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Jeffrey Walker, Chair PAR 3, Mailcode B5500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6109

Course Descriptions

RHE 306 • Rhetoric And Writing

Meets TTH 800am-930am PAR 308
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Multiple meeting times and sections. Please consult the Course Schedule for unique numbers.

This does NOT meet the Writing Flag requirement.

This composition course provides instruction in the gathering and evaluation of information and its presentation in well-organized expository prose. Students ordinarily write and revise four papers. The course includes instruction in invention, arrangement, logic, style, revision, and strategies of research.

Course centered around the First-Year Forum (FYF) book, Humboldt: Life on America's Marijuana Frontier by Emily Brady. Students focus on the foundational knowledge and skills needed for college writing. In addition, they are introduced to basic rhetoric terms and learn to rhetorically analyze positions within controversies surrounding the FYF book.

RHE 306 is required of all UT students. Contact the Measurement and Evaluation Center, 2616 Wichita (471-3032) to petition for RHE 306 credit.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Fashion

43580 • Remiszewska, Helene Grayce
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.132
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In contemporary culture, fashion often functions as an extension of one's identity. Culture enforces fashion choices, and clothing can often represent our socioeconomic status, our personalities, our gender, our sexuality, our ethnicities, our nationality, and almost any otherwise latent aspect of our identities. Fashion has become a token of cultural capital – shoes can often cost more than monthly rent, and musicians like Kanye West, Lady Gaga, A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks namedrop designers to represent anything from their status as cool to their success and wealth, even as Macklemore jeers from the sidelines. Conversely, fashion houses search for popular music to accompany their fashion shows, often commissioning live performances by predominantly white artists like Chromatics, Tori Amos, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift to represent their image. 

Though the high fashion customer base is diverse and international, fashion houses cater to and represent hegemonic dreams of tall, thin, expressionless white women, resulting in their varied attempts to combine low culture and high fashion to influence concepts of race, gender, sexuality, and body image. As designers of color remain underground, major fashion weeks are notorious for under employing models of color while continuing to appropriate from cultures other than their own, particularly egregious examples being Victoria's Secret fashion shows, Dolce and Gabanna's controversial “Mammy” accessories, or, most recently, Barney's targeting of black customers in their flagship NYC store. Numerous restrictions have been put into place to monitor models' exploitation, from requiring a minimum age to a minimum BMI, while high prices continue to soar and fashion campaigns fuel unrealistic expectations through Photoshopping thigh gaps and lightening skin tones. How, then, does fashion affect our identity, and how do we relate to the identity of others? When we make the choice to wear either Nike shorts or Rag & Bone jeans, as what are we trying to portray ourselves in relation to our peers? What is the relation between traditional rules like “no-white-after-Labor-Day” and legal restrictions against women revealing parts of their bodies? How do we differentiate between clothing and costume, and what does this chasm reveal about our own relation to cultural identity? Readings will include popular sources like song lyrics and advertisements, as well as excerpts from critical texts including Roland Barthes’ The Fashion System, Anne Hollinder’s Sex and Suits and Seeing Through Clothes, Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, and Pamela Church Gibson’s Fashion and Celebrity Culture and Women, Pornography, and Power.

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 20%

Research Paper: 5%

Research Presentation: 5%

Analytical Paper 1: 10%

Analytical Paper 2: 15%           

Persuasive Paper 1: 15%

Persuasive Paper 2: 20%

Persuasive Presentation: 10%

Peer Reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

Required Texts

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker. Pearson, 2010.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Fourth edition. Lunsford. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Photography

43585 • Macmillan, Rebecca
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 204
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Photographs may help us to remember, force us to look away, or move us to question the accuracy of what we see. This course will investigate the arguments photographs make, with special attention given to how the materiality of these images influences the stories they tell. We will look at the rhetoric of both digital and physical photographs as they proliferate in contemporary culture—for example, in news media, family albums, and on social networking sites. We will consider how photographs inform gender, racial, class, and political identities, as well as familial and public life. In doing so, this course will address a range of critical questions: To what extent are photographs subjective documents, framed by the concerns of their makers and the technologies used to produce them? To what political and social ends are photographs deployed? How is the rhetoric of photographs influenced by the personal or institutional archives in which these objects are housed?

