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Draft notes

I've now returned all drafts that were turned in on time for the final project. I should get to the couple of late assignments by the end of the day. In general, these were rougher than I was expecting. Probably the biggest problem I saw across drafts was a lack of really reliable evidence for the points you all were making. In many pieces, there was a lot of personal opinion or very limited examples. Opinion isn't necessarily bad, but if it's only opinion, you need to have personal authority to back up what you've said. That is, you have to know what you're talking about. When I designed this assignment, I imagined you'd draw on the evidence you used for your second or third papers. These pieces don't need to be highly factual, but offer some facts or stories from those sources here or there to support your opinion. If you've chosen a new topic, then that will probably mean additional research for you. But even newspaper editorials usually rely on some evidence to support what they're saying.

Along these lines, you all will need to introduce yourself early on in these pieces--state your name and whatever background you think is relevant. Otherwise, this will just be a disembodied voice speaking, which doesn't really work.

Citation was pretty rough in these drafts, so that's something to work on as well. We'll talk about wordiness on Thursday.

Lastly, remember that these are audio pieces--meant to be heard. If you haven't already been doing so, speak your piece aloud so that you have a chance to hear what it sounds like. Is it interesting? Something someone would want to listen to for a few minutes? If not, how could you use humor, emotionally engaging examples, or other such devices to make it more so?