Progression III Arguing Through Texts

Progression III Arguing Through Texts

The goal of this progression is to further your understanding of argumentation as well as refine your research skills.  You will also refine your analytical skills as you will closely examine and analyze a literary text to prepare for this progression’s presentation and planning document.  Through your close examination and analysis, you will identify possible issues found in the literary text that connect with our class theme: Gender Construction.  You will also make connections between the readings and class discussions earlier in the semester (Composing Gender) with the readings and discussions for this progression, enhancing your understanding of how prior knowledge and experience informs your growing view of the world.

For this progression, you will read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, focusing on issues addressed in the text and how they relate to our discourse on gender. These issues may include a social, political, psychological, or financial issue, a cultural attitude, or a conflict in the book. Below are several topics you can choose to develop, but these are not the only topics; these are merely suggestions:


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Iranian Revolution Nonconformity Parenting Style Comics Public life/private life
Middle East Politics Poverty/Social Class Coming of Age Graphic Novel as Memoir Forbidden Love
Teenage Rebellion Family Rituals Feminism Child Neglect Nature vs. Nurture
Repression Heroism Punk Faith War


Remember that whichever topic you choose you must analyze it through a lens of gender. That is to say, you must develop an argument that connects to a specific topic and gender. For example, you could analyze gender performance in the text and then develop a specific argument around this topic. You will then use Composing Gender as the foundation for your discussion about gender, and Persepolis as the subject for your analysis. For further textual support, you will again use at least two scholarly sources.

You will be required to do more outside research for this presentation and planning document (at least 2 scholarly sources).  You will want to use these texts to inform your own argument.  In other words, your purpose should not be to cram as many sources as you can into your presentation; you do not want other writers’ voices to drown out your own, but instead use sources to establish and provide evidence for your own argument.

Exercise 1: Group Led Discussion on Persepolis



This exercise asks your group to develop specific arguments for at least two of the topics from the list above (or something not on the list). Then you will need to provide evidence from the section you analyzed to support your arguments. You may also use other sections of the text for further support. We will be using the Socratic Method to stimulate ideas and utilize our critical thinking skills. This means that each group will be leading the class in the discussions. Be prepared to ask your colleagues questions, so that this is a discussion and not a merely a presentation.


There will be five groups of four students. Each group will lead a class discussion for 15 – 20 minutes. Each group will be focusing on a specific part of the book. The book will be divided into fifths. The goal of these discussions is to develop potential arguments and evidential support, which may then be the foundation for your presentation and essay.



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Exercise 2: Prospectus



Your prospectus should present the following points:

  • Here are the important points of your topic
  • Here is an opposing claim in this conversation
  • Here is what I think is questionable or problematic with some of these claims
  • Here is my argument in this conversation
  • Here is what other scholars might say about my claim
  • Here are some additional data–facts, stats, examples, authorities–that support my claim or refute the claims of others.


For each item, you will need to provide brief summaries of the evidence you will be weaving into your essay. This includes the specific textual evidence you will be using for support (primary and secondary sources). The summaries of what other scholars think should emphasize the passages most relevant to your own argument.


v Note: Your prospectus may be presented with headings for the points listed, rather than continuous paragraphs. About 500 words, double-spaced, should be enough. When you quote, use MLA documentation and remember to include a Works Cited page. Please proofread and spell-check this document.


Presentation Planning Document Due 12/2 – Worth 30% of your grade

This will be a very detailed road map of your presentation. Minimum of three pages. You will include your argument and the specific textual evidence you will be using, as well as a works cited page. This will be clear, thorough, and in an academic tone.


Presentations Given on 12/2 and 12/4 – Worth 70% of your grade

Minimum of 5 minutes, but no longer than 6 minutes. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

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