Can You Figure Out How This Bike-Powered Water Pump Works?

Like I said in my initial post about this article, it sounds like the type of article I would typically stray away from; admittedly, lately I’ve been addicted to “listicles” and anything involving food/wine and culture. But I think it could be stimulating to seek out “how-to” help from somewhere other than Google or Siri. Also, articles I usually skip over, such as ones about design or art, could be inspiring in interesting ways.

There is a video demonstrating a bike-powered water pump, an explanation of how it works, and a discussion about its significance. As a writer, I rarely consider challenging my audience to answer a question or develop their own arguments. In many of my academic writing classes, I’ve been taught to establish a strong thesis and use the rest of my essay to convince readers to side with my thesis. In a more open-ended writing class like this one, however, it has been interesting to experiment with asking a few questions in my projects that I do not necessarily have a concrete answer to, and asking my peers to determine their own conclusions.

First, I would love if my classmates viewed the below video demonstrating the bike-powered water pump:

Then, please consider the following questions for class discussion:

  1. What genre would you classify this article as belonging to? Why?
  2. Do you think the balance of text and images/video is effective? What were your initial impressions upon reading the article?
  3. Are there particular writing elements you see as being characteristic of “how-to” articles? How could you apply these techniques to your own projects?
  4. Do you think the technique of an author allowing a reader to draw their own conclusions before establishing them straight-away is useful in this piece? Why or why not?

Sarah Schuman

Hi! I'm Sarah, from the Chicago area. I write more eloquently with a chai latte by my side.

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