was significant because it let
people know what the African-American people had to go through.
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dano says, "but i think you can go deeper."
Andrea says, "So I could say: The articlaalso challenged the earlier viesw that African-Americans shouldn't be accepted."
Andrea says, "Hey, this might actaually bring me up to five pages!
Andrea smilses
dano says, "you might indicate that through analysis of janet's experience, we can see ways to continue to challenge assumptions that hold groups of people back. Your conclusion gets a little repetitive; perhaps you could broaden your conclusion to talk about why it might be important that this type of text continues to be written and read since racism continues to be a challenge in
our society and that now the racism isnt nearly so blatant and we need to look at ideologies carefully. etc. "
dano smiles too
dano says, "your writing is best in the spots where you are developing your claim and supporting it with specific examples. Do more of that. Let your intro and conclusion be less regimented and structured and try to integrate the information, context, and broader implications more naturally."
Andrea says, "Okay, this has helped!"
Andrea says, "That's what I like about the Moo!"
dano says, "i'm glad. i think i am going to bump up the due date till friday, so you can let me know if you have more questions."
dano says, "that's what i like about the MOO too."
Andrea says, "You're great!" Andrea smiles from ear to ear
dano thanks you and thinks you are too
Andrea says, "No prob.
dano smiles Andrea says, "Let me just stop the recorder."
dano says, "okay."
-- End log: Sunday, February 14, 1999 10:19:41 pm Old Pueblo MOO time -