Students analyze portions of profiles excerpted from the free online dating site, OkCupid, in order to talk about ethos, values, ideology and goodwill. To introduce the concept of ethos in a rhetoric classroom. To introduce students to the implications of online writing and the ways in which our writing reflects a particular image of ourselves to different audiences. To encourage students to reflect on their own online identities, as well as the ways in which they shift their self-presentations based on their perceptions of audience and genre. Internet access would be ideal, but this could easily be implemented using simple hand-outs prepared in advance.
As I pointed out to my students, the internet is very much so a public place, regardless of the sometimes flimsy, sometimes more strict privacy settings of a given website. OkCupid profiles offer a glimpse of more pragmatic, everyday ethos: how a person's general presentation or demeanor reflects an image back into the world. Looking at their compositions encourages students to focus on how people generate or fail to generate goodwill, and how they convey particular values through their writing.
After students break off into groups to assess the ethos presented in the profiles they are given and write short descriptions of their candidates, then we discuss their assessments as a group.
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As a follow up assignment, I ask students to go home and write their own self-summaries to be posted on the class blog. To encourage students to think about audience, you might give them different audiences for which to compose these summaries.
For example, how would they summaraize themselves on a job application versus a student-body election? For their parents versus their friends?
For their classmates versus their teammates?
The site requires that you create an account in order to search for users, but the account is free, requiring nothing more than an email address. So, if you would prefer to find example profiles on your own, you'll need to open an account.
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However, I will include a number of potential sample profiles below in the "additional resources. I didn't use the full profiles as part of the class discussion, though I'm toying with the idea of doing so next time around. There is, perhaps, no clearer instance of an argument based on character than online dating profiles. Each person's profile essentially makes the argument that "you should date me because of who I am.
For this exercise, you will analyze a person's ethos based on their self-summary. You'll then play match-maker, deciding amongst four candidates who would make the best match with your balor or balorette.
However, you'll need to justify your choice based on both parties' presentation of ethos. In groups of three, you'll be assigned to a particular balor or balorette below. You'll first analyze your balor or balorette's ethos, writing an evaluation of their values and character based on evidence from their self-summary. Once you have a clear sense of your person, you will make an argument as to why they "fit" with one of the mats provided - again, based on character and shared values.
Here are some questions to consider:. If you have an immediate reaction to the person's profile, try to identify what sparked the reaction. Think about word choice, tone, and level of formality. How does this person generate or fail to generate goodwill?
Think, that south lyon dating profiles regret, but
Is anything in their profile alienating? What is it and why do you think you have that reaction? The in-class discussion was not evaluated, though it may require some careful moderating.
Students will likely have a lot of fun with the exercise, but both times I've implemented the plan, I have had to work to keep the conversation from devolving into making vun of the profile in question. It's important to remind students that these are "real" people. My students love this exercise. They find it thoroughly memorable and enjoyable, although I'm not sure that makes it the most pedagogically valuable lesson I've taught.
So I would love feedback in the comments section if you try this plan in your classroom. Here are a few of the sampels I used in my class - at the time of the exercise, all of these profiles were publicly viewable.
Summaries have been excerpted verbatim all spelling errors and grammar issues are original. I would recommend formatting them into some sort of chart so as not to impose a vertical hierarchybut for accessibility's sake, I'll simply post the text here. No really it's true, not all guys are dumb assholes They are some strange people out there that much is curtain so lets not think it's only you ladies that get weird messages from people.
The first person to contact me on this site, turned out to be a homeless stripper. Anyways I'm just saying I'm not like that or here for that. I'm not to serious a person, more carefree and laid back if anything so being able to make fun of people without hating on them is a must.
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I'd much rather do sometime fun than sit an complain all day about how messed up the world is. Cause we all Know it is.
I do like to have intelligent conversations, deep discussions, and learn how to connect with the earth and universe more but I don't let things bother me that are out of my control if you know what I mean.
How To Create A Perfect Online Dating Profile To Attract Great Guys
I live alone and love it, my house is my sanctuary but like everyone else it gets lonely and I can use a best friend to hang with me and have some fun. My heart and spiritual well being is very important to me, that being said I take good care of myself and my relationships with others.
Fuck War! But sometimes even the monks must fight and stand up for the weak. However, the mind can only take so much and sometimes needs help form others.
Everybody needs somebody sometimes. Sometimes its a shoulder you need and sometimes its a slap in the back of the head. So hit me up if you feel like I do. My name is Josephine, I studied fine arts at France and then moved to South America to finish a post-graduate program on Linguistics. Nowadays I work as a drawing tear and occasionally as a model for the faculty students. I have acted on the past too, I have always been very passionate about filmmaking, I even ended up making a film about five years ago.
But that passion I left it behind to replace it with music. I am very much into exotic instruments.
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Koto, tabla, sitar, harmonium, buzuq, etc etc. These interest of the exotic came to me through my Romanian origins. I have a strong Gypsy bloodline on my family.
I have played in several Manele bands during the late two years since I re-established in England. Vegetarianism is very important to me. I work hardly everyday to become a vegan and I'm expecting to totally achieve it by this year. That is why I have had to learn to cook vegan, which I succesfully achieved. I have the best Romani vegan dishes you'll ever taste if we ever meet. I like psydelic sixties bands.
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I love The Doors, I think the ultimate party would be dancing around a pyre drinking sake to the rythmn of Five To One. I'm a woman. I enjoy womanly things like getting my nails done and putting makeup on. I do these things because they make me feel great, not because I'm high-maintenance or girly. I'm pretty smart in my mind.
I read a lot, enjoy a good movie often and listen to music all the time. I hate that I say "like" so fucking much, but it's one of my adorable quirks.
I'm a tactile person. I show affection by touch. However, I'm not a touchy feely person. Which is pretty fucking odd, I know. At this point, I'm looking for someone I can actually do stuff with. Go to a play. Rock out to a band at a bar.
Try a new restaurant. So essentially, I'm looking for someone who is fun, outgoing, and mature. A man with some meat on his bones and if you decide to be a smart ass and message me with, "I got meat on THIS bone," I will hunt you down and smack the shit out of you.
I am very family oriented. So I would start off by saying that I am most passionate about my family and friends. Beyond that, I love traveling, reading and learning foreign languages. I think that these things can open doors to new people, cultures and better understanding of the larger world. I also am passionate about learning new things. I love taking goofy classes, or reading up on something I don't know about.
I think that knowledge really is power, and I love using my imagination and creativity to explore different cts of the world. I pride myself on being street smart. Though formal eduation is very important, arming oneself with useful everyday knowledge can sometimes be even more valuable aka I am thankful that I possess common sense!
I am a quick thinker and believe myself not to be naive. And while keeping an open-mind and an open-heart, I love that I am comfortable relying on my independence. I'm always up for a road trip and love to go anywhere warm especially during the winter months!
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Oh yeah, and I have started to train for a Triathlon Sprint coming up this summer. I'll let you know how that goes I'm not so sure however, about hell. I'll get back to you. For the second group, I gave them these options, and it was interesting to see if the two groups paired up the same balor and balorette.
The a geek, and proud of it. When I get passionate about something, I can't shut up about it which is either endearing or extremely irritating, depending on your point of view.
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