time travel

⦁ 6-7 full, typed, MLA-formatted pages (your “Works Cited” page does not count)
⦁ AT LEAST 3-4 sources
⦁ 2 outside scholarly sources you find on your own
⦁ at least 1 class text (obviously)
⦁ optional: 1 scholarly source we have read as a class
⦁ You may use your discussion posts as “bouncing off points.” That is, you can use ideas you have written about before, but you must expand and develop them, connect them to larger theme/thesis of time travel, not just copy/paste to fill up space
⦁ 300 points
⦁ Peer Review – 10 points
⦁ Grammar/Coherency – 10 points
⦁ MLA (headers, in-text citations, WC page) – 15 points
⦁ Research Proposal/Literature Review – 15 points
⦁ Final draft – 250 points
⦁ DUE: 12/6 on Canvas by midnight

Write a well-developed, thoughtful argumentative essay that explores some or all of the following guiding questions:

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How is time travel a valid method for narrative storytelling and/or rhetorical persuasion? How does time travel help us tell stories effectively and meaningfully? Why should time travel stories continue to be told and studied? What makes them “worthy”? Are they?
⦁ First, decide what makes a “meaningful” or “worthy” story in your academic opinion. How does the time travel element change or enhance this?
⦁ Your argument/thesis should use analyses of class texts to persuade your audience why time travel literature matters and is important.

⦁ Think of how Wittenberg makes his argument using “readings” or literary examples. Look at how other scholars we have read make their argument.
⦁ Use argumentation strategies and point out rhetorical devices/appeals we have discussed to strengthen your argument.
⦁ Logical fallacies are great for analyzing arguments, but also be careful of making logical fallacies in your own argument.
⦁ No contractions, limit your use of “I,” and BE SPECIFIC and as CLEAR AS POSSIBLE in your writing. Explain everything and guide your reader through your logic.

How does literature make arguments?
How do people make arguments about literature?
These questions are significant because, as you’ll find out, literature (a fictional narrative) uses different rhetorical tools to persuade you compared to a nonfiction scholarly article with a standard thesis. George Orwell doesn’t come right out and tell you “I think the government is scary”; instead, he uses characters, language, imagery, and symbolism in his novel 1984. It’s up to us to evaluate how effective this mode of argument is.

By looking at time travel literature, we will also be asking more specific questions:

Why is time travel literature rhetorically important?
What does time travel literature say about the world/society?
This is where Wittenberg, the other recommended author for this week, comes in. His chapter can be confusing, but overall he argues that time travel literature is important because it’s like a “laboratory” where authors can experiment with form, ideas, time, and other themes. His rhetoric–the strategies he uses to persuade you that this is true–is challenging to follow, but it’s also incredibly useful as an example of how arguments can be developed. He uses “readings” (mini analyses of time travel texts), defines his terms, and incorporates other people into his discussion. More information on this is provided in the powerpoint on the next page and the video below.

Time travel literature is also unique in that we can talk about the intersection of time and space on multiple levels. Bakhtin, a well-known rhetorician/philosopher, came up with the term chronotope to describe how we make meaning from this intersection. Time travel lets us look at past, present, and future all at once, at different times, and in different places.

This week, I’m officially assigning the final essay. You will find the prompt in this module. The final essay asks you to synthesize the argumentation/rhetorical strategies we have discussed this semester with the time travel fiction aspect of the course. You will use argumentation strategies to make a coherent argument about the significance of the texts we have read.

Chapter 6 of CTRAW specifically explains how you can develop your own argument. It includes useful brainstorming strategies such as freewriting, listing, and diagramming that you may want to explore over the next couple of weeks as you think about how to respond to the prompt. (Because you have a prompt, you can ignore what the book says about coming up with a topic. I’m giving you the topic; you must formulate a coherent argument about it.)

You may also want to come back to this chapter throughout your writing process, as you come up with a thesis, begin writing, organize your paragraphs, and revise your writing. It covers the process from beginning to end. It may seem overwhelming to think of all this now, but remember the essay isn’t due until 12/6. I’m assigning it this early because I want you to have lots of time to think, write, and revise.

You will be writing a research proposal during Week 12 where you informally explain what your paper will focus on and provide a rough syllogism of your argument. I will use this to guide you. That means you have three weeks for brainstorming and doing research to prepare.

