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Introduction to Class

Wiki Orientation

Information Exchange

Writing Samples Collected


Reading Assignments

  • The Syllabus for this course (bring any questions with you on Tuesday)
  • Chapters 1 ("Why Argue") and 7 ("Putting Good Reasons into Action") in Good Reasons
  • Gorgias' "Encomium to Helen" (now also linked here)
  • Excerpts from Plato's Gorgias
  • The wikipedia entry on enthymeme
  • The American Rhetoric page on enthymemes


Sept 6th

Disciplining Rhetoric

Rhetorical Toolbox Opened


Stasis Theory

Rhetorical Triangles

Artistic Appeals

Due: Second Response due before 9 AM,Thursday, September 8

Reading Assignments:

Though they are numerous...they are short (and since many of you touted how avidly you read in your writing samples, it should be no problem!)

  • Chapter 1 ("They Say") in They Say/I Say (17-27)
  • Chapter 1 (if you haven't already) and Chapter 2 ("Reading Arguments") in Good Reasons 
  • Gore Vidal: Drugs
  • Theodore Dalyrymple: Don't Legalize Drugs


Sept 8th

The Rhetorical Toolbox

Tools added + Tools Used

Reading Assignments:

  • Read the instructions for Project One and the student examples for same; be prepared to explain which of the examples you like the best and why you felt this way.
  • Chapters 6 ("Analyzing Visual Arguments") in Good Reasons (30-51; 90-100)
  • (optional) Roland Barthes: "The Rhetoric of the Image"

Sept 13

The Ad Analysis

Introduction to Project One

First of Two Visual Rhetorical Analysis Workouts

Due:  Fourth Response due before 9AM, Thursday, September 15

Reading Assignments:



Lost in the Supermarket

The Rhetoric of Advertising and the Age of Persuasion

Due: First paragraph of your rough draft of Project One due via a link to the page you created on our Roster before 9 AM Tuesday

Reading Assignments

  • Chapter 4 ("Drafting and Revising Arguments") in Good Reasons (52-65)
  • Read over (again) the instructions for, and examples of, Project One

Sept 20

Writing Project One

Workshopping Project One Intro Paragraphs

Rhetorical/Structural Options for Project One

Introduction Strategies

Due: Your rough draft of Project One (complete draft) is due via a link to the page you created on our Roster before class on Thursday.



First Rough Draft Workshop

Due: Drop a link to the final draft of your execution of Project One to the Project One Storage Bin page before 11:59 PM, Sunday, October 2

Reading Assignments:

  • Review instructions for, and student sample executions of, Project Two and be prepared to discuss which of the examples you found the best and why
  • Chapter 5 ("Analyzing Written Arguments") in Good Reasons (69-79)
  • Chapters 2 ("Her Point Is"), 3 ("As He Himself Puts it"), and 5 ("And Yet") in They Say/I Say (64-73) and the readings "Don't Blame the Eater" and "The Empire of Images" in They Say/I Say (28-48; 139-141; 149-161)
  • Bordo's "Empire of Images" is also available here

Sept 27

(re) Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis

Introduction to Project Two

Contextual vs. Features Analysis

Effective Thesis Statements for Rhetorical Analyses

First In-Class Rhetorical Workout


  • Post your selection to the I Got Mine page before midnight tomorrow.

Reading Assignments

  • Read the introduction - "Hooked on Fame" - to Fame Junkies as well as the chapter your team has been assigned


Sept 29 

Hooked on Rhetorical Analysis

Writing Support Paragraphs for Rhetorical Analyses

Due: Fifth Reading Response due before 9 AM, October 4

Reading Assignment:

Oct 4

At War with Rhetorical Analysis

Review of Support Paragraph Entries

More Structural Elements for Project Two

The Enthymeme-meme

Due: Work on Project Two, Rough Draft due next Tuesday, 10/11


Thursday Oct 6

Rhetorical Analysis of Rip! A Remix Manifesto

Due Next Class: Rough Draft of project two (bring your I GOT MINE chosen book with you)

Oct 11

Today: Workshopping Project Two

Due Next Class: Complete first Draft of Project 2


Oct 13

Peer Review of Project Two

Project Two Due: Sunday Monday Oct 16 17 Night at Midnight

Oct 18


Defining Problems/Problematic Definitions

  • Types of Definitions 
  • Difficult Definitions and their Consequences
  • Examples: Defining (Child) Pornography, (Living) Property

Starting your Research

  • Using library guides
  • starting an annotated bibliography

Three Short Textbook Reading Assignments:

  • Instructions for Project Three 
  • Chapter 4 ("Yes/No/Okay, But") in They Say/I Say (51-63)
  • Chapters 3 ("Finding Arguments"), 8 ("Definition Arguments"), and 9 ("Causal Arguments") in Good Reasons (113-126, 137-144)

Three Short Articles: 


response six 



Oct 20


Defining (Gay) Marriage

First Thunderdome

Due: Response Seven

Oct 25

Reading Assignments:


Response 8 


Oct 27

Second Public Debate Thunderdome 

Nov 1st

(optional class)

CONFERENCES Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 

Link to Doodle poll to book a conference


Nov 3rd

Draft of Project 3 due for Peer Review


Evaluating Detroit: 




Response 9

(your last reading response! the rest are geared towards your own writing and research) 


Nov 8th

Introducing Project Four

Evaluation Detroit Contest Begins


Nov 10th

Wrap up Eval-Detroit Contest

Wiki Design

Project Three due at midnight in the r2d2 trash-can



Response 10 (formal)

Nov 15th

On Tap:

In-class reading:

  • "Reverse Engineering "Stop Loss or Loss of Trust" student paper
  • other student examples

In-class writing: 

  • Drafting Research Questions
  • Draft one of two potential paragraphs (in class, if time allows) 



Nov 17th

Constructing Texts 

Making Meaningful and Persuasive Evaluations

Due Tuesday:

Response 12


Proposals and the Public Sphere



Response 13 due after the break




Nov 29th

  • Writing Abstracts and Rhetorically Descriptive Outlines
  • and Soliciting Peer Review and Instructor Feedback.
  • Due Next Class: Response 14 


Dec 1st


Dec 6th


Dec 8th (final class, tearful farewells)

Final Project 4/5/6 Due Dec 13th (no extensions)



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