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 1
“We Are What We Find, Not What We Search For”
Tuesday 4/1 In class: Introductions, key terms, course goals:

  • Key terms:
    • assumption
    • assertion
    • premise (another example: Aristotle)
    • claim + support =
    • argument
  • Key concepts:
    • serendipity
    • interpretive communities
    • reader-based writing that makes something happen in the world
  • Key methods
    • summary
    • analysis
    • synthesis
    • integration — two forms: mechanical and rhetorical
    • persuasion
  • Digication: log in, create “Précis” section, and compose Précis page

Due: Course survey

Thursday 4/3 Reading: NYT continued
In class: Rhetorical précis
Due: NYT essay précis — your choice:

Weekend advice: 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.

 Week 2
Summary & Integration
Tuesday 4/8 Reading: NYT article
In class: Rhetorical précis method of summary & integration

— Sharma’s “The Trick of Life,” Sunday Review, p9.
— Kristof’s “Her First, and Last, Book” — Sunday Review, p11.
— Bruni’s “The New Gay Orthodoxy” — Sunday Review, p3.

Background: review in St. Martin’s Handbook—13a-e, integrating sources

Thursday 4/10 Reading: NYT, continued
Due: Rhetorical précis — “My So-Called Opinions”
 Week 3
From Text to Context
Individual Conferences, TBA
Tuesday 4/15 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 #4 & reflective entries: inquiry questions
Thursday 4/17 Reading: “Mark My Words. Maybe.”
 Week 4
Arguments & Advocacy
Tuesday 4/22 Reading: NYT, find an article in which two or more perspectives are presented

Due: Online library workshop
Preview: Contextual Analysis

Thursday 4/24 In class: “A 12-Year-Old’s Trek of Despair Ends in a Noose.”

Preview: Contextual Analysis Inquiry Questions

 Week 5
Choosing and Narrowing an Issue
Tuesday 4/29 Meet in the Richardson Library Room #109In class: Library Database Workshop
Due: Research Inquiry Question (see examples)
Due: Print & Digital Reading Literacy Practices process entry

Reading as a literacy practice as we’ve discussed it in class:

Thursday 5/1 Reading: NYT continued
Due: Contextual Analysis Project Proposal (see template)
Background Reading:

  • “Big Changes in Black America?” – note how the writer weaves sources and examples throughout: quoting, delivering statistics, wrestling with contradictions, integrating a range of voices, all in the service of a single line of inquiry.
  • “The Wolf in Yellowstone: Science, Symbol, or Politics?” (I’ll provide a PDF in class)
 Week 6
Truth-seeking behavior vs. Bullshit
Tuesday 5/6 Reading: 

9:40 section — “Fight Against Sex Assaults Holds Colleges to Account” (page A1). Bring your marked-up, annotated print copy.

  • Highlight what you think is the most important sentence in the article, and annotate why you think it’s the most important
  • Identify conflicting claims
  • Identify possible biases from the reporters — it’s a news & analysis piece, not an Op-Ed
  • What else is interesting to you?

For Higher-Order Thinking:

  • Why do you think sexual assault is such a problem on both college campuses and in the military?
  • What more do you think colleges can do to prevent sexual assaults from happening?

1:00 section:
Kristof, ‘Bring Back Our Girls’:
How does this Op-Ed position us as readers? Does Kristof assume anything about us? What does he think we’re going to do? What rhetorical appeals is he using?

In class: Revision Workshop & Stasis
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #1 — 750-1000 words [moved to Thursday]

Thursday 5/8 Reading: Brooks, “The Streamlined Life”
In class: Contextual Analysis Workshop
Due: Editorial Peer Review — St. Martin’s Guide 1. 4b
 Week 7
Writing with a Method, Perspective, and Authority
Tuesday 5/13 Reading: NYT continued
In class: Editorial Peer Reviews — St. Martin’s Guide 1. 4b
Due: Draft #2 — 1500 words
Thursday 5/15 Due: In your contextual analysis draft #2, yellow-highlight 2-3 of your in-text sources that might feel less-than-fully developed:

  • it might not be clear to readers why you chose those sources (rhetorical challenge)
  • it might not be clear to readers what role the sources play in your analysis (rhetorical challenge)
  • they might have a cherry-picked look & feel (rhetorical challenge)
  • there is neither context nor analysis for the source (rhetorical challenge)
  • lack of mechanical integration resists a smooth fit into the surrounding sentence structure (mechanical challenge)

Sample before highlighted source contains all five challenges
Sample after source, after revising


9:40 section:

1:00 section:

 Week 8
Proofreading, Editing, and one-on-one conferences
Tuesday 5/20 Reading: “Deep Ties, Tested on Mexico’s Border”
In class:  Oh, you know — talking
Due: Final Proofreading Draft
St. Martin’s Guide,

  • Proofreading: Part 1, sections 4.g-l
  • Commonly used transitions: Part 1.5e
  • Top Twenty
Thursday 5/22 Reading: Road Trip
In class: Preview Op-Ed
Due: Contextual Analysis, final draft — attach proofreading version and self assessment
 Week 9
Tuesday 5/27 Reading: NYT —

  • Video Rant, Then Deadly Rampage in California Town: A1
  • Faking Cultural Literacy: SR, P1
  • The Immigrant Advantage: SR, P1

In class: Op-Ed Writing Workshop
Due: Op-Ed draft #1, or, for remix projects, screenshots or photos of progress

Thursday 5/29 Reading: NYT continued
Due: Due: Op-Ed draft #2, or, for remix projects, screenshots or photos of progress

Preview: Digital Writing Portfolios

 Week 10
Tuesday 6/3 Reading: “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” – Arthur Miller, 1961
In class: Portfolio workshop

Due: Op-Ed, final draft

Thursday 6/5 In class: Portfolio workshop


Extra portfolio office hours:
  • Wednesday, 6/4: 10:00 a.m.-noon
  • Friday, 6/6: noon-2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 6/8: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in 350 SAC
  • Monday, 6/9: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 6/10: noon-2:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 6/11: 10:00a.m.-noon
 Finals Week
  Due: WRD104 Course PortfolioSection # 319: Tuesday 6/10, 8:45-11:00 a.m.
Section # 328: Thursday 6/12, 11:45-2:00 p.m.

We will meet during our assigned Final Exam time for the final, official delivery of your WRD104 Portfolios.