AP Lang. Weekend homework

1. Compose a purpose statement and mini outline answering the question:

What is Michelle Obama’s purpose and how does she achieve it?

2. Select one strategy from your mini-outline and compose a complete body paragraph. Don’t forget to let the porpoise breathe!!
3. Post your purpose statement AND paragraph online via a comment by Sunday, 2/10 at NOON.
4. Comment on two other students’ paragraphs: identify one thing that is working well and one thing that could use improvement
5. Use what you read from your peers, including their purpose statement—is theirs more effective than yours? You are at liberty to steal it—and revise your paragraph.
6. On Tuesday, submit:
• Original purpose statement with mini-outline
• Original paragraph that was posted online
• Revised paragraph (and purpose statement, if you revised that)

All should be typed in MLA format. This is your first Literary Analysis that will earn a grade; use all your resources, including notes, handouts and your peers to make your work sing! Following this we will have an in-class essay, so this is your chance to work out the kinks! 

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70 thoughts on “AP Lang. Weekend homework

  1. Purpose: to convince the public that Barack Obama has their best interests at heart and they should put their faith in him.
    Michelle Obama uses the American spirit to frame her speech. It provides a link from her personal stories to the more general concept of morality that she wants her audience to perceive. She begins by elaborating the American spirit, describing “the people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way,” the “teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay,” and “our men and women in uniform and our proud military families.” These examples are meant to convey several principles such as dignity, ambition, industriousness, and fortitude—the dignity of our military, the fortitude of our citizens, the industriousness and ambition of our teachers. All are highly valued American characteristics. She soon transitions into stories of her and Barack Obama’s past: this is where she begins to connect to the president. In her descriptions of Barack’s hard-working grandma and her own uncomplaining father, she again exemplifies those American principles. She declares, “we learned about dignity and decency… we learned about honesty and integrity… we learned about gratitude and humility.” Ultimately, Michelle Obama highlights national morals of determination, dignity, humility, and industriousness, then incorporates them into her husband’s anecdotes and personal values. Thus the audience concludes that their president is truly a man of high morality and principles—a man of the American spirit.

    Sabrina Wilk
    period 5

    • One thing working well:
      You do a great job of analyzing the American Spirit, but I don’t understand what literary device you are analyzing.

      One thing not working well:
      I feel like this is more about what Michelle Obama is saying and not about a literary device.

    • Your words hold so much. You analyze the American spirit like royalty.. does that make sense? It just sounds really good okay?

      Though it sounds like a masterpiece, I think you lost the HOW! What is the lit device and HOW

  2. Purpose statement: Michelle Obama tries to influence the public to think that Barack Obama is, in fact, the best leader due to his values and characteristics.
    Paragraph:
    In attempt to support her husband, Michelle Obama makes sure to intertwine her speech with plain folk propaganda. Michelle Obama alludes to the past to explain that Barack Obama has developed highly regarded values, which many public icons have. These values are the plain folk propaganda Michelle Obama wields. She begins plain folk propaganda by reflecting on her journeys throughout the nation. She witnessed, “teachers… who vowed to keep teaching without pay” and “people… diving into harm’s way to save others.” She then reminisces about Barack Obama’s family and “their unconditional love”—“their unflinching sacrifice.” Family is the foundation of values and principles, thus Barack Obama has absorbed these values from his family: “as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.” This comparison between local heroes, who have dignity and fortitude, and Obama’s family opens the eyes of the audience. The audience connects Barack Obama with public idols, who sacrificed their lives, and with those who helped anybody due to their unconditional love. This connection through plain folk propaganda influences the people to bond with Barack Obama on a personal note. This personal idealism exalts Barack Obama and places him on a pedestal of piety. Michelle Obama continues her propaganda with, “for Barack, these issues aren’t political—they’re personal.” Focusing on the personal touch, Michelle succeeds in showing Barack Obama’s kindness and his need to take things to heart. This is a value people praise. The public sees Barack Obama as someone who takes the time to benefit the people through unnecessary yet devoted attention. Such attention creates a nurturing response to the situation thus causing the best possible outcome. The plain folk propaganda makes the people think Barack Obama is in kinship with heroes and valiant public servants. For these intended results, Michelle Obama embeds her speech with plain folk propaganda to prove her point that Barack Obama has the right principles in order to serve the people.

    Alec Solemslie
    Period 5

    • Yo Alec. One thing Iove about your writing is your VERB CHOICE. “Intertwine” “reminisces” “sacrifices” good job. Keep it up. Beat on against the current, little Alec. Okay now, to the critisism.. I don’t like when you refer to leaders as public idols or icons, it makes me think of American idol. Maybe I’m biased. But in general I like public leaders better.
      Ashley Hailey 5th per

    • Alec,
      You did a nice job with explaining how the use of plain folk propaganda supported your thesis. What didn’t work as well is that you didn’t use a variety of punctuation; there’s a good use of a dash and a colon, but other than that it’s just periods and commas.

