Rhetoric & Composition, Stockton Spring 2018: Final Assignments Post: April 23 – May 2, 2018 (in D18)



Remember we are in D18.

Be ready to do final prep for presentations.


  1. Presentations
  2. Review of remaining assignments/Family Meeting time set-up
  3. plagiarism family activity
  4. Parallelism Quiz


ALL REMAINING ASSIGNMENTS (including all revisions of previous papers) due Thursday, May 3rd by 11:59pm. 


#1: YOUR BLOG: A final link to your COMPLETED BLOG should be sent to me via email (joseph.costal@stockton.edu BEFORE the semester deadline. Please do this again when the blog is ready for grading. Subject line MUST read: BLOG — FINAL)

Blog Post #10: A Letter to Me: One page of reflection on the course, your year at college and the world that waits for you. Consider the following: what did you learn in this class? Highlights and low-lights of the course? What about the year here at Stockton in general? What did you learn about yourself? What’s your hope for the next 5 months? The next 5 years? And beyond?

Final Essay: Formal Essay  #7: PROPOSING PROBLEM / SOLUTION
(much of the language of this prompt is an amalgamation of my own ideas and those borrowed from other institutions, including Florida International University, Johnson County Community College).
Length of paper: approx. 7 pages, excluding work cited.

Your objective for this assignment is to research, analyze, post a thesis, antithesis, and finally synthesize a solution for a common social problem. To do this, let’s begin by challenging the common ways of looking at problems themselves.  The process of research, as discussed endlessly in the course, is to generate, then narrow questions. Great research creates questions. Great argumentation papers do more to generate further questions than answer them. Let’s ponder this together, first.

The goal of the Proposing a Solution Essay is to make an argument that calls an audience to action. By focusing your argument on one specific public problem, you will be responding to the frequently asked question: But what can we do?

Your task in researching this paper is three-fold:
1. You must demonstrate that a significant problem exists
2. You must propose a solution to the problem
3. You must justify this particular solution, showing how the benefits outweigh alternative.


Consider this as your essay’s development in three parts: 1) a description of the problem, 2) a proposal for a solution, and 3) a justification for the solution.

Your introduction should get your audience’s attention (possibly by appealing to pathos through anecdote or example), provide background on the conversation you are joining, and clearly state the claim you intend to support.

The body of your argument should appeal to logos by presenting reasons and evidence in support of your position, as well as appeal to ethos by responding to opposing views (rebutting the counterargument). You may also appeal to pathos within your body by appealing to the values and beliefs of your audience.

PRIMARY (the ones directly addressing your claim):

There should be at least five sources, all scholarly or peer-reviewed
PRIMARY SOURCE (Rhet Comp only)
ADDITIONAL sources can come from other credible sources.
ALL must be cited in APA format.

I will look for the following in your essay:

•Does the writer make a convincing argument as to why her audience should or ought to take action?
•Is the proposed action (or “claim”) clearly identified and explained?
•Is this claim logically supported by reasons and evidence?
•Have possible objections to the underlying assumptions (warrants) linking the claim and reasons been addressed?
•Have opposing views been addressed?
•Does the paper provide adequate background on the problem the author is attempting to remedy?

Otherwise, I will be using the university’s rubric for the paper. 9f4801249159282c2f5708381459f410_meme-5-enjoy-problem-on-memegen-problem-solved-meme_512-512

• All information taken from sources needs to be cited (not just quotations)
• There are lots of great places to get your ideas flowing.  Here. Here’s my favorite one from, SHOCKER, The New York Times. 

• Use APA for the entire paper. Find resources for doing this in Hacker. Or here.  Or here.• Use quotations only where necessary. Better to summarize information and discuss how it becomes evidence when married to your point.

• Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and show unity.

• Each evidence paragraph will contain at least one citation identifying where you got your information.

• This is your chance to SHINE on the fact that our multiple revisions have not been a total waste.

GENERAL FINAL PAPER Q&A on Wednesday, April 25th

Come to conference class with the following prepared:

Conference Assignment: Please have the following information ready for submission during our conferences. All components must be typed and professionally presented:

