234 )” politically correct animal language ,” julie sedivy W r i t i n g

234 )” politically correct animal language ,” julie sedivy W r i t i n g

For this first essay, we will look at how multiple works inform each other and identify a common question they address. This essay will lay the groundwork for your Question at Issue (Q@I) essay, and later, Essay 1.1 as you will practice developing a conversation between yourself and others within the discourse community of your topic. Though these articles do not explicitly refer to each other, their topics respond to a larger question about the politics of language. The goals of this essay are for you to identify one of those questions, show how the writers address it and how you are using these readings as a springboard for further inquiry.


      • 500 words
      • double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1” margins
      • All quotes should be cited in MLA format as follows:
        • “insert quote” (author’s last name page #).

ex: “Wielding the right language to tap into people’s sense of identity . . . can make for potent persuasion” (Sedivy 230).

As we have not yet gone over MLA formatting, a Works Cited page is not required for this essay.

      • Create your “conversation” from 2 of the 3 articles we discussed in class:
        • “Are You a Mac or a Mac User? How the Language of Identity Persuades,” Julie Sedivy (pp. 230-234)
        • “Politically Correct Animal Language,” Julie Sedivy (pp. 252-256)
        • “The Complexity of ‘That’s so Gay,’” Mark McCormack (pp. 150-154)

Suggested Formatting:

1st paragraph: An introduction to a question you and the readings are responding to.

      • Briefly provide context (Consider your own positionality. What prompted you to choose this particular issue? Why is it important to talk about?)

2nd paragraph: A sympathetic yet critical summary of the 1st reading.

      • What is the writer’s stance on this question? What reasons do they provide in support of their position?

3rd paragraph: A sympathetic yet critical summary of the 2nd reading.

4th paragraph: Now put them together.

      • In what ways do these writers approach this question? Do they make valid points? Do they adequately address the question? What have their arguments not considered?

5th paragraph: You.

      • How did these writers influence your thoughts on this issue? It’s possible that at this point there are more questions than answers from this conversation, and that’s fine. Unlike the other essays for this term, you do not have to choose a particular stance for this question. I’m more interested in how you plan to use these readings to inform your own argument.

6th paragraph: Conclusion

      • Where do we go after this conversation? Is it important enough to continue? If not, why?

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