WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Course Calendar

Please note that this calendar is designed to be flexible: we may make changes along the way, depending on your interests and the needs of the class. Should you miss a class, you are responsible for finding out what you missed from a classmate and for knowing about—and adjusting for—any calendar changes. Professional protocols and collegiality ask you to alert us if you’ll be missing on a day when we’re having a workshop or when you are scheduled to present materials.

 Week One
“We Are What We Find, Not What We Search For”
In class: Introductions, key terms, course goals:

  • Key terms: claim, fact, assumption, premise, opinion, ideology, argument, advocacy
  • Key concepts:
    • Interpretive communities
    • Reader-based writing that accomplishes something
  • Subscribe to the New York Times
  • St. Martin’s Handbook
    • Reading Critically 7a
    • Summarizing 7c
  • Digication: log in, create “Summary” section, and compose summary page

DueCourse survey

Recommended this week: We’re reading the New York Times at an interesting time in its early-in-the-21st-century redevelopment in both print and digital platforms. You should spend some time browsing its most recent digital manifestations on Facebook, on its proprietary applications, via podcasts, and on its web site.


Due: Article summary via Digication: Nicholas Kristof, “Politics, Odors and Soap” 
In classRhetorical précis method of summary

Optional, but recommended: Charles Simic, “Age of Ignorance”

 Week Two
Relationships Between Research, Audience, & Purpose


Reading: NYT article TBA Sunday via email
In classRhetorical précis method of summary, continued
Due: revised summary in précis form and a second précis on a NYT article of your choice (pick one): 

  • Mark Edmundson’s “Education’s Hungry Hearts”
  • Isabel Wilkerson’s “In Florida, a Death Foretold”

Page One, part 1

Background: review in St. Martin’s Handbook 8d on rhetorical appeals, and 8e, on elements of argument — especially claims, assumptions, and premises

Thurs. 4/5

Reading: NYT, continued
: Rhetorical précis: “A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney

Preview: Letters to the Editor

Page One, continued

 Week Three
From Text to Context
Tues. 4/10

Reading: NYT article TBA Sunday and a 60-90 second overview of an article of your choice, telling us why it is significant to you and why it should be significant to us
Due: Rhetorical précis — “The Other Arab Spring,” by Thomas Friedman

In class: Planning Letters to the Editor and Op-Ed pieces

21st-century alternatives to Letters to the Editor?
21st-century alternatives to Op-Ed pieces?

Thurs. 4/12

Reading: NYT, continued
In class
: Letter to the Editor Workshop & Submissions
Due: Letter to the Editor: send to them and BCC me.

Op-Ed Resources

 Week Four
Arguments & Advocacy
Individual Conferences, TBA 
Tues. 4/17

Reading: NYT article TBA Sunday
In class
: Op-Ed Workshop
DueOp-Ed Draft

“Our decisions about which essays to publish aren’t governed by a need for editorial variety alone. Among other things, we look for timeliness, ingenuity, strength of argument, freshness of opinion, clear writing and newsworthiness. Personal experiences and first-person narrative can be great, particularly when they’re in service to a larger idea. So is humor, when it’s funny. Does it help to be famous? Not really.”

(“All the views that are fit to print?” Not a chance, alas.)

Thurs. 4/19

Reading: NYT continued
In class
: Proofreading Workshop & Submissions
DueOp-Ed Draft #2

In class: Rhetorical précis and peer review on two classmates’ Op-Ed articles (we’ll do this in class)

 Week Five
Choosing and Narrowing a Topic: Argument, Persuasion, and Advocacy
Tues. 4/24

Reading: Sunday NYT
In class
: Review and discuss initial inquiry questions
DueOp-Ed Final Draft

Due: Contextual Analysis inquiry question, map, and Online library workshop

Thurs. 4/26

Meet in the Richardson Library Room #417
Library and database workshop

St. Martin’s Handbook 10b: analyzing the assignment; 10c: narrowing a topic; 11a: differentiating kinds of sources

* Mon.
Mid-term Reflective Essay
 Week Six
Writing with a Method, with a Perspective, and with Authority

No Class Today

Due: Contextual Analysis Proposal 

Thurs. 5/3

In class: NYT article TBA Sunday
Due: Contextual Analysis draft #1

 Week Seven
Method, Perspective, and Authority, Continued

Reading: NYT Magazine
In class: Workshop & peer review: St. Martin’s 12c (sources) and 4b: Peer Review Research & Argumentation

Due: Contextual Analysis draft #2

Thurs. 5/10

In class: Revising and Editing Contextual Analyses
St. Martin’s Companion site: the Top 20

Due: Peer Reviews

 Week Eight
Workshop: Remixing the New York Times
Tues. 5/15 Reading: NYT article TBA Sunday
In Class: Proofreading Workshop — St. Martin’s Guide 4l and here
Thurs. 5/17 Reading: NYT, continued
In class: Contextual Analysis draft #3 (Final draft is due in your portfolio, Finals Week)
 Week Nine
Individual Conferences, TBA 
Tues. 5/22

Reading: NYT, continued
In class

9:40 section: memes
11:20 section: dialogic responses

Thurs. 5/24

Reading: NYT, continued
In class

9:40 sectionmemes
11:20 section: dialogic responses

 Week Ten
Tues. 5/29 Reading: NYT article TBA Sunday
In class
: Portfolio workshop

Option #1: WRD Learning Outcomes-based Digital Portfolio
Option #2: 
WRD Curated Digital Portfolio

UCWbL: Designing Digital Portfolios
WRD Resources, especially formatting 

image title

  • Organizing principles
  • Providing links — both figuratively and literally
  • Formatting
  • Professional presentation
  • Scoring Guide (PDF)
Thurs. 5/31

Reading: NYT, continued
In class
: Portfolio workshop

image title

  • Organizing principles
  • Providing links — both figuratively and literally
  • Formatting
  • Professional presentation
  • Scoring Guide (PDF)
 Finals Week 
  Due: WRD104 Course Portfolio

Section #314: Tuesday 6/5, 8:45-11:00 a.m.
Section #315: Tuesday 6/5, 11:45 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

We will meet during our assigned Final Exam time for the final, official delivery of your WRD104 Portfolios. Extra office hours will be available if you need help with your portfolio before and during Finals Week.