Rhetoric & Composition 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 March 27th
In class: Introductions, key terms, course goals:

  • Key terms
    • assumption
    • assertion
    • claim + plausible support =
    • argument
    • argument vs. persuasion
    • ethos
    • exigency
    • logical fallacies: your SMH 8f

Test-driving our Rhetorical Analysis skills: Brooks, Speaking as a White Male …

Digication review?

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.

Thursday March 29

Reading: Jamison, Mark My Words. Maybe.
In class:  Summary and rhetorical-analysis workshop; annotating & note-taking with digital texts:

Due: Dialogic Journal Entry #1 — handwritten rhetorical analysis on Jamison’s Mark My Words. Maybe. — 250-350 words


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

Reading: NYT , Dyson: “We Forgot What Dr. King Believed In”
In class: Summary & Analysis, continued


  • hypothes.is additive, generative, dialogic annotations — add 3-4 — highlight and annotate where your own readerly eye falls — what’s the claim or argument? What kind(s) of support does the writer offer? What’s the rhetorical purpose of the essay — a call to action? To raise awareness? To criticize? To provide perspective? Something else? Notice anything interesting about the structure? What is the writer’s attitude toward us, the readers?
  • Annotate print version — are there any real or potential differences between print & digital annotating? Can they both be additive, generative, dialogic annotations?

Thursday April 5

Reading: NYT, TBA
In classSummary and analysis workshop

Dialogic Journal Entry #3: Page One, the film reflection; we’ll discuss details in class

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

Reading:  Sunday NYT: TBA

Due: Dialogic Reading Journal #3

Our shared article for hypothes.is and for Tuesday’s class discussion: “Choosing Animals Over People?” (Kristof, SR 9): https://hyp.is/48CZ-DtTEeiwUVsSHQ3p8w/www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/opinion/sunday/wildlife-central-african-republic.html 

Part 1: For your generative, additive annotations, due before class on Tuesday: 

  • What’s is Kristof’s real, actual, genuine claim or argument — in your own words?
  • How does he support it?
  • Does he seem to assume anything about his readers — or what does his attitude toward readers seem to be?
  • What questions, concerns, or ideas does the essay raise for you? 

Part 2: Then, find an annotation from a classmate and respond to it:

  • Can you add to it, in the spirit of additive “social annotations”? 
  • Can you provide another perspective in response?
  • Can you help solve a problem or respond to a question?

Remember to post to our hypothes.is group — see attached screen capture — or we won’t see it, and you won’t get credit for it 🙁

Be prepared to give us a 60-90 second summary & 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.

Thursday April 12

Reading: NYT —

1:00 section: “‘Big Brother’ in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones and Finances” (Sunday Business section, p. 1)

 2:40 section: “How to Level the College Playing Field” (Sunday Review, p.1)

Both good choices on your part.

No hypothes.is, but it would be great if you could show up Thursday with some generative questions and observations!

In class: Previewing the Contextual Analysis Project

Journal entry #4: we’ll talk about this in class: Video Tutorial: How to Search Academic Search Complete (3:08 video) — watch and test-drive video tutorial by applying it to two of your three annotated problems: comment/reflect on both the video tutorial and what kinds of sources you find, especially in terms of the problems’ potential & possible causes: interesting? Not interesting? Helpful? Not helpful? Include some journal and article titles; no need to be comprehensive — just some notes are fine.

Reviewing critical thinking vocabulary & concepts

Active & Empathetic 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 speaker’s 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.
  • Assure your understanding. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the speaker to be saying.
 Week 4
From Text to Context
Individual Conferences: reading journals and inquiry questions
Tuesday April 17

Reading: NYT, “The Warrior at the Mall”

Due: Inquiry questions for workshopping
In class:

  1. Identifying an issue for research & 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 on Tuesday, April 24th
  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

Background: review in St. Martin’s Handbook

Thursday April 19

Reading: NYT, “The Warrior at the Mall” continued

In class: Workshopping Proposals and posting to Digication

 Week 5
Argument & Advocacy
Tuesday 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. 

Due: posted to your Digication:

  • One article from your Academic Search Complete search
  • Contextual Analysis Proposal & Map 

Due: Journal entry #5: How would you characterize your intellectual contributions to our class thus far? Provide specific examples.

