Rhetoric & Composition I: Autumn Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

Course & The New York Times

Why read, study, and analyze the New York Times?
Your instructor has a few assumptions and claims about this:
  • Educated, intellectually engaged, curious, culturally and civically aware citizens read—or should read—the New York Times every single day, seven days a week
  • The New York Times, for various historical and cultural reasons, has become known, rightly or wrongly, as the “paper of record” in the U.S.. It seems, therefore, that we — no matter our political preferences and ideologies — have an intellectual obligation to read the New York Times every day
  • We read, study, discuss, and reflect on the New York Times as an object of study, not as a vessel of truth
  • After this course is over and you take more writing- and research-intensive courses, you will be able to establish credibility as a writer by integrating the New York Times and exploiting its primary- and secondary-source research capabilities
  • One of the most pressing questions in contemporary academic- and professional-writing contexts, and in a higher education is about the role of technology in our work. Some people argue that our increasing dependence on communication technologies is decreasing our collective sense of effective communication; others argue that our literacy practices are merely changing and evolving and that they have always changed and evolved — that “effective communication” is deeply contextual and rhetorical. The New York Times is an interesting primary source in this context. We will compare the writing, editing, and technologies in both the print and digital versions.
  • It’s interesting to compare the experiences of reading a daily, national periodical such as the New York Times with, say, a textbook
  • The President of the United States starts his day with the New York Times, so you should, too.