Course readings will introduce students to a range of writing on photography, material culture, and visual rhetoric. Students will also have the chance to visit the Harry Ransom Center and to explore the archive’s photography holdings. In Unit 1, students will select a contemporary photographer of their choice to research, focusing on specific critical questions. In Unit 2, students will select and analyze a particular body of work by their chosen photographer, describing how this collection of photographs visually constructs its claims. In Unit 3, students will create a visual argument through the curation of their own photographs. In this final work, students may use, for example, a selection of recent digital images or aged family snapshots. Students will also reflect in writing on the argument their photographs make, and how the material form of these photographs contributes to their meaning.

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments – 20 %

Essay 1.1 – 10%

Essay 1.2 – 10%

Essay 2.1 – 10%

Essay 2.2 – 10%

Collection of Photographs & Essay 3.1 – 15%

Collection of Photographs & Essay 3.2 – 15%

Final Project Presentation – 10%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Lester Faigley, Diana George, Anna Palchik, and Cynthia Selfe, Picturing Texts (2004) 

Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz, Everything’s An Argument (2013)

Andrea A. Lunsford, Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference (2010)

Course Packet – This will include selected works by authors such as Susan Sontag, bell hooks, Rebecca Solnit, Fred Ritchin, and Stephen Shore.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Action Films

43590 • Ptacek, Jacob
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 206
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From the iconic (“I’ll be back…”) to the ironic (“Go ahead—I don’t shop here, anyways!”), action films have shaped—for good and bad—the discourse of American culture for the past forty years.   And while often critically reviled, action films and franchises are one of the most profitable sectors of Hollywood’s film industry, both at home and abroad.  But action films are more than just an evening’s light entertainment.  They engage in political and cultural arguments from all sides of the spectrum, from the treatment of returning veterans (First Blood) to race relations (Lethal Weapon) to governmental surveillance of civilians (The Dark Knight).  They map shifting responses to, among others, urban fears (the Dirty Harry and Death Wish series), Vietnam (the Rambo films), the Cold War (the James Bond franchise, Red Dawn),feminism (the Alien films, Speed) and terrorism (the Die Hard, Spider-Man, and Batman franchises, The Hurt Locker).  They often, quite literally, infiltrate contemporary political discourse: Reagan praising Rambo, Schwarzenegger as “the Gubernator,” Obama as a “socialist” Joker.  And of course, lots of things explode.

This course takes for granted, then, that action films are worthy of serious study; and our purpose will be to analyze the arguments that they make, both narratively and visually, through rhetorical strategies.  Because rhetoric depends on understanding speech as situated in a particular socio-historical context, our class will look not just at the films themselves, but also the historical moments from which they emerge, and how critics and others responded to them at the time.  As this is a course in rhetoric, and not in film, students need have no familiarity with traditional models of film analysis (camera angles, shot composition, mise-en-scene, suture theory), but rather an interest in what action films say: How do they respond to an historical event?  What kinds of arguments do they make, and for whom?  Is an argument the words the actors say, or the images the director presents, or some combination of the two? How do these films engage with political, social, scientific, and cultural ideas?  How do their arguments change over time?  How can we evaluate those arguments, and why should we? 


Five short writing assignments (one-page, single-spaced; the lowest grade will be dropped): 15%

Paper 1.1: 5%

Paper 1.2: 10%

Bibliography Assignment: 10%

Paper 2.1: 10%

Paper 2.2: 15%

Paper 3.1: 10%

Paper 3.2: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Required Texts:

Picturing Texts by Faigley, George, and Palchik

Everything’s an Argument by Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz

Additional short pieces may be assigned through Blackboard (film reviews, critical articles, etc.)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Facebook

43595 • Kantor, Julie
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.118
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Why do we update our Facebook status, share a link, or comment on our friends’ posts? Why are we choosing to expose these parts of our lives, these parts of ourselves on Facebook? While Facebook might seem like a way to "stay connected", seamless expressions of ourselves with our “friends”, Facebook affects our culture and social life—the ways in which we engage with others, and how we think about ourselves. Facebook is not just a social networking site; it creates and affects new ways of thinking and being. It affects new ways to make rhetorical appeals.

This course will examine Facebook’s impact on community and culture through rhetoric, as well as its relations with rhetoric. Facebook not only inspires rhetorical response, but it also changes the way rhetoric is used on a daily basis. Words and phrases such as “catfish,” “profile pic,” “selfie,” “status” and its various Facebook applications have new portmanteau meanings that did not exist a couple of years ago. How does the rhetoric of Facebook fit the time and place—kairos—of its creation and engagement? How does it change the way we communicate with others? What kind of arguments can be made about the words, phrases, and language that Facebook has made ubiquitous? How does Facebook change the way people think, use language, and make arguments?

