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Creativity Essay #2: Dreamwork: Crafting an Argument

Are dreams a valid source of a person’s creative ideas? And if so, how? Use the Toulmin model to assess the theory that dreams spur our creative innovations.

Audience: Professionals, including scientists and artists, who are also in the process of analyzing the relationship between dreams and creativity

Format: 4-6 double-spaced pages; MLA style

Advice: Back your argument with a balanced combination of personal experience, as recorded in your dream journal; professional opinion gleaned from course texts; and artistic interpretation from the poets discussed in class.


Type: Use secondary texts to support a primary text, and support a thesis with evidence

Rationale: This assignment teaches students the Toulmin model for argumentation, rooted in an understanding of logical structures and fallacies. It focuses on integrating sources, balancing personal experience and theory, and using quotations effectively. It also begins to address the writing of introductions and conclusions.

Pre-Draft Activities:

Students will keep a dream journal during this unit that will become part of the evidence they use in their argumentative papers. In addition to the dream journal, pre-draft assignments will also include:

(2.1) Response: Visit the Temple of Dreams website. Choose one figure listed there and research the claim that he/she was inspired by a dream. Provide a more detailed account of this figure’s creation and dream

(2.2) Response: Toulmin/Aristotelian analysis of Van de Castle, with quotations;

(2.3) In-class: Identifying logical fallacies in student-written paper;

(2.4) Response: Applying Freud to Coleridge, with proper citations;

(2.5) Response: Analysis/evaluation of dream journal (for incorporation into paper)


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