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Says/Does chart and responses to the interpretive questions below

Throughout the quarter thus far we’ve mostly engaged other peoples’ work, submitting their essays to a series of content analyses and annotations. As we prepare to transition into the drafting phase of your CP, we will shift our attention from CONTENT to RHETORIC, STRUCTURE, and FORM.


  • To familiarize yourself with the “Says/Does” model of note-taking as a tool to analyze an arguments structure and form,
  • To apply the “Says/Does” model of note-taking to a sample CP. In doing so, you will engage a “reverse-outline” of the sample and familiarize yourself with key, structural components of a historical analysis.

Complete the following tasks and upload your Says/Does chart and responses to the interpretive questions below.

  • Download the sample CP and review the CP prompt to refresh your memory of its major requirements and components,
  • Create your own Says/Does annotation chart. To do this, make three columns. The first column should indicate the paragraph, or section, of the essay. The second column should read “What it says,” and the third column “What it does.”
  • Conduct a first reading of the CP sample for a CONTENT ANNOTATION, filling out the “What it says” column. Write a phrase or sentence in the second column to summarize the key point of the paragraph.
  • After your first reading, conduct a second review of the CP sample for a RHETORIC/FORMAL ANNOTATION, filling out the “What it does” column. Describe what the paragraph does for the reader/the paragraphs purpose.

After completing the SAYS/DOES reverse outline, answer the following INTERPRETIVE QUESTIONS:

  • What is the problem the writer diagnoses? How does the author introduce the problem to the reader? Where in the essay does the author state their central argument/thesis? Does the author provide any signpost, or sense of structure, to their essay in their introduction?
  • Where in the essay does the author discuss the historical dimension, or root cause, of the problem? What kind of evidence, or artifacts, does the author provide to illustrate the historical and contemporary aspects of this problem?
  • Where in the essay does the author discuss the impact, or effects, of the problem? Who does the problem impact? What are those effects?
  • Does the essay contain discrete sections? What are these sections and how would you name them?
  • How does the author transition between sections? How are connections made across sections?
  • How does the author conclude their analysis?

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