For the past two weeks, you have been involved in a detailed conversation with Friedman (and, last week, with your classmates) about the ideas Friedman discusses in her article, “This Way for Vampires Teaching First-Year Composition in Challenging Times.pdf.” During that time, you have summarized Friedman’s article (in whole and in part!), you have paraphrased sections, and you have responded to it with ideas of your own.  That process builds strong foundations for papers.

The final step in the process is to write a paper in which you thoughtfully respond to Friedman.  Your response should consist of a few things, generally speaking:

A summary of Friedman’s article

A thesis that describes your own argument about using popular culture (or anything other than writing itself) as a subject in the writing classroom AND how it relates to Friedman’s

A step-by-step development of your thesis in relation to and incorporating examples of Friedman’s article

It helps to see this paper as an account of your “conversation” with Friedman.  Your thesis, then, is the conclusion you reached after carefully reading Friedman’s article; the paper is the map of how you got there.

For instance, you might argue that even though Friedman makes a good case for using popular culture in the first-year writing classroom, the case for focusing only on language in those classes is stronger.  Then, following the map of this particular thesis, your paper would have to explain Friedman’s case, and at the same time, establish the case against Friedman by refuting her argument and asserting your own.

Or maybe you agree with Friedman.  Your thesis might state that Friedman’s case for using popular culture in the first-year writing classroom makes more sense than ignoring popular culture.  By agreeing, though, you don’t dodge the effort of analysis.  You must bring in your own reasoning to corroborate Friedman’s argument; you should have plenty of material from your notes over the last two weeks to help you in this regard. Avoid simply summarizing.  Show why you agree.

Maybe you agree with some things and disagree with others. In this case, you might state in your thesis that while Friedman is correct about _____________, she is mistaken about ____________. In this paper, you would follow the same pattern of explaining Friedman’s views as well as your own.

It’s crucial that you incorporate paraphrases, summary, and quotes in this paper.  You’ve been collecting them for two weeks, so you should have a lot to draw on.  Feel free to use any notes that you’ve taken while responding to the article.  Everything you’ve worked on for the last two weeks has been to prepare you for this paper, so USE WHAT YOU’VE PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN!

In the next page, I will give you guidelines for your outline for this paper.

You must turn in this outline at least 24 hours before you show up to your proctored location, where you will write Essay #1.

I will mark it as “approved” or “unapproved.” Only approved outlines can be printed at the proctored location.

When you arrive at the proctored location, you will be allowed to print out an approved outline so that you can use it while writing your essay.


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