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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 knowing about—and adjusting for—any changes by getting notes and other materials from a classmate. Professional protocols and collegiality call for 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 1 Introductions, key concepts, & course goals St. Martin’s Handbook, Chapter 1: Expectations for College Writing
Thursday, September 7th In class: Introductions, key concepts, & course goals Due: Course Survey Preview:
  • Key rhetorical contexts: purpose, audience, and occasion; reader-based writing that accomplishes something
  • Key terms: rhetoric, ideology, analysis, assumption, assertion, claim, argument, context, critical thinking
  • New York Times [+subscription info]
  • St. Martin’s Handbook: 
    • 1d Becoming an engaged reader and active listener
    • 7a Reading print and digital texts
    • 8b Thinking critically about argument
  • Digication and my example
  • Digication getting started video

Advice: For most of us, college is the only time in our lives when we get to read and write and talk about ideas. Don’t squander it while you’re here.

Tuesday 9/12

In class: NYT Page A1 and Sunday Review section

Due: article summary on “Can Dreamers Trust Anyone?” — Sunday Review, page 11 — bring your summary in digital form, emailed to yourself, or on your laptop; we’ll need the digital version so that we can post them to your Digication site, which we’ll work on in class. Here’s my example.

Week 2 Summary & Analysis St. Martin’s Handbook, Chapter 8
Thursday 9/14

In class: NYT, as assigned Due #1: post your revised initial, first summary in précis form, and keep both versions; we want to be able to see your original summary and the revised version, in précis form. Here’s one possible organizing principle for that.

Due #2: Rhetorical précis — Bruni, “The Real Campus Scourge”

Background: St. Martin’s Handbook — 

  • 8e Identifying elements of an argument
  • 8f Identifying fallacies
  • 13b ”Working with quotations”; note how some of the signal verbs are rhetorically active verbs (“claims”) and some are not (“says”). Can you tell the difference? Samples.

For class discussion, we’ll focus on p. A1 and the Sunday Review section — come prepared to discuss.

Tuesday 9/19

In class: NYT, as assigned

In class: For class discussion, we’ll focus on p. A1 and the Sunday Review section — come prepared to discuss.

Due: Rhetorical précis #3 — Sitaraman, “Our Constitution Wasn’t Built for This”


 Week 3
Reading and writing rhetorically: ethos, pathos, & logos

Thursday 9/21

In class: NYT, as assigned

Due: Rhetorical précis #4 — your choice:

  • “Amber Tamblyn: I’m Done With Not Being Believed” — SR3
  • Thrity, “An American Story of Writing Across Race” — SR9

Everyone should read the front section and the Sunday Review section; you image titleshould also be seeking out sections that tend to interest you more than others — Sports, Business, Arts, Style & Fashion — try to note stories, trends, and writers that interest you.

In class: We will begin class by going around the room and hearing an informal 60-90 second overview of an interesting article that you read in the Sunday NYT — any section, any topic — why it was important and relevant to you, and why it should be important and relevant to us. It’s a great way to get a tour of the Sunday paper, and to find out what people are interested in.

Page One: Inside the New York Times — no longer on Netflix, but is available via Hulu and Amazon Prime — free trials are available for both.

Tuesday 9/26 In class: Rhetorical précis #5 & NYT as assigned

St. Martins Handbook PART TWO—Critical Thinking and Argument

7. Reading Critically 8. Analyzing Arguments

 Week 4 Planning and drafting a rhetorical analysis & individual conferences — schedule and sign-up TBA
Thursday 9/28

Reading: NYT, as assigned:


  • Rhetorical Analysis test drive (in class)
  • Annotated copy of a NYT article for your Rhetorical Analysis: post a photo on your portfolio and bring the paper version to class

In class: Writing Center Presentation; moving from summary to rhetorical analysis

St. Martins Handbook PART TWO—Critical Thinking and Argument

7. Reading Critically
8. Analyzing Arguments

Tuesday 10/3

In class: NYT, continued; peer reviews St. Martin’s Handbook: 4b Reviewing peer writers’ work

Due: Rhetorical Analysis draft #1

 Week 5 Advocacy and Argument: Op-Ed Project … and why you’ll want to be in a good writing group the next several years
Thursday 10/5 Reading: NYT TBA Questions of fact and conjecture
  • Did/does something happen?
  • What is its origin?
  • Is there an act to be considered?
  • What produced it?
  • What changes can be made?

Questions of definition

  • What is its nature?
  • How can the issue be defined?
  • And once you’ve defined it, can you imagine any common ground on the issue between people who might want to take persuasive positions on it?

Due: Rhetorical Analysis, draft #2 Previewing the Op-Ed essay project

Tuesday 10/10

In class: NYT, continued Due: Rhetorical Analysis, draft #3; add your project reflection to the bottom of your final draft.

Preview Letters to the Editor:

  • Last names A-L Last names M-Z
 Week 6 Writing workshops: advocacy and argument
Thursday 10/12

Reading: NYT, as assigned

Due: Op-Ed Inquiry Question, posted to Digication

In class: Op-Ed Inquiry Question Workshop

Tuesday 10/17

Reading: NYT, as assigned

In class: Persuasive Writing Workshop

Due: Op-Ed inquiry question & your 350-500-word exploratory essay; yellow-highlight your best, or most interesting, or most compelling, or most intense sentence:

  • Connect & Analyze
  • Contextualize
  • Imagine & Design
  • Act & Socialize in an Op-Ed Essay
 Week 7 Advocacy and Persuasion
Thursday 10/19

Reading: NYT TBA

Due: Op-Ed project 2nd draft

Tuesday 10/24

Reading: NYT TBA Due: Op-Ed Draft #3 (and made available to Peer Reviewer)

In class:

  Due Sunday: Phenomenological-reading peer reviews, via SoundCloud

What we’re looking for is your experience reading the essay — how it made you feel, not making corrections or arguing back. A phenomenological-reading peer review is a description, so we expect to hear you saying things like,

  • “This made me feel …”
  • “I felt swept right up in the rhythm of that paragraph …”
  • “I’m confused here. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to get from this”
  • “That made me laugh”
  • “This made me a little sad”
  • “This reminds me of …”
  • “My essay is on a similar topic, and this made me think about …”

Post your SoundCloud link to Digication.

 Week 8 Editing and Proofreading
Thursday 10/26

Reading: NYT, as assigned

In class: Proofreading workshopSt. Martin’s Handbook:

Due: Op-Ed, final draft with project reflection Preview: Remix the New York Times

Tuesday 10/31

Reading: NYT TBA In class: Remixing the New York Times workshop

Due: Remix worksheet

 Week 9 Remixing the New York Times
Thursday 11/2

Reading: NYT TBA In class: Remixing the New York Times workshop

Due: Remix “draft” #1 — can be messy & rough — photo, sketch, etc.

Tuesday 11/7 Reading: NYT TBA In class:
  • Remix Workshop
  • Portfolio preview
 Week 10 Conclusion and portfolio development
Thursday 11/9

DueRemix final with user’s manual; Remix Statement of Goals and Choices (SoGC)

Reading: NYT, as assigned

In class: Digital Portfolio Workshop

Tuesday 11/14

Reading: NYT, as assigned

In class: Digital Portfolio Workshop

 Finals Week
  Our scheduled exam time, when we will meet for the final, official delivery of your WRD103 Digital Writing Portfolios: [TBA]

You can locate your final exam times for you all your classes here. [TBA]