WRD 103: Composition & Rhetoric I: Autumn Quarter 2014 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 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 11th In class: Introductions, key concepts, & course goals
Due: Course Survey

Tuesday, 9/16

In class: NYT as assigned
Due: article summary, your choice:

  • Kristof and WuDuun, “The Way to Beat Poverty” (SR, 1)
  • Sawhill, “Beyond Marriage” (SR, 1)

Email your summary to yourself or bring it on a laptop; you’ll need some digital access to it in class.

Week 2
Summary & Analysis
St. Martin’s Handbook, Chapter 8
Thursday, 9/18

In class: NYT as assigned — I’ll email instructions on Sunday

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 #2Rhetorical précis — your choice: any persuasive essay in this week’s Sunday Review section

St. Martin’s 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, 9/23 In class: NYT as assigned
Due: Rhetorical précis — Kristof’s Alicia Keys Asks: Why Are We Here?
 Week 3
Reading and writing rhetorically: ethos, pathos, & logos
Thursday, 9/25

Due: Rhetorical précis on an article of your choice

Reading: NYT, as assigned Sunday via email:
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.

Tuesday, 9/30

In class: NYT as assigned

View Page One: Inside the New York Times

DueRhetorical précis: “Learning to Love Criticism” (SR 8)
Due: Journal Reflection on Page One

For your Page One reflection:

– What did you learn about the NYT from watching this film?
– What was the most interesting part for you?
– What role do women play in the film?
– What questions, concerns, or ideas does the film raise for you?

As with all good writing, the more specific you can be, the better.

 Week 4
Planning and drafting a rhetorical analysis
& individual conferences — schedule and sign-up TBA
Thursday, 10/2 Reading: NYT, as assigned
Due: annotated copy of “How to Stop Time”

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

Tuesday, 10/7 In class: NYT, continued; peer reviews
Due: Rhetorical Analysis draft and annotated version
 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, 10/9 Reading: NYT, as assigned TBA
In class: peer reviews 
Tuesday, 10/14


  • Kristof: When Whites Just Don’t Get It — SR, page 1
  • Friedman: I.S. = Invasive Species — SR, page 11 (let’s try to identify his tone!)

Due: Textual Analysis, Final Draft

Preview Letters to the Editor:

Last names A-L: submit by Thursday, 10/28 and BCC me
Last names M-Z: submit by Tuesday 11/11 and BCC me

 Week 6
Writing workshops: advocacy and argument
Thursday, 10/16

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Persuasive Writing Workshop 

  • 9a: Arguing for a purpose
  • 9b: Determining whether a statement can be argued
  • 9k: A student’s argument essay

Review: Stasis

Tuesday, 10/21

Due: Op-Ed Statement of Purpose


 Week 7
Advocacy and Persuasion
Thursday, 10/23

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Writing workshop

Due: Op-Ed draft

The first sentence of your first paragraph will begin, “I have come to believe that _______________________ …”

The first sentence of the next three paragraphs will begin with some variation on,

  • “I wonder sometimes, however …”
  • “And sometimes I wonder …”
  • “But sometimes I wonder …”

This process helps you — or forces you — to explore doubts about your issue, engages you in some necessary perplexity, and may even result in some truth-seeking behavior

Tuesday, 10/28 Due: Op-Ed project 2nd draft
Draft #2 made available to Peer Reviewer so that she or he has time to write a rhetorical précis 
 Week 8
Editing and Proofreading
Thursday, 10/30 Reading: NYT, as assigned

  • Write a rhetorical precis and a two-paragraph peer review of your partner’s draft. Post it directly into their draft — at the top or at the bottom — and include your name (“Reviewed by …”)
  • Write a one paragraph synthesis of David Brooks’s two articles “The Empirical Kids” & “Started at the Bottom” 
  • Notes on synthesis

In class: Editing workshop
St. Martin’s 1.4 — especially 4.h and 4.1

Tuesday, 11/4

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Proofreading workshop
St. Martin’s: The Top 20

Due: Op-Ed, final draft and one PIE paragraph

Preview: Remix the New York Times

 Week 9
Thursday, 11/6

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Remixing the New York Times workshop
Due: Remix worksheet


Tuesday, 11/11 Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Remixing the New York Times workshop
Due: Remix “draft”
 Week 10
Conclusion and portfolio development
Thursday, 11/13

In class: Digital Portfolio Workshop

Tuesday, 11/18

Portfolio workshop and editorial feedback  You can work on your portfolios during this time; we will problem-solve any technical or organizational issues; and we will discuss editing and visual, logistical coherence .

Due: New York Times, remixed + reflective Statement of Goals and Choices (SoGC)

 Finals Week

Our scheduled exam time, when we will meet for the final, official delivery of your WRD103 Portfolio:  Thursday, November 20: 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Alternative time: Friday, November 21st 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. in my office, 362 SAC.