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 20%

Essay 1.1: 5%

Essay 1.2: 10%

Essay 2.1: 10%

Essay 2.2: 15%

Final Assignment 3.1: 15%

Final Assignment 3.2: 15%

Presentations of Final Assignment: 10%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker.

Easy Writer, Andrea Lunsford

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Fairy Tales

Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.212
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Fairy tales have a long history through which they have presented a multitude of archetypes (the villain, the damsel, the hero, the trickster), tropes and ‘morals,’ and stories. While these elements are continuously reinvented, perpetuated, and/or subverted, the fairy tale remains a constant fascination. This course will investigate and evaluate those archetypes and tropes through critical attention to the author’s rhetoric employed by, through, and around them. To that end, you will over the course of the term select a specific archetype, trope, or tale formulation and a) thoroughly research its context, b) critically analyze its rhetoric, and c) responsibly interpret and analyze its function for the audience(s). You are encouraged to examine a range of story-telling mediums (written, visual, aural, interactive, etc.) and contexts (historical, social, cultural, etc.). For example, you may choose to track the wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood” and analyze the rhetoric employed by one of Angela Carter’s feminist renditions of the tale or Once Upon a Time’s conflation of the wolf with Little Red herself. You will learn to analyze and answer such questions as, What kinds of rhetorical techniques are utilized by the author/producer? How have those appeals changed from the original? How do these altered versions appeal to their audiences? To what end? and the like.

In addition to smaller writing assignments throughout the semester, you will be required to peer-review and complete three 5-7 page papers: one comparison/contrast paper focused on a fairy tale's different manifestations, one analysis paper centering on a fairy tale archetype, and one analysis paper concentrating on a fairy tale trope; all three major essays will include an additional revision aspect. A creative group project at the term's conclusion will ask you to create your own modern-day fairy tale; this assignment has a multimedia option (such as creating a short video-game, drawing a comic, recording a radio-show broadcast, etc.).

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 20%

Research Journal: 5%

Paper 1.1: 5%

Paper 1.2: 10%

Paper 2.1: 10%

Paper 2.2: 15%

Paper 3.1: 15%

Paper 3.2: 15%

Creative Capstone: 5%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer, Lusford

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Crowley and Hawhee

Optional: Fairy Tales in Popular Culture, Hallett and Karasek

download syllabus

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Political Belief

43605 • Moench, B. Duncan
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 0.132
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What does it mean to be a “liberal” today? What does it say when we call ourselves  “conservative”? Where did these words come from and how does their modern usage relate to their origin? In this course, we will explore how the rhetorical constructions of different political belief systems often mirror their values and ideology. Political ideals are not based in fact, or even historical events, but abstract belief and arguments, which tend to be only superficially understood. The course will empower students by providing the tools and history to understand their own beliefs as well as other people’s. We will discuss the major political belief systems of the Western world beginning with an exploration of the origins of the democratic ideal, proceeding to classical liberalism, socialism, conservatism, and lastly fascism.

Every section will include readings from primary sources, i.e. John Locke as a representative of liberalism and Karl Marx as a representative of communism and socialism. We will break down the arguments and examine their rhetorical construction. Students will complete each section by taking a contemporary controversy and writing as  “conservatives,” “liberals,” “socialists,” and even “fascists.” By writing about current events from the perspective of each political belief system students will gain both a firm grasp of how each political belief system thinks as well as the basics of argumentation and how to apply it to future papers, presentations, or proposals.

Assignments and Grading

Drafting assignments: 5%

Research Summaries: 10%

Essay 1.1: 10%

Essay 1.2: 10%

Essay 2.1: 10%

Essay 2.2: 15%

Essay 3.1: 10%

Essay 3.2: 15%

Presentation: 10%

Participation: 5%


Sharon Crowley and Michael Stancliff. Critical Situations. Custom Edition for The University of Texas at Austin ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2011.

Andrea Lunsford. Easy Writer. Fourth Edition ed. Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2010.

Terence Ball and Richard Dagger, Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal. Eighth ed. Pearson Longman, 2010

Terence Ball and Richard Dagger, Ideals and Ideologies: A Reader.Eighth Ed. Pearson Longman, 2010

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Fandom

Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 304
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Trekkies. Whovians. Potterheads. Beliebers. Little Monsters. Cheeseheads. Twihards. The 12th Man. Fan groups like these, shaped by a shared devotion to music, sports, and popular culture, are becoming more common as young adults from all demographics try to form community in an increasingly partisan and polarized world. This course explores the ways in which fans, fandom, and fanaticism are portrayed in media and pop culture. In what ways has the invention of the Internet changed popular perception of fans and fandoms, and how have fandoms used the Internet in order to build digital and international communities? What distinguishes a "true fan" from a casual follower, and who creates those distinctions? How does participation in fandom communities encourage self-expression?