  3. One thing working well:
    You do a splendid job of analyzing the Plain Folk Propaganda and how this will influence the public that Barack is the best to serve the people.
    One thing not working well:
    In the beginning you repeat yourself by using “Plain Folk Propaganda” and you could find other phrases and other than that you did good. 🙂

  4. Purpose Statement: Michelle Obama persuades the American Public that her husband focuses on the average American when making decisions for the country.

    Michelle Obama persuades the audience by using common man propaganda. In order to make herself appear like one of the middle class citizens that she is addressing with this speech, Obama uses phrases with an inclusive “we”: “Like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life”. Aware of her supposedly elevated status, she attempts to demonstrate that she is an average woman. By including herself in the public, the audience can assume that her husband, the President of the United States, is also an average man. This conclusion makes it seem apparent that the President would keep the public’s interest as a priority—the interests would be identical, as the President would be a part of the public. Similarly, she carefully chooses phrases that highlight the humble roots of both her and her husband: “Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much”. Selecting the phrase “like so many American families” puts their families on the same ground as their audience—a form of common man propaganda. She emphasizes that her family was similar to many others in order to prove that she is as ordinary as the American public. Proving this, she can then assure her audience that the President, like her, is an ordinary person with the public’s best interest in mind.

    Rachel Anderson
    Period 5

    • Purpose statement: Michelle Obama personalizes herself and her husband and inspires Americans to believe that Barack makes decisions with the public good in mind.

      The plain folk propagation method is one which Michelle Obama employs well when personalizing herself and Barack. In her speech, Obama expresses that she and her husband had grown up in common families; she states that “like so many Americain families, our families weren’t asking for much.” Even without the relatable start to the sentence—“like so many American families”—the simple fact that their families “weren’t asking for much” is enough to cause Americans to sympathize with the family, which in turn causes them to clump themselves and their family with the president’s family; this is Obama’as desired effect. She lists qualities that she and Barack learned from their families: “dignity and decency,” “honesty and integrity,” “gratitude and humility.” She goes on to say “those are the values Barack and I—and so many of you—are trying to pass on to our own children.” Obama deliberately adds the “and so many of you” simply to make obvious to her audience that they share the same values with the president and herself. She says that “Barack knows what it means when a family struggles” and that “he knows that it means to want something for your kids and grandkids.” This causes people to feel as if the president understands their stresses and that he has battled the same struggles. This sense instills trust in the president. “For Barack,” Michelle says, “there is no such thing as ‘us’ and ‘them’—he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above…he knows that we all love our country… and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas… he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.” By saying this, Obama is putting everyone into the same group, initializing an even greater sense of trust; not only a trust in our president, but in our country—specifically when she says that her husband knows that “we all love our country.” When she goes on to say that Barack is “always ready to listen to good ideas…” it implies that he would like to hear the opinion of the public. This implication demonstrates the president’s consciousness of the public good because it shows that he is willing to consider the public’s opinion.

      Rachel Marsh
      5th period

      • Rachel,
        Wow. This is great. You have a PLETHORA of concrete examples, applause, applause. I don’t know why I’m being so weird with this, but its probably because I can’t figure out anything wrong with it. Maybe try to use some more elevated diction, because I know you have it in that brilliant little skull of yours.
        Love Ashley (Hailey) (5th period)

      • Rachel,
        Wow! This is really good. You used a variety of examples, and each of these have strong commentary. Well done! While your commentary is very good, I think some examples need a bit more of it. A few of your examples don’t have as obvious of a connection to your thesis, so I would add another sentence of commentary that clearly exhibits the connection between the two.

        The Other Rachel 🙂 (Rachel Anderson)
        Period 5

  5. Purpose statement: to convince the hard-working pride of the American Spirit that Barack Obama is the best thing for the nation.
    Paragraph: The First Lady describes the stories she has heard and expirenced throughout her trips around the nation from many Americans. She explains what she has seen and how becoming president has affected Barack Obama as a husband and father. The First Lady employs anaphora throughout her speech. For example, when she says “and everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American Spirit”(Obama). She proceeds to go on about the feelings and people she has met. She is thrilled to be apart of the United States if America. She moves forward to say “I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth…I have seen it in the people who become heroes at a moment’s notice…and I have seen it in our men and women in uniform” (Obama). She expresses how honored she is to be apart of the USA. She confesses that Americans make her proud. She says “everyday, the people I meet inspire me…everyday, they make me proud…everyday they remind me how blessed we are” (Obama). She believes that Barack Obama is the best choice for the American spirit. She believes that even though he is president, he has earned everything he has–whether that be his family or his job–he takes everything seriously. She says “even though back then Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate…to me, he was still the guy who’d pick me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door” (Obama). The First Lady believes her husband is a hard-working American–just like the rest of us in the nation. We work for what we have and that’s how it should be.

    • You have done a great job at finding evidence to support anaphora. Also good use of a dash. You also did good at introducing quotes.

