Wokrshop # 5 — PSAs

10 Nov

Public service announcements. You’ve heard them before– on the radio, on the television, on Facebook ads. They are a great way to help advocate causes ranging from education reform to disease research to humanitarian philanthropies. These are some examples:

“This is your brain on drugs”

The Trevor Project — It Gets Better Campaign

Art is Education

UK texting and driving PSA

In class today, you will be scripting your own 1 minute PSA, which will be either in video or audio form. For homework tonight, you will record your PSA and post it to your blog.

Here’s a tutorial video on how to upload videos to WordPress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW58S9zwq-E (It’s a similar strategy for audio).


Workshop # 4 — Working with Research

9 Nov

At this point, you should have completed 3 research journals, which means you should have a nice pool of resources from which you may draw information. I want you to pick the most interesting or useful one to work with for this workshop.

From the piece you have chosen, I want you to chose the best line or idea (quote or paraphrase) and write it down.

Now, we’ll follow the basic steps for using outside information in a paper:

Introduce: Where did your quote/paraphrased idea come from? Who said it? A doctor? A lawyer? A love expert? A magazine editor? Your bff? And in what context? What is the conversation surrounding this idea?

Quote/Paraphrase: I think this is self-explanatory. Don’t forget to use proper MLA citations! Even if it’s a letter, you can always edit them out of your real copy, but for class purposes, I will need to know that you know how to do them.

Interpret: What does this quote/paraphrased idea mean to you?

Analyze and Connect the Dots: What does this quote mean to your argument or inquiry? What does it add to your discussion? Why is it important? Why does it matter?


Now for the next part, you will find one additional source for a research journal. This source must be found in the library databases.


When you’re finished, you should begin to incorporate these sources into your next draft (which is due tomorrow).

Workshop # 3: Modest Proposal

3 Nov

from ChristianAlsis.blogspot.com -- This is what happens when you don't pay attention to what you read.


For today, you read Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” followed by a current day “Modest Proposal.” Now, it’s your turn to try your hand at satire. Thinking about the strategies Swift uses, create your own “modest proposal” for a resolution to your issue.

Post these to your blogs.


Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

Daniel L.’s “A Modest Proposal”: http://www.teenink.com/opinion/current_events_politics/article/177025/A-Modest-Proposal-For-Preventing-Mexican-Illegal-Immigrants-Entering-the-US-through-the-Southern-/

Updated Writing as Activism Unit Calendar

2 Nov

The Calendar of Due Dates

Thursday, October 20 — Proposals

Wednesday, October 26 — Research Journals # 1 & 2

Thursday, October 27 — Music Read & Tweet

Wednesday, November 2 — 1st Draft posted to Blackboard Discussion Board

Thursday, November 3 — “A Modest Proposal” Read & Tweet

Wednesday, November 9 — Resarch Journal # 3; Reading TBA

Thursday, November 10 — 2nd Draft

Wednesday, November 16 — Create, record, & upload a 1 minute PSA (public service announcement) about your issue (Think “this is your brain on drugs” ad) It may be a video recording or an audio-only recording. It should be posted on your blog.

Thursday, November 17 — Reading TBA

NO CLASS Wednesday, November 23 and Thursday, November 24– HAPPY THANKSGIVING :)

Wednesday, November 30 — Final Drafts & Presentations


Thursday, December 1 — Portfolio workshop & End of the semester activities

Wednesday, December 7 — Final Class Meeting — Portfolio workshop & End of the year party (bring food, music, etc.)

Workshop: RAFTOR & The Highlights

2 Nov

On Thursday, you create a soundtrack to your project. Go through your soundtrack and make a list of the themes/concepts/ideas about your issue that you were trying to highlight through your song choices and album organization.

RAFTOR is an acronym for the basic components of the rhetorical situation. Thinking about these concepts often helps to make for a stronger text.








Give your paper to a partner to read. Partners should:

1. Identify what they believed the highlights were.

2. Try to identify the RAFTOR components.

3. Give ideas for expansion. What do you want to know more about in your partners paper?

4. Pick one other tip for improvement.


Switch papers back. See whether you came up with the same highlights and RAFTOR components. If you did, then great, you’re on the right track! If you didn’t, was there miscommunication that needs to be addessed in later drafts, or was it simply that they saw more in your paper than you did?


