modern_rhetorical_theory

assignments



spring 2007
ryan moeller, ph.d.

t & th 3:00-4:15

rwst 214


office

rwst 312b
797-8637

rhetorical analyses (4)

due: various (see schedule)

You will produce at least four rhetorical analyses of about 500 words each (no more than one page, single-spaced) based upon the type of rhetorical criticism we are discussing each week. Your analyses must be posted to syllabase on Monday nights by midnight before the day we discuss them. For this reason and because we will need to assign responders in class, no late analyses will be accepted. The grading criteria for these analyses is as follows:

10 pts.
These analyses exceed the textbook criteria in that they present an analytical argument about the artifact that is cohesive, persuasive, and stylized. These analyses demonstrate a complex understanding of the artifact as well as the type of rhetorical criticism being employed. (500+ words and each is used effectively)
8-9 pts.
These analyses meet the textbook criteria by being justified and including specific evidence, reasonably inferred (they show rather than tell), and coherent (see Foss 20-2). (400-500+ words)
6-7 pts.
These analyses do meet some of the required criteria by being justified, inferred, and coherent, but they fall short on one or more of these criteria. Perhaps lacking in evidence or leaving gaps in logic, these analyses do little to demonstrate that the writer has a good working knowledge of the artifact or the type of rhetorical criticism employed. (300-400 words)
0-5 pts.
These analyses fall significantly short of the criteria above or do not advance a significant discussion of rhetoric or the artifact. (less than 300 words)

peer critiques (7)

due: various (see schedule)

Each week that you do not post an analysis, you will be required to write a critique of one of your classmates' analyses. These will be about 300 words (no more than one page, double-spaced) based upon the type of rhetorical criticism we are discussing each week. Your critiques must be posted to syllabase on Wednesdays by midnight the day they are due. Everyone will have an opportunity to write up to 8 critiques, and I will record the best 7. For this reason and because we will need to assign responders in class, no late critiques will be accepted. The grading criteria for these critiques is as follows:

5 pts.
These critiques advance the discussion of the artifact and rhetorical criticism beyond the assignment, offering the writer a number of possibilities for future analysis. These critiques balance positive, encouraging feedback with constructive criticism and demonstrate that the critic remained very much engaged with the entire analysis (and artifact) throughout her response. (300+ words and each is used effectively)
4 pts.
These critiques are helpful and engaging, demonstrating a good understanding of the rhetorical techniques in question. (250-300+ words)
3 pts.
These are justified, reasonably inferred, and coherent, but they fall short on one or more of these criteria. These critiques do little to help the writer (either through excessive praise or lack of engagement) and do not demonstrate that the critic has a good working knowledge of the artifact or the type of rhetorical criticism employed. (200-350 words)
0-2 pts.
These analyses fall significantly short of the criteria above or do not advance a significant discussion of rhetoric or the artifact. (less than 200 words)

group presentations

due: various, see presentation schedule here in PDF format.

Once through the course of the semester, you and two classmates will be responsible for leading a class discussion with our UTF (including generating study materials, additional reading assignments if so decided, and class activities) on an aspect of rhetorical criticism. You are required to meet with our UTF at least once before your presentation (typically this will take place during office hours the week prior to your presentation) at which time you must have already completed the reading for the presentation day and have some thoughts about methods and materials we might use to present the readings and their significance. One important element of these presentations should be to help the class apply the course materials to their own artifacts. You will be assessed primarily on the study materials that you generate for the class and on the activities or discussion that we facilitate.

midterm exam

due: in-class

This examination covers readings and class discussions through this moment in the semester. It will contain multiple-choice, matching, and short-answer questions.

rhetorical analysis

due: 3 May, 1:30pm

This paper should demonstrate what you have learned about your artifact and about rhetoric throughout the course. It will be a sustained, rhetorical analysis of your artifact employing at least three of the rhetorical techniques discussed in class (two from your smaller analyses and one new one) and secondary resources that discuss rhetoric, the artifact, and/or parallel artifacts and analyses (1500-3000 words plus Works Cited page).

Click here to go to the assignment page.