      I woukd refere to ‘the first lady’ as michele obama. I would use the every three rule and use michele Obama the first two times then switch to the first lady. I think younshould change the word ‘thing’ in your purpose ststement into a stronger, less vague word. For example, leader. I would also change wome of the sentences that start out like “she believes… she expresses” etc. Focus on the how, what does the use of anaphora do for her speech?
      otherwise your paragraph is good!

  6. Purpose: Michelle Obama declares that even after being President, her husband is still the same man that lives and acts like the common man, therefore persuading the country that Barak is the most qualified choice.

    Paragraph: Michelle Obama applies numerous anecdotes to her speech-it is practically composed of them. She plops these personal stories into her presentation, such as informing the public that her family’s life before moving to Washington was filled with “simple joys… Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandmas house… And a date night for Barak and me”. Michelle endeavors to relate to the common man by using anecdotes. She has chosen stories that almost every American could indentify with; everybody fondly remembers the fun-filled Sundays at grandmas house, and the smell of freshly cut grass, to accompany the anticipation of the upcoming soccer game on Saturdays. Michelle recognizes that Americans will feel closer to her family, since they have led such similar lives. She proudly refers to her husband as “the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering their questions about issues in the news, and strategizing about middle school friendships”. Michelle brilliantly conjures the memories of family dinners in the average Americans mind in order to connect them to her. Her anecdote reminds parents of when their children would ask questions about the news they didn’t understand, and why boys treated you the way they did in middle school. The public realizes that sonce Barak has lived their life, he must know what is best for the greater good in this country. Michelle ultimately pursuades Americans to check off on their ballot for the man most like themselves-her husband-come voting day.

    • Working: You have done an awesome job of finding examples of Michelle’s anecdotal evidence! I loved reading it because I didn’t even think about that as I was reading!

      Not working: You need a bit more detail relating to the “How?” Give more examples from the text of how the short stories make Obama the “Common Man.”

      • Ashley,
        I love the topic you chose and the example you analyzed! You did an excellent job picking out what to use. However, I think you should add more textual evidence, and make a clearer connection to the “How?”, like Olivia said.

        Rachel Anderson
        Period 5

  7. Purpose: Michelle Obama convinces her audience that Barack Obama is the best leader for America.

    Michelle Obama utilizes the power of ethos within her speech. Obama is able to randomly use ethos throughout her speech in order to appeal to her audience. Towards the end of her speech, Obama is constantly using “we” and “we’re.” This establishes a togetherness between Obama and her audience. By doing this, the her audience is more likely to listen to her and actually hear what she is saying. Not only will they listen to her more, but actually believe what Obama is saying. That way, Obama is able to persuaded the audience that her husband, does have America’s best interest at heart and is able to be their best leader. Likewise, Obama explains, ” I love that even in the toughest moments, when we’re all sweating it–when we’re worried that the bill won’t pass, and it seems like all is lost–Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise.” Again, Obama creates a togetherness feeling with the usage of ethos while also simultaneously lifting her husband up and proving that he is the best leader for American. The usage of “we’re” in this sentence makes the audience feel equal to Obama. Obama is able to use ethos in order to persuade the audience that her husband is the best leader for America.

    Korissa Bartok
    4th Period

    • Working: You have a bucket full of commentary!

      Not Working: I felt like it stayed from the purpose at hand and you need more textual evidence to support your claim. Though commentary is good, add more text rather than personal opinion.

    • Korissa,
      What works well: You connected the concrete detail to the purpose very well.
      Needs improvement: You should strengthen your diction. The word “randomly” seems out of place, and “audience” is used a lot.

      Shayna Snyder
      Period 5

  8. Purpose Statement:
    To inspire American Citizens that Barack Obama is the best President to lead them forward.

    Paragraph:
    Michelle Obama creates a flow in her speech using Anaphora. She uses anaphora to create a strong voice when speaking about the “American Spirit” and how Barack is “the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward…” in order to explain how Barack relates to the common citizen. Michelle states that “if farmers…if immigrants…if proud Americans can…boldly stand at the altar” then any average person can achieve their dreams, like Barack accomplishing his dream when he became President. By using this anaphora she sets up a strong parallelism in order to inspire the audience that if the people were to do work hard, then Barack would work even harder to give them the world they want to see. She then describes the American spirit within the people ¾ “I’ve seen it in teachers…I’ve seen it in people” ¾ to delineate the commonalities between them and Barack Obama. By stating this anaphora she explains that Barack and the people have the same values ¾ “we learned about dignity…we learned about honesty…we learned about gratitude…” because these values are what everyone wants their kids to grow up to know. Her use of anaphora appeals to common people because she connects it with what they want within their President and as to why Barack would be the best to lead them forward.

    • Like karlie said, you did an excellent job of connecting the use of anaphora to the relstionship between the people and Obama. You also use the correct quotes tobhelp support your purpose statement.

