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”
Monday March 27  In class: Introductions, key terms, course goals:

Preview: Brooks, Started at the Bottom

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.

Wednesday March 29

ReadingBrooks, Started at the Bottom
In class:  Summary and analysis workshop
Due: Brooks summary, posted to Digication — here’s my example


  • St. Martin’s Handbook: Reading Critically 7a
 Week 2
Summary & Integration
Monday April 3

Reading: NYT as assigned; I’ll email you on Sunday
In classRhetorical Précis Method of Summary


Wednesday April 5

Reading: NYT, continued
In classSummary and analysis workshop
Due: Précis #3: “Border Town” (SR p. 1), but note that  the online version is titled “How Scared Should People on the Border Be?”

 Week 3
Is Reading an Act of Composing?
Monday April 10

Reading: “Mark My Words. Maybe.”
In class: Mindful reading and other reading strategies
DuePrécis #4 — Jamison’s Mark my Words and 250-word handwritten journal entry: initial impressions of class and the NYT.

Be prepared to give us a 60-90 second overview of an article from the Sunday paper that you thought was interesting & significant, telling us why it is significant to you and why it should/could be significant to the rest us; we’ll do this in class.

Wednesday April 12

Reading: NYT as assigned
In class: Previewing the Contextual Analysis Project
Due: Precis #5: What Happened to Who?

Active & Empathic Listening

Empathetic Listening is a technique that can help you manage and avoid disruptive and assaultive behaviors. The foundation of the technique can be summarized in 5 simple steps.

  • Provide the speaker with your undivided attention.This is one time “multi-tasking” or “rapid refocus” will get you in trouble.
  • Be non-judgemental. Don’t minimize or trivialize the speakers issue.
  • Read the speaker. Observe the emotions behind the words. Is the speaker angry, afraid, frustrated or resentful. Respond to the emotion as well as the words.
  • Be Quiet. Don’t feel you must have an immediate reply. Often if you allow for some quiet after the speaker has vented, they themselves will break the silence and offer a solution.
  • Assure your understanding. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the speaker to be saying.

Active and empathic listening

 Week 4
From Text to Context
Individual Conferences: reading journals and inquiry questions
Monday April 17

Reading: NYT as assigned
Due: Inquiry questions for workshopping
In class: Identifying an issue for research

  1. Tutorial: Developing a Research Question 
  2. ExerciseContextual Analysis Proposal & Map
    * Confirm that your completed proposal & map exercise is available on your Digication workspace for our library instruction session, Monday 4/24
  3. Tutorial: How to Search Academic Search Complete (3:08 video)
  4. Exercise: Search Academic Search Complete and locate one article relevant to your topic. * Bring the article to the library instruction session, Monday 4/24

Background: review in St. Martin’s Handbook

Wednesday April 19

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Workshopping Proposals
DueContextual Analysis Proposal & Map

 Week 5
Argument & Advocacy
Monday April 24

Reading: NYT TBA
In class: Library Workshop — meet in Richardson Library, Room 110: focus on the hands-on searching aspect so that you can get personalized help during the session. 

Bring with you, printed out, or available on your Digication:

Due: Journal entry on your Contextual Analysis: what part(s) are you most looking forward to and about which you feel confident? What part(s) concern or worry you? 250 words +/-

Wednesday April 26

Reading: NYT TBA
In class: Writing workshop and Stasis Theory & Practice; Peer review workshop
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #1

Review in St. Martin’s Handbook:

  • 10: Preparing for a Research Project
  • 11: Conducting Research
  • 12: Evaluating Sources and Taking Notes
  • 12c Evaluating usefulness and credibility
  • 13: Integrating sources into your writing
 Week 6
Truth-seeking behavior vs. Bullshit: 
Writing with a Method, Perspective, and Authority
Monday May 1

Reading: NYT as assigned
In class: Contextual Analysis writing workshop

Review Contextual Analysis Scoring Guide

Wednesday May 3

Reading: NYT TBA
In class: Peer Reviews
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #2 —

  • Mark every paragraph with a [P] [I] [E]
  • Highlight your potential wolf sentence
 Week 7
Proofreading, Editing, and one-on-one conferences
Monday May 8

Reading: NYT, as assigned
In class: Contextual Analysis Writing Workshop
Workshop: Proofreading

  • Are sources integrated with rhetorical and mechanical sophistication?
  • Are paragraphs fully developed and have transitions?
  • Has the essay been proofread for clarity & correctness?
  • Works cited: formatting and accuracy
Wednesday May 10 Reading: NYT TBA
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #3 — Informational Abstract and self-assessment scoring guide
 Week 8
Persuasive Essays
Monday May 15

Reading: NYT as assigned
Dialogic Reading journal entry: TBA
In class: Persuasive Writing Workshop

Wednesday May 17

Reading: NYT TBA
In class: Persuasive Writing Workshop:

“A speaker persuades an audience by the use of stylistic identifications; the act of persuasion may be for the purpose of causing the audience to identify itself with the speaker’s interests; and the speaker draws on identification of interests to establish rapport between herself or himself and the audience.” — Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives.

Identification, Burke reminds us, occurs when people share some principle in common — that is, when they establish common ground. Persuasion should not begin with absolute confrontation and separation but with the establishment of common ground, from which differences can be worked out. That is the point of our work with stasis.

  • But also, how can you ask people to care?

Due: Persuasive Essay draft #1

 Week 9
Monday May 22 Reading: NYT as assigned
In class: TBA
DuePersuasive Essay, final draft
Wednesday May 24 Reading: NYT, as assigned
Preview: Digital Writing Portfolios
 Week 10
Monday May 29  No Class: Memorial Day
Wednesday May 31

Reading: “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” – Arthur Miller, 1961

Due: Portfolio Draft
In class
: Portfolio editing workshop

 Finals Week: Portfolio & Self Assessment

Final Exam Week

We will meet during our assigned Final Exam time for the final, official delivery of your WRD104 Reading Journals, Portfolios & Self Assessments

Wednesday June 07, 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.