Monsoon: Winds of Culture

By Jennifer Cha

Instructor Resources

Multimedia Evaluation Argument (Prof Clauss)

For this essay, you'll define and evaluate a specific thing of your choice: yourself (as a friend? or a student? or a teammate?); your father; your favorite restaurant; your high school; your favorite elementary school teacher; the best or worst coach you've ever had, etc. (There are many possible topics, so don't hesitate to ask me if you need help or would like suggestions.)

Experience has shown me that the best evaluation arguments for this assignment deal with a tangible topic: a real place, a real person, etc. Do not plan to write a book review, a movie review, etc. Let's talk if you're confused or have questions. One of your primary goals is to demonstrate that your topic is "major claim/minor claims."

In addition to handing in a paper copy of this argument, you'll also submit the argument in an additional medium: a recording of yourself reading your essay. There, you're free to add sound effects, music, etc. (I'll read and grade papers while listening to the audio, so the words on the page need to match the words I hear.) Do you know how to use Audacity, Garage Band, or a similar program? We'll have time in class for some hands-on practice.

Note that this assignment, and its component parts, has two separate submission deadlines:

First, about one-third of the way into the semester, you will submit two arguments: one, the written version, as a Word document, of the Evaluation Argument; two, the accompanying audio version, as an .mp3 or a .wav file. (This is the recording of you reading your essay, with optional sound effects, music, etc.)

Then, at the end of the semester, you will submit revisions of both assignments: the revised written version, as a Word document, of the Evaluation Argument; and the revised accompanying audio version, as an .mp3 (preferred) or a .wav file.

Other Relevant Criteria:

Points Possible: 0-84 for the written argument; 0-36 for the audio argument

Lengths: The written argument will be 4-6 full, typed, double-spaced pages. The written argument's length will affect the length of the audio version, which will vary from student to student.

See handouts and/or student samples for examples of the correct format for the written argument.

Highlighted Criteria: data/evidence (specific information, reasons, examples, etc.); major and minor claims; transitions; organization; clarity; originality; and creativity

No outside sources are to be used. You need to be familiar enough with the topic to construct and support your own claims. If you feel you need to include information from someone (a friend, for instance) or somewhere (a website, for instance), talk to me early in your process. Do not hand in a paper with information from somewhere else without checking with me.

You can definitely use "I" in this assignment.

We will talk in class about writing focused, unified claims; offering specific, relevant evidence; and using "signposts" to move readers through your work in a smooth fashion. So, pay particular attention to these areas as you write and revise your essay.

We will also discuss techniques for creating and recording your audio argument, listening to samples as well.