Unit I of this class will ask students to explore the varying definitions of terminology essential to the themes of the class, such as “fan,” “fandom,” “community,” “creativity,” and “self-epression.” Students will then research the historical and cultural context of a specific fandom, and reflect on the ways in which the terms defined early in the semester apply to their fandom. Unit II will ask students to study an artifact produced by their fandom (fan fiction, fan videos, fantasy football blogs, theories for future episodes of a show, etc.), and consider the ways in which that artifact represents a departure from, devotion to, or reimagining of the original material. In Unit III, students will utilize the rhetorical strategies they developed in Unit II to argue for the importance of their fandom to an audience of skeptics. 

Assignments and Grading

Essay 1.1—History and Context (5%)

Essay 1.2—History and Context Revision (5%)

Essay 2.1—Rhetorical Analysis (15%)

Essay 2.2—Rhetorical Analysis Revision (15%)

Essay 3.1—Defense of the Fandom (15%)

Essay 3.2—Defense of the Fandom Revision (15%)

Short Writing Assignments (20%)

Reading Quizzes (5%)

Oral Presentation (5%)

Peer Review Mandatory

Required Texts and Course Readings

Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007.

Lunsford, Andrea A. Easy Writer (4th ed). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010.

Additional readings will be distributed electronically via Blackboard.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Mourning

43615 • Logan, Katie
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 2.112
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This course responds to a question posed by Judith Butler in her Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (2006): “What makes for a grievable life?” In other words, how do we decide which deaths or losses to mourn, our methods for mourning them, and what this process of mourning produces? Butler understands loss as a transformative event, something that requires us to redefine who we are and what our communities look like; mourning is the process by which we understand and express that transformation. Our answers to these questions, then,  have important implications for who we are as people, members of a particular nation or community, and participants in the historical process. As a result, discussions around this topic are always political, always controversial, always rhetorically grounded.

This class will engage with a variety of texts that answer these questions in different ways and with different goals in mind. How, for example, might a politician and a family member of the deceased talk about the losses of September 11th differently and for what purposes? Why are certain losses commemorated by a community while others pass in silence? How do different forms of memorialization (the obituary, the gravestone, the elegy or the political speech) represent different components of the same loss? How does mourning as a practice assist, obstruct, or complicate the process of community formation? By engaging these questions through case studies of their own, students will learn to think critically about the psychological, social, and political underpinnings through which we frame our responses to significant losses and the rhetorical strategies by which we develop these responses.

Assignments and Grading

Unit 1 Summaries: 10%

Unit 2 Analyses: 10%

Unit 3 Minor Assignments: 10%

Blackboard Questions 10%

Essay 1.1 5%

Essay 1.2 10%

Essay 2.1 10%

Essay 2.2 15%

Final Project 20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer, Lunsford

Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters

Additional selections from the following texts (to be posted on Blackboard):

Precarious Lives, Judith Butler

“Mourning and Melancholia,” Sigmund Freud

Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson

Loss: Mourning Remains, David Eng and David Kazanjian

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Sustainability

43620 • Oxford, Robert
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A216A
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How do we define sustainability? How do we decide whether a commodity is sustainable or not? From coffee shops to global energy, sustainability has become a frequent and important rhetorical signifier of the twenty-first century. This class will read texts from corporations, cooperatives, activists and governments to explore the different rhetorical claims for sustainable resources. Students will also observe how the University of Texas adopts the rhetoric of sustainability in fulfilling its education mission on campus. Throughout the class, the goal is to question how sustainability influences our life, work and community and to note how various institutions and groups use this phrase to advance their own goals and agendas.

Assignments and Grading

Minor Writing Assignments: 15%

(Reading/Viewing Responses, Research 


Unit I Essay: 5%

Unit I Revision: 15%

Unit II Essay: 15%

Unit II Revision: 15%

Unit III Position Paper: 15%

Unit III Position Paper Revision: 20%

Peer Reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

Required Texts and Course Readings

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford.