      I would use more commentary and mabye a couple more quotes to help how the use of anaphora effects the reader. And I would focus on how the use of anaphora helps connect to the people. Otherwise your paragraph is excellent.

  9. Purpose: Michelle Obama tries to persuade the public that Obama is still a hard-working common man and that he has the best interests of the common man at heart.

    Paragraph: Michelle Obama uses anecdotes to relate her husband to the common man. Michelle explains her and Barack’s life before the presidency, saying that “our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys…Saturdays at soccer games, Sunday’s at grandma’s house…and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn’t stay awake for both”. This relates the Obama family’s lifestyle to that of the common man. It does this by using an anecdote to show that even though they’re in the white house now, they were once a typical hard-working family like the people who they claim to have the best interests in heart of. Michelle also states that “Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined”. Michelle uses this anecdote to relate her and Barack’s childhoods to that of the common man. She does this by explaining how hard working her dad and Barack’s grandmother were, and then saying that “when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like his grandmother”. She says this to show the purpose behind all her anecdotes, that Barack has the best interests of the public at heart.

    Ethan Moore
    4th Period

    • Good Things: I really like your purpose statement because it is specific. And you used a lot of effective concrete detail to support your purpose.
      To Improve: Add some more commentary! Your paragraph just seems a bit rushed because of all the concrete detail and not enough commentary supporting it.

      Overall it was really good though!

    • The only thing for me is you use common man beaucoup. Tout le temps. You should phrase that differently, you can even say like The Average American or something like that. It’s good that you used so many quotes but I agree with Beka that you should have a little more commentary:)

      • What is working well is you have a direct purpose that you very clearly connect to with concrete detail, you don’t stray off from the purpose. You also chose really good concrete details that back up your essay paragraph perfectly.

  10. Purpose Statement: Michelle Obama is persuading the American people that her husband Barack Obama has the average Americans best interests in mind as their leader.

    Paragraph: Michelle Obama’s speech is directly geared towards convincing the American people that her husband is an ordinary man—and average American. In order to do this the First Lady employs common man propaganda throughout her whole speech. She begins with a simple pedestrian phrase that we can all relate to: “we will always have your back”. This group of words sends the message that the presidential family, like all families, will always be there when needed. Using the pedestrian language in the phrase Michelle establishes a common ground between herself and her audience, showing them that her family is the same as theirs. Further utilizing common man propaganda Michelle adds the inclusive pronouns “we”, “our”, and “us”. Now Michelle has made herself a part of the mass “That’s who we are.” Here, Michelle includes herself with her audience and portrays that she knows exactly how they feel, and that the Obama’s only want what is best for them, what they would want for their own family. The connection between the President and the average American enables Michelle Obama to convince her audience that her husband has the American peoples best interest at heart at all times. The common man propaganda continues to weave itself in and out of Mrs. Obamas words, and in order to do so she uses other strategies like anecdotes to create that plain folk feeling. Michelle uses a story about her father to illustrate the fact that her own family struggled in the same ways that the American family does today: “Like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life—being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family.” With the use of the anecdote and inclusive “us” Michelle has managed to develop a relationship between herself and her audience bases on commonalities between the two. The common man propaganda instills a sense of safety in the audience that their president will always have their back because the president, like all of the American people, knows what it is like to struggle. Michelle Obama has effectively utilized the common man strategy to persuade her audience that Barack Obama does have their best interest at heart.

    Rebeka Matthews
    5th period

    • What is working well: Your diction choice is
      working really well! Especially your verb choices.I also believe that you are doing a good on relating back to your purpose statement.

      What could be changed: Try to avoid using just Michelle. Only use the first name if you know the person on a personal level. Try sticking with Michelle Obama.

      Alec Solemslie
      Period 5

      • YES!!! Alec is dead-on: unless you have afternoon tea, or play tennis with the lady, you don’t get to call her by her first name! This is true of all formal/academic writing.

    • What is working well: You do a very good job at connecting back to your purpose and also explaining how she does persuades!

      What could be changed: “Here, Michelle includes herself with her audience and portrays that she knows exactly how they feel, and that the Obama’s only want what is best for them, what they would want for their own family” This sentence is sort of lengthy and a little confusing, maybe break it up a little bit or reword it? 🙂

      Overall, your body paragraph is doing what it should, and doing it well! 🙂

      Korissa Bartok
      Period 4

  11. Olivia Smith
    Period 4

    Purpose: Michelle Obama’s purpose is to show that Barack Obama is an American citizen trying to achieve the American dream just like most Americans.