The Soundtrack to Your Project

27 Oct

We listened to some artists today that use their music as a form of activism. Now, I challenge you to do the same. You have two options:

  1. Create a 6+ song soundtrack to your topic. Write an explanation for your decisions. Why did you choose each song? Why did you put them in the order that you have put them in?
  2. Find a song that already exists and rewrite the lyrics to match your topic You don’t have to keep any of the original lyrics. You may also choose an instrumental song. The idea is to have a rhythm to work with and to think about tone. Do you want a happy song? A sad song? An angry song? A slow song? A fast song? Which best conveys your message?

Music: Eminem’s “Like Toy Soldiers”

26 Oct


Step by step, heart to heart, left right left

We all fall down…



Step by step, heart to heart, left right left

We all fall down like toy soldiers

Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win

But the battle wages on for toy soldiers


[Verse 1]

I’m supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure

Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders

I ain’t never supposed to show it, my crew ain’t supposed to know it

Even if it means goin’ toe to toe with a Benzino it don’t matter

I’d never drag them in battles that I can handle unless I absolutely have to

I’m supposed to set an example

I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide ’em

If some shit ever does pop off, I’m supposed to be beside ’em

That Ja shit I tried to squash it, it was too late to stop it

There’s a certain line you just don’t cross and he crossed it

I heard him say Hailie’s name on a song and I just lost it

It was crazy, this shit went way beyond some Jay-z and Nas shit

And even though the battle was won, I feel like we lost it

I spent too much energy on it, honestly I’m exhausted

And I’m so caught in it I almost feel I’m the one who caused it

This ain’t what I’m in hip-hop for, it’s not why I got in it

That was never my object for someone to get killed

Why would I wanna destroy something I help build

It wasn’t my intentions, my intentions was good

I went through my whole career without ever mentionin’ Suge

And that was just out of respect for not runnin’ my mouth

And talkin’ about something that I knew nothing about

Plus Dre told me stay out, this just wasn’t my beef

So I did, I just fell back, watched and gritted my teeth

While he’s all over t.v. down talkin’ a man who literally saved my life

Like fuck it i understand this is business

And this shit just isn’t none of my business

But still knowin’ this shit could pop off at any minute cause




[Verse 2]

There used to be a time when you could just say a rhyme

And wouldn’t have to worry about one of your people dyin’

But now it’s elevated cause once you put someone’s kids in it

The shit gets escalated, it ain’t just words no more is it?

It’s a different ball game, callin’ names and you ain’t just rappin’

We actually tried to stop the 50 and Ja beef from happenin’

Me and Dre had sat with him, kicked it and had a chat with him

And asked him not to start it he wasn’t gonna go after him

Until Ja started yappin’ in magazines how we stabbed him

Fuck it 50 smash ’em, mash ’em and let him have it

Meanwhile my attention is pullin’ in other directions

Some receptionist at The Source who answers phones at his desk

Has an erection for me and thinks that I’ll be his resurrection

Tries to blow the dust off his mic and make a new record

But now he’s fucked the game up cause one of the ways I came up

Was through that publication the same one that made me famous

Now the owner of it has got a grudge against me for nothin’

Well fuck it, that motherfucker can get it too, fuck him then

But I’m so busy being pissed off I don’t stop to think

That we just inherited 50’s beef with Murder Inc.

And he’s inherited mine which is fine ain’t like either of us mind

We still have soldiers that’s on the front line

That’s willing to die for us as soon as we give the orders

Never to extort us, strictly to show they support us

We’ll maybe shout ’em out in a rap or up in a chorus

To show them we love ’em back and let ’em know how important it is

To have Runyan Avenue, soldiers up in our corners

Their loyalty to us is worth more than any award is

But I ain’t tryna have none of my people hurt and murdered

It ain’t worth it, I can’t think of a perfecter way to word it

Then to just say that I love ya’ll too much to see the verdict

I’ll walk away from it all before I let it go any further

But don’t get it twisted, it’s not a plea that I’m coppin’

I’m just willin’ to be the bigger man

If ya’ll can quit poppin’ off at the jaws, well then I can

Cause frankly I’m sick of talkin’

I’m not gonna let someone else’s coffin rest on my conscience cause