All other readings will be uploaded to Canvas as a reading packet. These include:

Excerpts from Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Howard Shultz, 2012)

Excerpt chapter from New Paradigms in Global Supply and Demand: Coffee Markets (World Bank, 2004)=

Seeking Sustainability: COSA Preliminary Analysis of Sustainability Initiatives in the Coffee Sector (Daniele Giovannucci, Jason Potts et al., 2008)

Coffee Worker Justice Initiative: US Labor Education in the Americas Project

Excerpts from Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 

Excerpts from 2011 Corporate Citizenship Report (ExxonMobile)

Bill McKibben, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” Rolling Stone (July 19, 2012)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Mythology

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.120
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Mythology is a word which, for most readers, will conjure a series of images: gods; heroes; tricksters; monsters; feats of derring-do; trees, weapons, rivers, mountains imbued with unique powers or living spirits. Above all, it is a word which denotes both powerful, evocative stories or figures and obvious, recognized untruth—a word which both recognizes significance in the past, for some distant culture, and dismisses it for the present and future. Nevertheless, Greek, Roman, Norse, and other mythologies invade our cultural spaces—the gods and monsters of other cultures inhabit our fantasies (Neil Gaiman’s American Gods), our science fiction (Ray Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun), our young adult fiction (the best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series), and our most wildly successful movies (The Avengers). But if myths are, by definition, defunct, why do they remain so powerful? They possess cultural capital: the figures who occupy central roles in these stories represent cherished values and beliefs as well as fears, and they continue to be pressed into service in the texts which constitute the social discourse which we create today. These properties, which make them the ultimate cultural survivors, also make them incredibly rhetorically useful, since good rhetoric appeals to precisely those cultural properties, commonplaces, and ideologies which mythological figures embody.

Over the course of the semester we will map out histories of the contexts in which these tales and characters have been pressed into the service of rhetorical ends. We will analyze what those rhetorical ends are, how they change over time, and how they appeal to their audiences. Students will compose: one detailed annotated bibliography on the history of a single myth, including an abstract describing how the student might arrange that annotated bibliography into a paper; one 5-7 page rhetorical analysis paper; one final argumentative piece, including a reflection paper, which makes use of mythological tropes, archetypes, figures, or stories; weekly blog posts responding to specific prompts designed to generate content for longer papers; and both peer review and revisions for all major writing assignments.


Annotated Bibliography (5%) 1.2 Bibliography, Abstract, and Outline (10%) 2.1 Rhetorical Analysis (10%) 2.2 Rhetorical Analysis Revision (10%) 3.1 Argumentative Essay (15%) 3.2 Argumentative Essay Revision (20%)

Blog Posts (15%) Oral Presentation (5%) Reading Quizzes (10%) Peer Reviews (Mandatory) Participation (Invaluable)

Course Readings

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Crowley and Hawhee

The Easy Writer, Lusford

A course packet. Will include Ch. 14, “Visual Rhetoric,” from Everything’s an Argument, as well as selections from classical and contemporary texts that make rhetorical use of mythological allusion, including but not limited to: Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun), excerpts from Virgil’s Aeneid, excerpts from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and excerpts from at least one collection of mythology.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Lies

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 2.102
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Though national myth would have us believe that George Washington famously asserted, "I cannot tell a lie," the pervasiveness of deception in the world casts doubt on his—or at least the story's—honesty. Children lie as early as age two, and one University of Massachusetts study found that test subjects averaged 2.92 lies when asked to talk for ten minutes. Lying also comes in diverse forms; Wikipedia lists twenty-eight different classifications of lie, ranging from "barefaced" to "white." As such, dealing with deceit—and honesty—raises complex ethical and categorical problems. Throughout history, accusations, condemnations, and denials of lying, as well as justifications and excuses for it, have been hotly contested—from Saint Peter and Galileo to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Our goal for this course will be to explore three aspects of lying. First, we will look at the question of how to define "lie." From there, we will move to how we lie; what are our goals and our strategies in doing so? Finally, we will take up the question of when we should lie. Would a completely honest world be a better one? What, if anything, do we need to justify deceit? Students will be assessed on one major paper and revision for each unit as well as several smaller assignments and a final presentation.