1. Working Outline
2. Working Thesis
3. Annotated Bibliography

4. Social Media Work shared with me #costrhet
1. The working outline is a very important first step that serves as a guide for your entire paper. Follow any form you feel most comfortable with (See Hacker for a variety of outlining methods if confused). The outline should give me an idea of how you plan your paper…point by point at least…example by example if you wish. There should be a bullet-ed component for each paragraph. Keep in mind that this is the mode by which you will also present your research. Remember that good development “systematically fulfills the reader’s expectation.”
oh-you-have-finals-coming-up2. Student will present a working thesis. The expectation is that this will allow us to work together in making sure the paper is on the right track. Thesis should evince the components of thesis writing discussed in class today.
The thesis for this paper should be both complex and clear.
Make sure to move through a logical progression with your ideas.
3. Annotated Bibliography should provide insight on the sources you plan to use. Where does information exist? What types of sources have been prevalent? Why would you use (or not use) the sources you’ve collected. You’ve done this already. Should be cut and dry.
4. The paper will utilize either Twitter or Facebook for some social media, first-hand research. To satisfy this part of the assignment, you must do the following by the Family Conference.
  • Show evidence of at least three tweets or posts (use #costrhet or tag me on Twitter/tag me on Facebook) you made to refine your research question. At least one of these posts/tweets must result in dialogue or engagement with “an expert.” **It is ok to merely FOLLOW experts in the given area, but to satisfy the “first-hand research” element, there MUST be engagement.
  • Also to satisfy your first-hand research requirement, consider setting up a Twitter or Facebook survey. This does not need to be quantitative or stratified (we are only dabbling in first-hand research).
  • If you do not, cannot or will not use either of these programs, you will need to set-up a survey in survey monkey. You may use Stockton friends or classmates to populate the survey.


Family Conferences (04/30/18) 

5:30pm: Fire Duckies

5:45pm: Inklings

6pm: Por Favor

6:15pm: Aluminum Foil

6:30pm: Fam Squad

6:45pm: Blog Gods



THE TOP 20 COUNTDOWN!!! The Final Checklist: 

Answer the following with the preface: Does your final paper:

1. …have approx seven pages total, but more importantly SEVEN pages of EVIDENCE (body) (Not including formatting pages)? If not, how can you add length without adding fluff?

2. …have proper formatting (12-point, double-spaced, one-inch margins, Hacker approved APA-style? including abstract and CORRECTLY formatted WORKS CITED)

3. …have an interesting, original, and relevant title?

4. …have an effective, divisive attention-grabbing introduction?

5. …provide necessary background for reader to understand YOUR THESIS (NOT the entire topic. Think 5Ws) (BG MUST be relevant to your thesis!)

6…establish the controversy surrounding the issue? Does it accomplish this through the use of personal anecdote? Is the introduction/background adequate in length (no more than 1/4 of entire page)?

5. …have a specific and explicit/implicit thesis statement that evinces the main issue and the writer’s position? Is it argumentative? Does it contain a subordinate clause to drive complexity?

6. …have logical development? Does each paragraph flow into the next, using the thesis as a road map to “fulfill the reader’s anticipation?”

7. …have sufficient supporting evidence? Does the paper employ strong ethos such as facts, statistics, examples, and expert opinions? Is this support connected to the thesis in a meaningful way? In other words, is it relevant, accurate, and representative?

8. …have credible sources? Are several of the sources also academic, scholarly and peer-reviewed? Is it free of questionable web sources such as http://www.beardedguysanswerimportantquestions.com?

9. …have NO generalizations, overstatements or other forms of logical fallacies?

10. …have a fair representations of source integration like direct quotations and summaries? Are DQs appropriate in scope and length (not too long, not irrelevant)? ARE DQs formatted correctly?

11. …have in-text citations after every quotation, paraphrase, or summary? Are there citations after each body paragraph (or included in each?) Are the in-text citations in proper APA format?

12. …also have attributions? Especially in areas where the credibility needs to be justified because it is not immediately apparent, or the credibility is strong and needs to be relayed narratively.

13. …have appropriate language use for an academic setting? Has he or she eliminated any abbreviations, slang or other informal language?

14. …have appropriate and consistent person? If he or she uses “you,” is he or she addressing the reader? Is he/she ADDICTED to “you?” Is only necessary 1st person used? No “I think,” “I believe,” and “I feel”?

15. …have obvious typos? Spelling errors, punctuation or other sloppy mechanics?

16. …have obvious grammatical or sentence construction errors like fragments, comma splices or run-ons?

17. …have a proper APA title, page, abstract, works cited & running header?

18. …have an effective conclusion in which the writer emphasizes the importance of the issue and by urging the reader to do something? Is the conclusion merely a summary of the writer’s main points? Is it adequate in length?

19. …evince the features of a true argumentative-persuasive essay, or has he or she merely written an informative work?

20. …have both sides of the issue represented in pursuit of the thesis?


Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class Post #14: Wednesday, April 17, 2018



  1. share annotated bibliography assignment



COURSE MEETS in D18 tonight!!! We will meet next two Mondays in D18 lab!

Rate my class, please. Do it here. 

  1. Field Trip to C/D atrium
  2. Questions on previous assignments (mixing the appeals mini lecture)
  3. Upcoming assignments and Monday Class specs
  4. Plagiarism Activity
  5. more Objective Correlative


Formal Essay #6 (Last essay before final): Four page minimum, APA formatted works cited, at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed sources.

