In this third and final project, you have the option to choose an extended written genre (around 650-800 words), such as a web article or an op-ed or newspaper editorial and write to persuade your audience about the benefits and/or drawbacks of the technology you researched. More specifically, you will argue whether this technology is or isn’t beneficial for learning and literacy development. In your written piece, you will present an evaluation of this technology to support your argument. You will create a criteria you can use for your evaluation, ensuring that the criteria is appropriate for evaluating learning and literacy practices. For instance, while cost may affect who has access to a form of technology such as an iPhone or MacBook Pro, it is not an appropriate criterion for evaluating learning and literacy. An appropriate criterion may be “reading efficiency” if the technology promotes reading habits that help learners retain information.
Some of these criteria may reflect your own values and beliefs surrounding literacy and learning, but you will also need to take into consideration the values and beliefs of your audience. Then, use the criteria to evaluate the form of technology you have chosen, thinking carefully about how it meets (or does not meet) each criterion. After evaluating the technology, you will present your argument in favor of or against this technology as a tool for learning and literacy development. Here are some questions to consider before creating your criteria: What are your beliefs and values towards learning and literacy? What do you think are your audiences’ beliefs and values? What criteria will they find useful for evaluating this technology? Think about what your sources say about this technology and its impact on learning, communication, and literacy practices. Based on the research, what criteria do you think will be appropriate to evaluate this technology?
For this project, you also get to choose your audience. If you plan to write a persuasive text about the benefits of using the technology for learning a subject or course content, your audience may consist of college students who are interested in knowing which technologies will help them succeed in college. You may even narrow this audience further by directing your piece to either Millenials or Gen Z college students. Both groups grew up in the digital era and may be users of the technology you are writing about. With this in mind, think about how you will construct your argument to persuade them of the benefits or disadvantages of this technology. If you are writing to persuade your audience that a specific technology can be used for learning a new language, then your audience may consist of older adults who have to balance work and parenting and who are interested in a technology that will help them learn the language efficiently. Of course, you will also need to think carefully about what genre would best appeal to your target audience.
You have the option to choose a genre for this project, but remember that your text should have an evaluative component. An evaluative text begins with an overview and definition of the object being evaluated, making clear to the audience why there is a need for the evaluation (if it is not already apparent). It is important to provide the audience with this type of information so they can understand what is being evaluated and for what purpose. To make your text persuasive, you should include at least three sources from your Informative Report. Moreover, it is important that you use your research in this text, in order to demonstrate that you have learned how to integrate your research. This means that you must include at least two quotes from the research you’ve done with in-text citations, in order to show that you can incorporate research in rhetorically-savvy ways. More importantly, the sources you include should be integrated to support your argument. In this extended written text, you need to focus on integrating your research in genre-appropriate ways (ex: hyperlinks instead of in-text citations, if that’s more genre-appropriate) to write an evidence-based persuasive text.
- However, your in-text citations do not necessarily need to be the parenthetical ones in MLA format. Depending on the written genre you choose, hyperlinks might be a more appropriate way to reference your sources, and this is fine. For example, notice the three hyperlinked sources that appear in the first paragraph of this news article (Links to an external site.). The author does not include in-text citations in MLA format, but they are using hyperlinks to reference their research, and this is an appropriate choice for the online article. Remember, the purpose of including quotes is to 1) use your research to support your persuasive stance and 2) boost your credibility by showing that you have sources to support your point.
Once the context has been established, the next step is to judge how well the subject meets each of the criteria that has been established. Evaluative texts are usually organized according to the criteria that is being used to evaluate the subject and moves through each criterion, explaining how the object meets, or does not meet, that criterion. In some cases, the criteria are already shared by both the writer and the readers; in those cases, they can simply serve as the organizational principle for the text without explicit discussion. (The writer still needs to be aware of it so all relevant criteria are addressed.) In other cases, the writer may propose a new criterion or dismiss the importance of existing ones, in which case the specific criterion needs to be negotiated explicitly.
Based on the examination of each of the criteria, the evaluation argument usually concludes with an overall assessment of the quality of the object, as well as a discussion of possible implications, including suggestions or recommendations regarding the possible course of action.
In this project, you will learn to:
- Demonstrate your understanding of the multiple perspectives and representations of your object
- Identify a set of criteria by which you can evaluate your object
- Identify the audience for your writing
- Articulate the criteria for your evaluation and persuade the audience if some of the criteria have not already been shared with the audience
- Formulate a claim based upon your evaluation of your object
- Consider larger implication of the evaluation
- Identify, develop and organize supporting evidence
Readings and Videos
“Technology in Education Around the World.” SirKenRobinson.com. Sir Ken Robinson.com, November 2010. Web. 26 July 2012. <http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/technology-in-education-around-the-world (Links to an external site.)>.
Reading #1 – Twenty-first century literacies (& Evaluation post)
“21st Century Literacies.” NCTE.org. National Council of Teachers of English, 2012. Web. 26 July 2012. <http://www.ncte.org/positions/21stcenturyliteracy (Links to an external site.)>.