The following resources were developed by University of Iowa librarians, teaching faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants and can be used for self-guided learning or incorporated as assignments into coursework. See individual resources for learning objective and activity descriptions.
All resources are made available through a Creative Commons Share Alike License and we encourage you to revise and reuse these materials. While each resource was developed to meet learning objectives specific to departmental curricula, they could be modified to fit most courses, especially those with an analytic, research, or creative writing assignment.
Instructors: Please contact Andrea Anderson (Undergraduate Engagement Librarian) or Cathy Cranston (Director, Undergraduate Engagement) with questions about incorporating these activities in your classroom or to discuss other ways of engaging your students with The Perch.
Developing a topic doesn't happen in one-step. It is a process. Beginning the process in The Perch, you are exposed to countless perspectives and ideas, some of which you may have never thought of as a potential topic. Use the materials below if :
The Discovering Topic Ideas at The Perch worksheet was developed by Rhetoric Instructional Faculty, Colin Kostelecky. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please revise, reuse, and redistribute.
It takes practice to recognize and analyze how writers position their ideas and structure their arguments. The Rhetorical Triangle (ethos, pathos, logos) provides one way of analyzing arguments. Use the following materials if:
The Analyzing Ethos, Logos, and Pathos at The Perch was developed by Margo Skornia, Rhetoric Graduate Teaching Assistant, in collaboration with University of Iowa Librarians. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please revise, reuse, and redistribute.
Refining a topic is a process. As you discover topics for your research it can help to consider steps you might take to begin analyzing your chosen topic. Use the following handout and associated slide deck if you are an instructor looking for an in-class small group activity designed to help students:
The Refining Topic Ideas after The Perch Small Group worksheet was developed by Katie DeVries Hassman and incorporates pieces of the Question Formulation Technique developed by the Right Question Institute. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please revise, reuse, and redistribute.
Consider the role of ambivalence as it relates to authority in critical writing and generate questions to kickstart the writing of a critical essay.
The following series of exercises are designed to get students interacting with The Perch at the University of Iowa’s Main Library while introducing them to critical essays and preparing them to write a short critical essay that includes at least two outside sources/references (aside from the text under evaluation).
While the following series of sessions are designed for a CNW (Creative Nonfiction Writing) course, they are also highly customizable, depending on course type and the instructor’s interests. For an English class, students could write their critical essay about a piece of writing in any genre, for example. For a Rhetoric class, the activities could be easily adapted to facilitate a more focused discussion of authority, credibility, and ethos.
The Authority, Ambivalence, and Critical Essays at The Perch was developed by Larson Fritz, Rhetoric Teaching Assistant. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please revise, reuse, and redistribute.