OPTION A: Write the essay you prepped in your annotated bibliography.

OPTION B: If you’re tired of sex…

Write an essay that answers the following: Is college worth it? Is college still an important step in life, or has it become COMPLETELY OVER-RATED?

If you Google “college not worth it,” you get resources from the CNN, Forbes, Fortune & PBS. That might be a good place to start.




Family Concept Challenge: This family challenge represents the most logical fallacies that occur in argumentation.

1. Get in your families.

2. Your family will receive an “fallacy” from the ancient art of Rho-Sham-Beau Circle of Death.

3. Research the term. Understand what the fallacy is, provide the class with at least three examples of how the fallacy might be used in argumentation. One should be a poor example (obvious), one a strong example (not so obvious) and one should be REAL (researched).

The class will be quizzed on these fallacies on Wednesday.  Besides the quiz grades, each family will receive a grade for presenting.

You will be graded on the following: 

  1. How well do you understand the fallacy?
  2. How well did you communicate that understanding (does the class understand?)?
  3. How good was your visual representation of the problem?
  4. How good are EACH of your three examples?
  5. Did your presentation include each family member equally?

The problems to chose from: 

  1. ad hominem (Fam Squad)
  2. ad populum (Por Favor)
  3. bandwagon (Blog Gods)
  4. hasty generalization (Fire Duckies)
  5. non sequitur (Aluminum Foil)
  6. post hoc
  7. strawman fallacy (Inklings)

Presentations will take place on Monday, April 23, 2018





Stockton Rhetoric & Composition, Post #13: Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Be sure FE #5 is submitted to me.



Quick refresher on appeals.

“No ideas but in things.”

Objective Correlative: The person, place or thing that carries the emotional burden of a piece of art.

Found in all art; a special relevance in non-fiction writing.  



Formal Essay #6: Annotated Bibliography with five sources. Here is your fake prompt. Address the changing trends of sexual relationships on college campuses. How have current reports of sexual misconduct altered both students’ attitudes toward sex and college’s reactions to monitoring and policing sexual activity. Consider how all of this is affected by and affects drinking on campus.


PROMPT: Behaviors of young people for a sociology class.

The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010) for the journal citation:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that non-family adults who live with other young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

Some good resources…here & here

Blog Post #7: Debunk some bullshit! Read this. Then, do some research on a subject that really chaps your ass. Find something in the mainstream media that has been reported in such a way as to make it seem true. Then, do some more scholarly research and make the case that the initial issue is really just bullshit. This is a short argument (under two pages is fine), and you only need the two sources described above (though don’t shy away from using either of the two sources we discussed today, also don’t hesitate to find more than one source with which to debunk your bullshit). It is my hope that you have to do some fruitless researching before you stumble upon this one.

Blog Post #8: Discern Your Own Credibility…regionally. Go to the homepage of your local, hometown paper. Here’s some help:

The Asbury Park Press (middle of the state…Ocean to Monmouth)

AC Press (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland & Salem counties),

The Bergen Record (Bergen, Hudson, Passaic & Essex)

The Courier Post (western South Jersey)

The Star Ledger & Jersey Journal (cover most of the northern & middle of the state; have the same publishers and same web site)

Pick an article about a local issue, community coverage is ok, but may be harder to do (don’t do sports). Pick something, ideally, on the county or state level. While regional news doesn’t care the credibility we would expect for college terms papers, it should still be somewhat credibility. Using the Quality discernment tool from class, decide if the article can be considered “worthy.” Write about the process in no less than a page and a half.


Blog Post #9: Objective Correlative & more. Write a reaction to David Foster Wallace’s very, very, very famous food article “Consider the Lobster.” Use any and all reading devices we have learned in class to write an analytical reaction to the piece. Make some point to its quality or answer the author’s thesis or simply explain what’s “boiling” (see what I did there? lobster…boiling…see it? huh? huh?) under the surface. HINT: this is much more than a food article. Wallace’s article is widely considered one of the best ever written…weigh in.

If it helps you, I use objective correlative pretty heavily in my story Chimichanga. 


Stockton Rhetoric & Compostion: Class #12A: April 2, 2018


Formal Essay #5: Literary Analysis with Non-Fiction Reference

Though the circumstances are much different, both the narrator of Heels and the protagonist of The Rhett Butlers embody traits common to victims of sexual assault, exposing an all too prevalent reality for young women.  

In a well-developed, well-researched (at least three sources overall) paper, support the thesis worked out in class. Use textual references to both stories to draw your comparisons. Then take those comparisons, and use them to draw broader connections to real life circumstances of sexual assault.
Think outside the box. Draw comparisons and connections. Do research that enlightens this often shrouded topic.
Real-life examples of sexual assault and the changing social perceptions surrounding victims is — sadly — ALL AROUND US!
AT LEAST TWO SOURCES MUST BE SCHOLARLY OR PEER REVIEWED! Think in terms of statistics or fact about sexual assault that shed light on the situation. 
Paper a minimum of three pages.