    Michelle Obama utilizes analogies to convey an image of Barack Obama that is closely related to American citizens. When she talks about the men and women in the military who have fought for America and risked their lives, she brings notice to the fact that they wont give up on making America a better place. A young soldier who had become blinded due to a bomb while serving our country even said, “..I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.” This desire to make a positive impact is also embodied through the actions of Barack Obama’s family in his early years. Barack’s mother, being a single mom,”struggled to pay the bills” and Barack had “grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.” Even though his grandmother “hit a glass ceiling” when “moving up the ranks” in her job, she continued to provide for her family by not giving up. As far as relating to Obama, he “refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president.” Obama, like so many other Americans, has done so much to make America a better place such as the following actions: healthcare reform act, creating more jobs to improve our economy, increase wages to a livable standard and decrease unemployment rates. He refuses to give up. Michelle’s use of analogies make Obama seem more human. They do this by showing Obama has the same values as so many Americans–that he will not give up on giving his family, America, a better life. They show that for Obama, America’s “issues aren’t political–they’re personal.” This is due to the fact that he is just trying to achieve the American dream as is every other American.

    • What is working: I think you chose a riskier purpose statement, which is fabulous!
      What could be changed: You switch around calling Barack Obama either Barack or Obama. I would just stick to Obama or the president.

      Overall this whole paragraph is working very nicely! 🙂

      • What is working: Your purpose is very specific.

        What could be improved: It reads more like a summary of what Michelle IS saying instead of HOW she is saying it. How do your examples “convey an image of Barack Obama that is closely related to American citizens?”

  12. Phoenix Roe 4th period

    Purpose: to reassure America that Obama is trustworthy and puts them and their needs first.

    Michelle Obama employs ethos to reassure America of her husbands care and that America’s people are his priority. Ethos is utilized when stated, “…to me, he was still the guy who’d picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out that was so rusted out…he was the guys whose possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small”. Expressing Obama’s financially struggled past to the public gives the feeling that he was once just like them- perhaps even far worse. By doing so the public feels a connection to Obama. They feel that as he used to be like them, he knows their troubles and exactly what they want- and that’s what he intends to give them. Another example of ethos would be when Michelle Obama says, “he’s the same man who, when our girls were first born, would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing, proudly showing them off to everyone he knew”. American citizens see his fatherly side through this statement. It is clearly shown that Obama is not just a president and politician-but a loving father just like his citizens. Expressing his paternal love and care reminds Americans that his values are the same as theirs, and he will be successful in putting their needs first because they are his as well. Ethos is applied yet again when Michelle Obama says, “that’s the man that sits down with me and my girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, and strategizing about middle school friendships”. The portrayl of an average family dinner gives the audience a connection, a belief that although a president, Obama is still an average man. America wants someone who is similar to them- through beliefs, values, and experience- to run their county. So by showing how he is a man just like everyone else, America is confident that he will be able to run the country effectively as they would want to see it run. As Michelle Obama employs ethos, she is able to remind America that their president is a man with the same values as them, who will be able to put their needs first, as they are also his needs.

    • You did a really good job on explaining how and why her strategies work and balancing your concrete detail and commentary.

      There really isn’t much to fix except some of your sentences are a little awkward. For example: “So by showing how he is a man just like everyone else, America is confident that he will be able to run the country effectively as they would want to see it run.” It sounds like America is showing how he is a man just like everyone else. You may want to say that Michelle Obama is able to make America confident that he will be able to run the country as effectively as they would want to see it run.

  13. Karlie Lodjic
    5th Period

    Purpose:
    To encourage those who are going through challenges and to convince them that they should vote for Barack Obama in order to create a better world for their children.

    Paragraph:
    Michelle Obama uses the connection between her story, Barack Obama’s story and the American story to illustrate her purpose. She uses anecdotes from her childhood such as: “[m]y father was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis…despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work…he and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of.” She connects this to her husband’s story of being “raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.” Michelle Obama uses these stories to play on the sympathy of her listeners by showing them the hardships that she and Barack Obama faced while growing up. She also uses Ethos by showing those who are struggling that Obama understands what they are going through and if he is appointed as president to another term, them he will improve their lives and help them through those struggles because he has personal experience in those situations. Then she compares their stories to the American story of “doing the impossible.” She uses conditional sentences such as “if so many brave men and women could wear our country’s uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights…surely, we can get to the polls and make our voices heard on Election Day.” These function as a call to action for her audience to vote for Obama. They do so by suggesting that it is the American people’s duty to their country because their ancestors went through hardships to make a better life for future Americans and the only way to keep building this country is to ensure that Obama stays in office; he has experienced struggles and will work hard to relieve the rest of the country from troubles like his and to create better opportunities for future generations.

    • What is working well: Your analysis is thorough and complete. You are doing a good job on using textual evidence.

      What could be changed: You have some REALLY long sentences in this paragraph. Try shorting those sentences and/or add some telegraphic sentences so your reader doesn’t get lost or confused.

      Alec Solemslie
      Period 5

  14. Mackenzie Hunsaker
    Period:4

    Purpose: Michelle Obama’s purpose is to prove that her husband’s depth of character by using anecdotal evidence from their past.

