WRD360: Word on the Street: The Rhetoric of Everyday Texts Rotating Header Image

Welcome to WRD360 — Word on the Street: The Rhetoric of Everyday Texts

According to David Levy, in Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age,

If we are going to see into the nature of documents, we would do well to deal directly with the most abundant and ordinary of them. It is easy enough to be transported to heights of ecstasy by the most magnificent specimens. Indeed, we may be spellbound by their beauty and power. The bigger challenge is to look closely and respectfully at the lowest and homeliest of them. And should we find beauty, depth, and power in these, we will surely have accomplished something.

This little receipt is a historical document.

We encounter so many “everyday texts” and genres in our day-to-day lives: CTA signs; nutritional information; financial-aid forms; memes; Instagram feeds; social-justice appeals; job ads; emails; street art and tagging; street newspapers; legislative announcements representing and framing immigration reform. In this course, we will analyze and produce texts based on our understanding of the rhetorical, discursive, and social-practice contexts that inform their composition, distribution, and reception, while exploring the concept of the “everyday.”

Our work will address print, digital, and  hybrid platforms for both readers and writers, and no prior experience with production technologies is necessary.



“Writing is an act of community. It is a letter, it is comforting, consoling, helping, advising on our part, as well as asking it on yours. It is a part of our human association with each other. It is an expression of our love and concern for each other.” Dorothy Day