Stockton Rhetoric & Composition: Class Post #12: March 28, 2018


Before You Enter Tonight: 

  1. Make sure FE #4 is posted with edits.



  1. Parallelism
  2. Poetry/Short Story
  3. Assignment Review, Readings & Discussion




Gearing up for Formal Writing #5: READ & ANNOTATE the following resources for writing literary analysis papers. This is from Harvard. This is just a “self-help” website, but both are valid.
Also, check out these info-graphics for some perspective on the ubiquity of sexual assault.

Apprentice Writer at Susquehanna University story called Heels

The Atlantic: The Rhett Butlers by @Katherine_Heiny (story fiction story is linked here).

Tell Them You Had a Mole Removed by Julie Hensley (poem: hard copy here, link to the audio).

Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class #11A: March 19th, 2018


Before you enter class:

Have digital copy of FE#4

Class Agenda: 

  1. Review missed class agenda
  2. Questions about Costal’s videos
  3. Family edit assignment


***For those of ya’ll not in class Monday. Find a partner and do this edit of each other’s papers. 

Class Activity: Writing Workshop Directions

  • Digitally share your FE#4 with a family member.
  • At the end of your partner’s paper, add the following headers and your name (in a colored ink). For each concept, write at least two sentences explaining why the element either “worked well” or “did not work well.”
    • strategic/divisive introduction
      • Does it get the reader’s attention?
      • Does it set-up the thesis?
    • viable thesis (the claim)
      • Is the claim clear & appropriate?
      • Yellow highlight the sentence you believe to be the thesis
    • exemplary moment
      • Each paper’s BEST point or evidence should be highlighted in GREEN.
      • At the bottom, explain why you chose this moment.
    • evidence of reasons for claim
      • Highlight the paper’s BEST evidence in PINK
      • Highlight the paper’s WEAKEST evidence in LIGHT BLUE
    • well attributed & cited
      • Are all the sources credible? Are any scholarly?



Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class #10: March 7, 2018



LINK to Costal’s video #1 — information about Spring Break and assignments

LINK to Costal’s video #2 – Introduction to the Stockton database



  1. Be prepared to “OFCARL” your publication from family assignment a few classes ago. Have the six questions answered for the articles you read.
  2. Be sure you have read the two documents and completed the worksheet from Monday. Be prepared to review.
  3. Because of upcoming cancellation, be prepared to stay until 7:50 (weather permitting)



  1. Family Time & Presentations
  2. Stockton Database
  3. Review new assignments / Review Monday’s assignments



  1. ALL revisions on FE #2 & FE #3 due by 11:59pm Friday, March 9th.

2. Blog Post #6: Evaluate the Quality of a PEER-REVIEWED or SCHOLARLY article of your choice.

Choose an article from the Stockton database. Click the “scholarly/peer-reviewed” option in the left column.

For each article, answer the OFCARL questions as Blog Post #4 in your blog. In prose form, no bullets please! Discuss how the quality of this article feels compared to others you have read. You can focus on one particularly interesting aspect of your findings.

Please include an APA citation of the article you chose at the top of your blog entry.

3. This comes from my old site. Food for thought to help with your next formal paper.

4. Princeton University offers some excellent advice for avoiding plagiarism.

5. Here’s an article from University of North Carolina on “empty writing.” 

skubeFormal Essay #4: Persuasive Letter to a Hostile Audience

**Special note: Hostile audience readings were included in last class’s homework.

Read this article by Michael Skube.

Michael Skube provides his e-mail on the bottom of his scathing rebuke of today’s college student.

Here’s his argument broken down for you:

Claim: College students are dumber (and less able to handle the rigor of college) than ever before, and they’re getting dumber all the time.


  1. They have stopped reading books.
  2. They don’t know any words.

Evidence: mostly anecdotes from his experience as a teacher/professor & GPA data.

Argument: We’re all doomed if this is our future. We are heading toward an illiterate and destructively ill-prepared adult world.

Write Professor Skube a letter advancing your own argument. Agree with his claim. Or disagree and make your own. Either way, make sure you back up your claim with specific evidence from not only his text, but also at least two other sources. At least one source must be ACADEMIC, PEER REVIEWED from the Stockton database. Have at least three credible sources in the paper overall.

Use class notes/readings/lectures to guide your efforts.

Things to consider: role of schools/teachers, some colleges abolishing SAT scores, most high schools abolishing class rank, technology.

The paper should be approximately four pages.

Evidence backing your claim may also come from your own life or observations. You have been a student, so your opinion is entirely appropriate here.

Works Cited and parenthetical documentation MUST be in APA format.

Due by class time on Monday, March 19th. 





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