Lastly, remember the research and writing process isn’t linear. You don’t have to think, write, and revise in that order. You can edit your thesis as you research, write as you think, and think as you write and revise. We’ll review writing and argumentation strategies during our lectures over the next few weeks.

Let’s look at some key terms in building an argument:
definition – you must always define your terms using the strategies outlined
assumptions – unexamined beliefs. What assumptions are you or the text making? Is the audience expected to know or believe something? Is this accurate? Identifying assumptions can give you clues about the author’s stance.
premises – stated assumptions used as reasons in an argument
{stated premise + stated premise = conclusion} <–syllogism
{stated premise + implied premise = conclusion} <–enthymeme
sound arguments – premises are true and syllogism is valid
true: can you prove that the content asserted in the premises is true?
valid: regardless of truth, can you prove that the form (the movement from premise to premise to conclusion) follows logically? For example, let’s say our friend Eleanor has sadly been locked in a windowless room her whole life with a TV that only shows rainy weather. She therefore assumes all of the outside world is always rainy. Obviously this isn’t true, but her logic is valid because based on the facts she has, she takes logical steps to a conclusion about the outside world (premise: TV reflects the outside; premise: the outside is always rainy on TV; conclusion: the real outside must always be rainy). If it were true, she’d be right to make that conclusion.
types of evidence – examples, testimony, statistics
These are important to know as you prepare for your Reading Response 1 next week.

The chapter also discusses induction and deduction. It can be confusing to remember what they mean, so I’ve simplified it here:

induction: “this happened + this happened = therefore, this will happen”
deduction: “this is true + this is true = therefore, this follows”
They are not necessarily opposites; they are merely related methods of reasoning. Induction happens when you make conclusions about future events based on the evidence you currently have. Deduction happens when you make conclusions about related things based on the facts in front of you. Induction is about future actions, and deduction is about present facts.

In our above example of poor Eleanor, she’d make an inductive conclusion if one day she decided to escape and made specific predictions about her future outside the room. She’d make a deductive conclusion if she made observations of the way her life is now or has been in the past. It’s not super important that you know the difference between the two, but you should know what it means when an author makes an inductive/deductive conclusion. Most times, it’s a mix of both.

One distinction that I like that this textbook makes is the one between reason and rationalization. Basically, reason is making your conclusion fit the truth of your evidence; rationalization is making your “truthful” evidence fit the conclusions you already have. This is a big difference that you should be aware of both in your own arguments but also in the real things happening in the world. Trump argues that we should stop testing for COVID-

logos – appeals to logic. Ex. using statistics, examples, hard facts.
pathos – appeals to emotion. Ex. those SPCA commercials that are in black and white with a really sad song playing in the background are appealing to your emotions, trying to get you to donate money to save the animals.
ethos – appeals to an author’s character or credibility. Ex. pharmaceutical drug ads where the actor recommending the drug is wearing a white lab coat to make themselves look more credible as a doctor.

Chronos – chronological time. Obviously, this gets disrupted in the time travel literature we will be reading this semester. Time is no longer linear or chronological because our protagonists jump around in time.
Kairos – at the appropriate time or at “the propitious moment.” This is important both in the literature we read (characters making decisions in/at the right time) and in the arguments we make. Basically, when we try to rhetorically persuade an audience, we need to be aware of “the right time” to do so. Arguing at the right time increases our chances of persuading our audience. This is also why understanding context is so important.

Questions to ask for analyzing context:
Author/Ethos/Persona: Who is the author? Where are they from and what do they believe?
(Intended) Audience: When was the text written (Kairos)? What genre or style is it written in (Methods: Pathos)?
Purpose and Thesis: Why was the text written? Is it a response to someone or something (Methods: Logos)?

These ideas provide important context for the novel. Modernism and postmodernism are cultural movements in history that explain how contemporaries of that time viewed the world. Note: there is a difference between modern and Modern: “modern” refers to anything new, while “Modern” refers to the specific cultural movement. The Modernist period in history (~1890s-1945) was an optimistic movement in which contemporaries believed

in human progress via technology
in reason and logic to further human knowledge toward societal “perfection”
that there was a “truth” about human existence that could be discovered and explored through art and literature
that art and literature had a single “true meaning”



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