    Paragraph:
    Michelle Obama uses anecdotal evidence to show her husband’s true character. These anecdotes include one from their young life when when he drove “a car that was so rusted out” that she could “actually see the pavement going by,” and his “proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster.” This specific anecdote develops the notion that Barack was once at the same point as many young adults — living pay check to paycheck with very few actual possessions. Michelle deliberately shows this side of Barack to make him more relate-able to the public. Barack is not your average Washington politician, he is a man who has “never forgotten how he started” and can be trusted “to do what he says he’s going to do.” Michelle also speaks of her father and Barack’s grandmother — both very hard workers– who taught Barack and Michelle “about gratitude and humility,” and “to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” By placing these stalwart examples of principled role models with her description of Barack, the audience assumes that these great characteristics rubbed off on Barack too. The real-life approach carries more weight to the audience because they can relate to it. Therefore, Barack must truly be an upstanding, responsible leader, because he’s had to go through life the hard way.

    • What is working: Very good diction choice! I’m jealous! Haha

      What could be changed: I think the purpose should maybe be changed from the depth of Barack Obama’s character to maybe something else?

      But, overall I liked your paragraph a lot! 🙂

    • What is working well: You were able to use dashes which add tone!

      What could be changed: Your purpose statement is kind of confusing and maybe could be reworded.

      Korissa Bartok
      Period 4

  15. Purpose Statement: Michelle Obama expresses how her husband, President Barack Obama, has the same values and ideals as the average American citizen.

    Michelle Obama utilizes interrupted sentences throughout her speech to display the importance of how President Obama is just like the average American. Michelle states, “he didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically -that’s not how he was raised- he cared that it was the right thing to do,”. Michelle is referring to when Obama had to deal with the health reform. She uses this to prove that Obama cares about the well being of every American citizen because that was how he was raised. Since, she uses this interrupted sentence to prove that everyone that her husband was raised like the general American public. Michelle informs the public that, “for Barack these issues aren’t political -they’re personal,”. The issues she refers to are issues that her husband have gone through. Even thought Obama has gone through these struggles, it has made his view on the values of an average American family grow stronger. Michelle understands that Obama has these views and tries to make it clear to the public to show that her husband has the same ideals as the rest of them.

    Megan Good
    p. 4

    • Working Well: You have a good purpose statement, and come back to it in your paragraph really well.
      Needs work: Some of your sentences seem a little awkward, like this “Since, she uses this interrupted sentence to prove that everyone that her husband was raised like the general American public.” and you could make the diction choice a bit better

    • Megan,
      What works well: Your quotes and quote introductions work well in this paragraph.
      Needs improvement: After the first quote, you could use language from the purpose to make the connection stronger.

      Shayna Snyder
      Period 5

  16. Purpose: To explain to Americans that her and Barrack Obama come from humble beginnings and that Barrack Obama is working hard to improve America

    Michelle Obama uses plain folk propaganda to relate to the general public of America. She uses this when she says, “Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandma’s house.” This statement connects the Obamas to the lives of average Americans by talking about how they spent their time “at soccer games” and “grandma’s house.” The reference to these two things helps them relate to the average American by showing that they too value time with family and enjoy sports. Michelle Obama also uses plain folk propaganda when she talks about Barrack’s past financial status as she says, “car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by…whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small.” This quote relates Barrack Obama to thousands of Americans by talking about how he lived without many of the luxuries that many Americans also live without. Many Americans can relate to having an old car with problems, old furniture, or having clothes that are too small.

    • Nick,
      What works well: you’re usage of specific examples of propaganda. Some are subtle which shows good analytical skill.
      what needs improvement: definitely diction choice. I do not see a diverse language. Improving language would make this paragraph more credibility.

    • What is working well: You very clearly stated the Lit device you used.

      What could improve: At the beginning it sounds a little repetitive, try explaining HOW the fact that Barack enjoys sports and going to grandmas house makes him like everyone else/ portrays him as a person 🙂

  17. Purpose Statement: Michele Obama uses rhetorical strategies to convince the public that Barack Obama is the ideal President because of his “American spirit” and “dedication.”
    Paragraph: Michele Obama employs plain folk propaganda throughout her speech in order to reassure the audience that Barack Obama is a superlative leader. In her speech, she emphasizes their common “upbringing”- made with “unflinching sacrifices”- that their parents tried so very hard to achieve for them. Michele Obama compares her family to many American families by stating “like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much.” She describes their simple life full of sacrifices made by their hard working parents that “hardly ever missed a day of work.” Like many Americans today, a decent life can only be earned through perseverance and hard work. Michele Obama proceeds to address plain folk propaganda by uniting her family with many American families. She proves this by emphasizing her inclusive statements; “we learned about dignity and decency… we learned about honesty and integrity…we learned about gratitude and humanity… like so many of you.” She repeatedly employs the word “we” to create a feeling of inclusiveness with her audience. By uniting her audience with her middle class family, she presents a feeling of security and strength, that their nation can embellish hope for the future. Michele Obama uses plain folk propaganda to show that they share a common ground of inclusiveness.
    Alivia Nichols Period 5

    • Working well: You consistently used strong diction and proved your point through multiple quotes.
      Could be improved: Towards the middle or end, you could connect the use of plain folk propaganda to the purpose: Michelle Obama convinces people that Barack Obama is “the ideal President.”

