Advanced Writing Class notes February 3, 2011. Persuasive essays and debates

Dear Scholars,

This week we started by discussing the vocabulary in the V for Vendetta — verbiage scene which Micah had posted earlier. Then the laptop crashed in the middle and, though it was restored fairly quickly, the online sound feed was restored after about 5 minutes and the screensharing shortly thereafter. The online session is here.

We went over debate topics and did have a spirited debate on the death penalty.


We decided each to choose a side of a debate topic and post material on it, then to present a rebuttal to the position propounded by a classmate. Everyone write on something!

Please post these in the writer’s forum. Please decide and vote on a topic to debate in class next week. Here is a list of proposed debate topics.

I promised to post a formal debate on the death penalty which I had seen on youtube. I have done so. Please watch the formal debate on the death penalty and look for the following things:

  • Note the format: How does the moderator organize the debate. How long do participants have to present their arguments, rebuttals, summations?
  • Note the form that the arguments take. Note that the phrase “I think that…” is not used frequently.
  • Who is most persuasive? What makes his/her argument persuasive?’
  • What kind of preparation had each speaker done?
  • What kind of material was presented unprepared in response to opposing arguments?

As always, pay close attention to the language used.

Please everyone, post debates that you find useful. As I may have to participate next week, taking whichever side is underrepresented, do we have a volunteer to moderate the debate? Please pay close attention to the layout and format of the video debates. We will adjust them to fit our time constraints.

Added Classroom Resources. Please look at these:
On The King’s Speech: Churchill Didn’t Say That

Common Errors in English Usage

V for Vendetta — verbiage scene

Using English for Academic Purposes

The King’s English (online text)

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