Resources for Supporting PWR 2
Description of PWR2
PWR 2 is a 4-unit course in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, usually taken by undergraduate students in their second year, that focuses on research, writing, argument, analysis, and oral and multimedia communication. The course fulfills a WR 2 General Education Writing and Rhetoric requirement. PWR 2 courses have different themes, chosen by the instructor—but all the courses have the same series of major assignments:
- A research project proposal on an issue related to the course theme—the proposal is presented orally (and in writing);
- A 10-12 page research-based argument paper on their selected topic; and
- A 10 minute oral multimedia presentation
Oral Communication Tutors will encounter many PWR 2 students in their sessions who are working on their presentations. In addition to giving the students general feedback on delivery and organization, OCTs may need to assist students to think through their research material to articulate an argument (as opposed to simply reporting information).
Questions to help students think about argument
Considering the topic
- What is it you’re most excited about?
- What initially interested you in this topic?
Considering the research
- What have others said about your topic? (“They say…”)
- What are you arguing that’s different? (“I say…”)
- Graff & Graff, They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (2006)
- Which viewpoints are you exploring? What are other viewpoints?
- Did you notice things that haven’t been talked about?
Considering the content of the presentation
- What is the SO WHAT? What is the significance of your point of view? Why does it matter? What matters most? What three main points can you make to answer these questions?
- Where is your content descriptive? And where is it analytical?
- Do the descriptions serve an analytical purpose?
- What does your audience need to know vs. what you want to tell them?
Using visuals to help develop argument
- How would you visualize your title?
- Think of what your 3 main points might be. What visual might go with each?