      Amy Schols
      Period 5

  18. Purpose Statement: Michelle Obama uses rhetorical strategies to convince the American public that Barack Obama is the ideal president.

    Michelle Obama employs polysyndeton to convince the American public that Barack Obama is the ideal president. She uses polysydeton when she says, “he wants everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.” The overuse of conjunctions show that Barack Obama values equal opportunities for all Americans. The conjunction before each phrase sets each idea apart and shows that he believes each of these phrases is of equal importance. One is not more important than another. The extra conjunctions emphasize that he does not value “who we are” over “where we’re from.” Michelle Obama also characterizes Barack Obama using polysyndeton when she states, “he just keeps getting up and moving forward…with patience and wisdom, and courage and grace>” She utilizes polysyndeton to show that Barack Obama is a well-balanced man. The overuse of conjunctions shows that each of these characteristics is equal; he has just as much “Patience” as he does “courage.” As opposed to only having a conjunction before the last phrase, making the last characteristic stand out. Michelle Obama uses polysyndeton to convince the public that Barack Obama is an ideal president who values equal opportunity for all Americans and is a well-balanced man.

    Shayna Snyder
    Period 5

    • What works: You describe how for each cd really well
      Needs improvement: You repeat yourself some, you say “The overuse of conjunctions” twice it just needs to be rephrased some to add variety

  19. Purpose Statement: Michelle Obama convinces the public that she and her husband, Barack Obama, have the same values, beliefs, and concerns as the average American.

    Paragraph: As Michelle Obama works to make Barack Obama the relatable, likable choice for President, she employs vast amounts of ethos, specifically the inclusive “we.” She starts by listing examples of “the very best of the American Spirit,” and she addresses the people serving the United States and their loved ones: “our men and women in uniform and our proud military families.” By applying “we,” Obama is able to familiarize the audience and establish a neighborly feeling of equality and community. The audience is now overly trusting and can become credulous towards the words of the woman, who “like any mother, I was worried.” Mothers, fathers, and voters alike–all vulnerable because of the relatable and mutual worry regarding future transformations in their lives–relinquish their political filter and are especially perceptive to ethos. Audience members receive all of Michelle Obama’s messages. Americans believe messages about the positive and understandable values, beliefs, and concerns of Barack Obama.

    Amy Schols
    Period 5

    • Amy, your paragraph is overall a success.
      What works well: you’re plucking and plopping, you use many quotes and use them in the right places, and explain superbly.
      Improve: use of diction throughout the paragraph, there are good uses of diction but make it more consistent.

  20. Purpose Statement:
    First lady Michelle Obama—passionate about husband, President Barack Obama’s welfare in relation to “the very best of the American spirit”—aides her speech to relaying “that sense of limitless possibility” to America, through Barack.

    Body Paragraph:
    As Ms. Obama speaks, she relies on a plethora of rhetorical strategies to prove her point: her husband is beneficial to this nation. Among these strategies is her use of anecdotal evidence; many short accounts of personal incidents. She depends on said anecdotes to further her stance. Along with appealing to the audience’s ethics, Obama looks back on watching her “father wake up with a smile, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform” as an anecdote to show where she and Barack came from. Through this, the first lady illustrates for her listeners, a window into the past and how it has shaped her husband and herself. Time and time again, the telling of such stories connects her family and the people of America. This noticeably, clearly grasps attention and adds to the validity of her argument. She does this by employing personal experiences to relate to the everyday American. Anecdote is utilized yet again as Obama articulates how “Barack was raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.” Once again, the first lady ensures the listeners that her and Barack are relatable people, “trying to pass on” to their own children the values of “dignity and decency,” “honesty and integrity,” “gratitude and humility.” She uses the morals she and Barack grew up on to make sense of Barack’s choices as president. How she does this is simple, by taking her personal accounts she enhances her stance on believing in her husband and therefore complements what the nation as a whole thinks of him.

    • Working well: You clearly proved the use of anecdotes through many strategically placed quotes, and you used strong diction to convey your argument.
      Could be improved: You could use another word to introduce quotes instead of “again,” such as “in addition,” and you could continue to relate the use of anecdotes to your purpose. 🙂

  21. Tami’s Paragraph

    Michelle intertwines the use of anecdotes to compare the likeness of Barack Obama to an average American citizen. Anecdotes are incorporated when Michelle dives into the past and tells how both Barack and her “were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possesions” but were given “something far more valuable”. This anecdotal evidence aids Michelle’s purpose by comparing them to average Americans. Personal information causes the audience to connect with the president and his wife in a stronger way; some Americans may have gone through the same lifestyle as Barack and Michelle. Anecdotes also appear when Michelle describes how Barack “would anxiously check [their daughters] cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing”. This anecdote functions to compare Barack to average Americans by putting him on the same level as them. When the president experiences the same moment as the audience, it highlights a parallel view between the two; it then lets the audience understand what is being said to a higher degree because they can connect themselves to the speech through corresponding exposures. Anecdotal evidence is highly effective to connect with the audience in a superior way and Michelle Obama uses it effectively in comparing Barack to American citizens.

