5-17-2017 Lesson Plan

Genre Brainstorm (10-15 min)

Genres are about form and expectation. While never rigid, fulfilling expectations of readers by doing something recognizable and conventional is an important move for gaining attention of a reader. What are all the types of writing you could do for a public audience? We already know of about 4 from what we saw on Monday: a white paper, a brochure, an informative webpage, and a blog post. What other options are there? As many as we can get. What options would be useful for your campaign? What ones do you want to know how to compose? What might be useful for you later, too?

Proposal as Genre (10-15 min)

For 5/22, the Review and Campaign Proposal would fall in the genre of proposal. How do you write this? Like many answers about writing, it depends. However, here are some general tips:


  1. Present the review in a logical manner. Here’s what people have done for this given topic and how they have presented it.
  2. Capture the importance of the problem addressed. Why should the organization care? Why should your target audience care?
  3. Lay out your approach and justify why you are taking that approach.
  4. Why should you, rather than someone else, do this work?



This genre means you are writing “up,” not “across” or “down.” In other words, you are writing to someone who you are relying on to make a decision in your favor. Therefore, you should avoid a tone that could be perceived as condescending. You should go for something humble, grateful, while also being assertive. Striking that balance can be difficult, but using active voice (e.g., “Many writers on this topic believe that…” rather than “It is believed by many writers that”) and lightly praising the organization while offering your plan as an asset to them (e.g., “Habitat for Humanity has always been a great community resource for those struggling to attain affordable housing, and I believe that my plan would be a great asset to your messaging on the realities of  landlords taking advantage of housing shortages to unfairly profit from the poor”).



If you want, feel free to have some graphics. Ask yourself: what part of the story I’m telling can catch attention in a useful way? What would be better served by being visualized? How would I go about doing that?



Remember back to the two white papers we saw on Monday. The Department of Agriculture did not have to worry about catching attention (not to a great extent, at least). This information was sought out by staffers and Congressmen and women. The Urban Land Institute, though, likely had to establish themselves as an organization to be trusted and present their document as appealing and easy to navigate. This is a matter of ethos. Depending on who you are after, you might have to pay more or less attention to design.

Some Guides and Examples on Proposals:




http://www.urop.uci.edu/grants/sample_proposals.html (examples)


Activity: Start to imagine sections of your proposal due for Monday. What would those sections be called? Write a sentence that would belong to each section.


Invention Scaffolding Handout (15-30 min)

Activity: Work on the handout I pass out to help you think through what you’ll be writing about and how.


Document Design Workshop (30-45 min)

Questions to ask in document design:

Is the font readable? Do you vary font sizes where appropriate (e.g., headers vs. body text)?

Is the document navigable? (e.g., appropriate use of headers, pagination, sections, hyperlinks consistently used). If you have headings, do they concisely convey what will come under it?

How does genre and purpose influence you design choices? (e.g., colors in brochures, headers in white papers, layout for a memo, music in audio or video). What design decisions do you need to take seriously on account of the genre you are writing in?

Would any information that you want to convey be better illustrated visually? How so? For what reason (e.g., clarifies what is written, illustrates complex process, summarizes)? Where should that go in the document?

How does your layout direct the reader’s eye?


Programs to use:

Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, Canva, Adobe InDesign ($), Pages


Website builders:

WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Atavis



With 1-2 other people, switch genres for the EPA brochure and the NASA webpage. Try to first think of what the overall purpose is of each document, and what the “hierarchy” of important information might be for each. Then, try to sketch out what the brochure-into-webpage might look like as well as the webpage-into-brochure might look like. Try to retain as much information as you can, only discarding information if you cannot reasonably fit it all for the new genre of writing. Feel free to start a website (without making it public) to craft the webpage, or sketch it out by hand. For the brochure, you can use a website like canva.com or a program on your computer…or, you could sketch this one out by hand, too.

NASA webpage: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

EPA brochure: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/ci-brochure-2014.pdf


Discussion: Why’d you make the choices you did? Let’s compare the mock-ups of each group.


Break (15 min)


Studio Time (30-45 min)

Get to work. Let’s do some writing. I’ll come around to talk with you about your progress.


Rhetoric as a Resource for Professional and Public Communication (30-45 min)

Talk some blog posts, talk some rhetoric, talk some professional and public communication.


Purpose, Memory
-Often times, in order to communicate well, it’s appropriate to state the obvious, namely, declare what that communication seeks to do. Bowdon and Scott underline what they call a purpose statement, and they define said statement in the following way: The purpose statement is the line which “tells readers what the text is intended to do for them.” Without such a statement, readers and hearers alike may be left guessing the communicator’s intent. Explicitness is the fence which keeps an audience out of the bad land of ambiguity. To me, a purpose statement screams clarity and compels the writer or speaker to be fixed on what he cemented in the purpose statement post holes.
-Another rhetoric term that is important is memory. If the audience is able to read and comprehend the piece, all is lost if the audience cannot recall what they read. Many rhetoricians believe there is an inclination of persuasion related to rhetoric. In this case, I would like to convince my target audience of the importance of immunizing newborns for their safety and health. Memory is important so that expecting parents can act upon this issue.
-I get the feeling that younger generations react negatively to being told what to do or how to do it. I have to structure my argument in such a way that the rational text and emotional appeal will evoke action from my audience, rather than simply telling them what to do.
I plan on using social media and possibly brochures to reach my audiences, as stated previously. I will try to engage with this age group more effectively by using viral memes, videos and additional social context. The best way to relate to my audience is to understand how they currently receive news/information and media that they are drawn to.

Logos, Pathos, Ethos
-The best way to use pathos would be to focus on the ineffectiveness of the vouchers and the segregation and inequalities they would create in the education system. Readers would be urged to take action and to contact local policy makers if they are strongly convinced. Bowden and Scott state, though, that excessive use or misuse of pathos can create distrust and alienate audiences. The message I intend to impart on my audience could come off as airy and preachy without reinforcing it with undeniable facts. A way to combat this would be to combine pathos with logos. Logos is another form of persuasion discussed by Aristotle that appeals to the audience’s sense of reason by using well-supported facts. An emotional appeal is strongest when it is based on logic and reasoning. By blending pathos and logos, a writer can weaponize facts to build a strong narrative that audiences are more likely to take to heart. This would require presenting and debating the opposing arguments in a fair, yet critical fashion.

-I will use pathos to appeal to the audience’s emotions and values. I want them to see that everyone deserves the same opportunities, and everyone is capable of achieving anything they want. I will also use logos to appeal to the audience’s sense of reason. I want the audience to realize that women are given less opportunities.

-The appeal of reasoning and logic can be a crucial factor when trying to communicate this argument to the audience. If I could give enough evidence to support claim, I believe that the reasoning and logic of the audience would persuade them into changing the poor water habits and conserve more.


Ethos and building rapport. Comedy Roasts.

Activity: Take some time to reflect on discussion. Start drafting a comment on a classmate’s blog post. Can post now.


Admin (5-15 min)

How to post assignment by Monday.

Bring a printed copy of your Review and Campaign Proposal for Monday.