Thursday April 26

Reading: NYT The Soul-Crushing Student Essay”
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #1: Exploratory Essay — “But sometimes I wonder …” 350 words +/- words

Review in St. Martin’s Handbook:

  • 12c Evaluating usefulness and credibility
  • 13: Integrating sources into your writing

Dialogic journal #6: 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 +/- (Post-library workshop reflection)

 Week 6
Truth-seeking behavior vs. Bullshit: 
Writing with a Method, Perspective, and Authority — Ethos & Exigency
Tuesday May 1

Reading: NYT Bruni, “The Extinction of Gay Identity” (SR 3)
In class: Contextual Analysis writing workshop — from drafting to revision

Preview Contextual Analysis Scoring Guide

Thursday May 3

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

  • Mark every paragraph — except your Intro and Conclusion —  with a [P] [I] [E]
 Week 7
Proofreading, Editing, and one-on-one conferences
Tuesday May 8

Reading: NYT — TBA

Due: Dialogic Journal entry #7: credibility and “little leaps of faith”
In class: Contextual Analysis Editing Workshop — from revision to editing

Thursday May 10

Reading: NYT TBA
Due: Contextual Analysis Draft #3 — Abstract (SMH 33b) and self-assessment scoring guide

Workshop: From editing to 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
 Week 8
Persuasive Essays
Tuesday May 15

Reading: NYT “Delusions of Kanye”
In classPersuasive Writing Workshop

Due: Contextual Analysis Project, digital version
Dialogic Journal entry: What have you done in this class so far? What is significant about it?

Thursday May 17

ReadingNYT 9:40 section — “His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn’t, Until It Was Too Late.” (SR)

In class: Persuasive Writing Workshop:

  • Using stasis & common ground to make better arguments:

Arguing to convince: claim + support

More often than not, out-and-out defeat of another is not only unrealistic but also undesirable. Rather, the goal is to convince other persons that they should change their minds about an issue. A writer must provide reasons so compelling that the audience willingly agrees with the writer’s conclusion. Such is the goal of advocates of assisted suicide: they well know that they cannot realistically hope to defeat or conquer those who oppose such acts. Rather, they understand that they must provide reasons compelling enough to change people’s minds.

Arguing to understand: stasis & truth seeking

Often, a writer must enter into conversation with others and collaborate in seeking the best possible understanding of a problem, exploring all possible approaches and choosing the best alternative. The Rogerian and invitational forms of argument both call for understanding as a major goal of arguing. Argument to understand does not seek to conquer or control others or even to convince them. Your purpose in many situations—from trying to decide which job to pursue to exploring with your family the best way to care for an elderly relative—will be to share information and perspectives in order to make informed political, professional, and personal choices.

Arguing to change yourself: Exploratory Essay 

Sometimes you will find yourself arguing primarily with yourself, and those arguments often take the form of intense meditations on a theme, or even of prayer. In such cases, you may be hoping to transform something in yourself or to reach peace of mind on a troubling subject. If you know a familiar mantra or prayer, for example, think of what it “argues” for and how it uses quiet meditation to help achieve that goal.


“But, as we’ve already suggested [invitational rhetoric], arguing isn’t always about winning or even about changing others’ views. In addition to invitational argument, another school of argument-called Rogerian argument, after the psychotherapist Carl Rogers-is based on finding common ground and establishing trust among those who disagree about issues, and on approaching audiences in nonthreatening ways. Writers who follow Rogerian approaches seek to understand the perspectives of those with whom they disagree, looking for “both/and” or “win/win” solutions (rather than “either/or” or “win/lose” ones) whenever possible. Much successful argument today follows such principles, consciously or not.” 

— From Andrea Lunsford, Everyone’s an Author 

  • But also, how can you ask people to care?
 Week 9
Tuesday May 22

Reading: Dialogic Reading Response #9, 5/20 Sunday Review P.1  — Kristof, “Framed for Murder?”
In class: Workshopping Advocacy projects
Due: Advocacy project, draft #1

David Foster Wallace:

“This is Water” audio (22:00 minutes)
“This is Water” transcript (10 pp.)

Thursday May 24

Reading: NYT

1:00 section: Lynn Andrea Stout Obituary (A 23) and “Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Beat Poet and Author, Dies at 87″ Obituary (p. A22)

2:40 section: “The Myth of Conservative Feminism” (SR 9)

Due: Dialogic Reading Response #10
Preview: Digital Writing Portfolios

 Week 10
Tuesday May 29

Reading: “Aristotle’s Wrongful Death” (SR, 3)

In class: Digital Writing Portfolio Workshop

Due: Advocacy project final draft, with audio version

Thursday May 31

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

Or, if you prefer: “The mission of a modern newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

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 

Section #329: June 07, 2018, from 11:30 AM to 1:45 PM
Section #331: June 05, 2018, from 2:30 PM to 4:45 PM