    • So Tami, I think you should add in another concrete detail because more would make it stronger, and there are plenty more anecdotes you could use. For example, there is the one about having an old beat up car that you could use, because I feel like your first quote is less of a personal story and more of a statement. I don’t know what your purpose is, but you should always connect it to you concrete details. Explain WHY connecting with Obama serves to Michelle’s purpose, or IS that her purpose? If her purpose is to connect the audience to Obama you did a good job but if you had a different purpose you didn’t. Also, I think the “when the president….corresponding exposures” sentence is gangly, even with the semicolon. You could easily separate the two into shorter sentences.

    • also what is working well is you have awesome diction and transitions (intwetwines, incorporated, dives into the past, aids to, anecdotal evidence, highlights parallel view, corresponding exposures, etc) and you are relating to your potential purpose well:) also nice quote plucking

  22. So Tami, I think you should add in another concrete detail because more would make it stronger, and there are plenty more anecdotes you could use. For example, there is the one about having an old beat up car that you could use, because I feel like your first quote is less of a personal story and more of a statement. I don’t know what your purpose is, but you should always connect it to you concrete details. Explain WHY connecting with Obama serves to Michelle’s purpose, or IS that her purpose? If her purpose is to connect the audience to Obama you did a good job but if you had a different purpose you didn’t. Also, I think the “when the president….corresponding exposures” sentence is gangly, even with the semicolon. You could easily separate the two into shorter sentences.

  23. Purpose: Michelle Obama is trying to convince the reader that President Barack Obama still has America’s best interest at heart as he is still a man of the people.
    Body Paragraph:
    Michelle Obama utilizes an array of rhetorical strategies to support her claim: President Barack Obama is still in the nation’s best interest. The use of plainfolks can dramatically sway an audience opinion and this is exactly what Michelle Obama uses to her advantage. An example of this is when Michelle, when praising the value of contribution and respect, states that “Those are the values Barack and I – and so many of you – are trying to pass on to our own children”. Michelle knows Americans will respond well to her complement is trying to sweep under the radar into the audience’s head. When she says the words “Barack and I –and so many of you” she is coupling average citizens with U.S leaders. Doing so creates a sense of gratification in the minds of the audience due to this honor of similarity to a U.S President. Another example of Michelle’s plainfolks is when she explains, when in regard to Barack’s priorities, that “He’s the same man who started his career by turning down high paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods”. Michelle realizes that the United States wants a president who cares about the average rather than the privileged. She wants to show that underneath his prestigious role as President, is one of them and holds their values. Relating to Barack’s past occupation, Michelle finds that she can recruit average and below average-income resident’s loyalty. Also, security and the well-being of community is the most palatable. In the audiences head, if Barack helped “struggling neighborhoods then, then he can undoubtedly do it now due to unimaginable resources. An auxiliary example is when Michelle depicts Barack as a simple family man as she delineates Barack as “the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night”. This description is one of the most valued ideas in an American’s mind, the ideal American family. Michelle Obama uses this to bring Barack to the core to what every American finds dear and honorable, the Family-Man. As Michelle says this she knows that this will spark countless minds with a feeling of warmth. The warmth comes from knowing that Barack is the image of a caring and average man, they value his down to earth attitude thus boosting his credibility to the brink. Michelle’s application of plainfolks is used impeccably, and successfully shows Obama’s dedication to his country.

    (sorry this is so late, ive been puking my brains (or lack of) out for days, this sucks, i would rather take ten timed writes than be sick)

    • Max, your paragraph was really good, I loved your word choice. You did a really nice job of relating everything back to your paragraph and making your point 🙂

      Just a typo, but towards the end it looks like you forgot a quotation mark somewhere around “struggling neighborhoods then, he can undoubtedly do it now” which confused me towards the end of your paragraph.

      Kimry Roberts
      Period 4

  24. Purpose: to persuade the nation that Barack Obama is the best man to be the president of the United States of America and that he has everybody’s best interests at heart.
    Paragraph: Micelle Obama uses anecdotes throughout her speech continuously to relate her husband, Barack Obama, with his current self to his old self, before he became the president of the United States. She applies anecdotes in her speech, such as referring to “Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandma’s house… and a date night for Barack and me…” and the common life that “Barack’s grandmother” lived and the way she raised him and the values she taught him, to show that Barack is a common man, with a heart like the rest of us. Michelle Obama uses these stories to allow readers to be able to relate to Barack: if they are able to relate to him and the life he lived, and is currently living, then they will see that he is a man who is well fit for being the president of our country.

    Kimry Roberts
    Period 4

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