Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Update: 11/5

If you load the last update and scroll down to the last sentence, you will find a particularly (albeit darkly) funny subordinate clause:

I will continue to set up the physical space in our classroom, and if all goes well, you’ll have a place reserved by next week for your portfolios, scored work like those group quizzes, and other resources.

As you may have noticed over the last ten days, all did not go well. We needed that time to edit and revise your letters; now we are on the eve of the election, and for us to honor the hard work you put in, we’ll have to adjust almost everything.

Start here:

These are copies of the letters you submitted before Sandy visited us. Each of you has editing access to each letter, but the first step you must take is just to read them all. Skim and look for patterns; these are the data (yes, that’s a plural noun) we’ll use for the second step, and you must be familiar with them before we move on.

Step #2 is how we will use these strange circumstances as a learning opportunity: You are going to help me write a letter. I will collect your work under a cover letter, and we will send it out. But to whom, and in what format, and for what purpose—well, that’s the part we have to adjust.

Once you’ve skimmed and processed all 17 letters, load this page:

You’ve probably already seen it, since it was emailed to you as a resource for the letters you wrote. Now it is a requirement, and you have only tonight—Monday night—to develop a working understanding of SOAPSTone as an organizational strategy. I will send you another email later, and we will use this tomorrow in class; you need to keep the following list in the back of your mind today, however, because this is real-world rhetoric:

  1. Our speaker has shifted from your groups to me.
  2. Our details are now nested: I will write about your letters, which analyze ad campaigns, which use logical fallacies.
  3. Our immediate occasion has changed entirely; we have to account for the storm and the election, which will be over by the time we finish writing together.
  4. Our audience has to be carefully considered: Do we write to both candidates? Do we write to the eventual winner? How do we account for that result before it happens?
  5. That means that our approach will have to be carefully considered, too: Is this a letter to the president, regardless of which candidate wins? Are we opening with the original assignment, or is our purpose bigger?
  6. That purpose must also shift and mutate a lot. What do we hope to accomplish here?

And so on. More to come; for now, read and prepare yourself for a brand-new kind of collaboration.

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