Grading Breakdown:

Paper 1 First Version: 10%

Paper 1 Revision: 10%

Paper 2 First Version: 15%

Paper 2 Revision: 10%

Paper 3 First Version: 15%

Paper 3 Revision: 10%                                               

Minor Assignments: 20%

Final Presentation: 10%

Required Texts:

Lunsford, Andrea A. Easy Writer. 4th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument with Readings. 6th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

 Bok, Sissela. Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. New York: Vintage, 1999.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of The South

Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 2.102
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According to the 1970s Southern rock band Lynard Skynard, the South is home to blue skies, great guitar pickers, people who try hard, and the Lord (“Sweet Home Alabama”). Singer-Songwriter Neil Young, however, disagrees with these characteristics. He sings about the South’s destructive racism, hatred and stubbornness in both “Alabama” and “Southern Man.” How can one geographical region spark such divergent feelings? Indeed musicians aren’t the only ones who offer competing views of the South. Remember the glossy, nostalgic Gone with the Wind? What about the creepy dueling banjos in Deliverance?  Or how about the portrayal of Southern hopefulness and DIY via a pimp-turned-emcee in Hustle and Flow? Writers, filmmakers, and mapmakers contribute to the idea that Americans have a complex and various understanding of the South. So, how do you define the South?  What personal, cultural, social, economic, religious, historical and political contexts inform your definition? How does considering different contexts and controversies put a spin on your otherwise solid definition? In this course, students will map out different controversies associated with the South, different meanings of the term “South” and examine the rhetorical devices used to complicate the definition. The final project will allow you to assert your personal definition of the “South.” Readings will include nonfiction, editorials, legal briefs, fiction, cookbooks and poetry, ranging from James Dickey’s “The Sheep-Child” to Supreme Court cases like Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education; from Zora Neale Hurston to crunk to Bon Appetit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking.

Assignments and Grading

Paper 1.1: 5%

Paper 1.2: 10%

Paper 2.1: 15%

Paper 2.2: 15%

Paper 3.1: 15%

Paper 3.2: 15%

Research summaries: 20%

Oral Presentations: 5%

Peer reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

Required Texts and Course Readings

Everything’s an Argument. Andrea Lunsford, John J. Ruskiewicz and Keith Walters. Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2013.           

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Fourth Edition. Lunsford. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

Course Readings posted on Blackboard and given as handouts.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Hip-Hop

43640 • Maner, Sequoia
Meets MW 500pm-630pm MEZ B0.302
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In this course we will interrogate the rhetorical power of hip hop and the specific cultural contexts from which hip hop springs. We will study the many arguments that hip hop makes and the various arguments made against hip hop. In particular, we will focus on the methods by which controversial messages regarding issues such as race and sexuality are performed and disseminated. In this course, students will unpack the rhetorical devices that underlie generation hip hop’s artistic innovation, dope fashion, fresh beats, and sick flows. Ultimately, this course will examine how hip hop culture has and continues to shape our worldviews.

Students will use the tools of rhetorical analysis to decode the numerous (conflicting) arguments that hip hop and its critics make. The first unit of the course will be devoted to using research tools to map a hip hop historiography. Unit 2 will examine the many controversial aspects of hip hop culture as it relates to identity and the public sphere. Finally, students will make an informed and nuanced argument about a hip hop controversy, presenting their work in visual and textual forms in Unit 3. By the end of the semester, students will have created an archive that represents a cogent history of various viewpoints, both from within and outside hip hop discourse. The goals of the course will be to improve your writing and rhetorical analysis skills when it comes to hip hop texts and their contexts.

Assignments and Grading

Students will be graded on the following assignments:

Short Writing Assignments - 20%

Essay 1.1- 10%

Essay 1.2 - 10%*

Essay 2.1 - 10%

Essay 2.2 - 10%*

Final Paper Presentation - 10%**

Visual + Textual 3.1 - 15%

Visual + Textual 3.2 - 15%*

*Peer review required

**Meeting with instructor required

Required Texts and Course Readings

1.      Crowley, Sharon, and Michael Stancliff. Critical Situations: A Rhetoric for Writing in Communities (2012).

2.      Custom course packet featuring leading hip hop scholars such as Imani Perry, Jeff Chang, Tricia Rose, and Mark Anthony Neal

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Rights In The US

43645 • Williams Barron, Courtney
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 304
show description

What are civil rights, how are they determined and by whom? What is the difference between civil rights and human rights? Throughout the history of the United States, the question of rights has been and continues to be a life and death issue for many people. From the founding of the country to the present day, individuals and groups have engaged with each other, the law, and various government agencies to fight over the issue of rights: the right to live, to die, to go to school, to marry, to vote, to own property, to exist as people, to be safe, to make a living, to parent children, to privacy, and many more. We will examine the definitions of both human and civil rights and look at who chooses to make these arguments, how they make them, and why. Our examination will include discussion of current civil rights issues such as immigration, affirmative action, bilingual education, equal marriage, assisted suicide, and others. Students will choose their own contemporary civil rights struggle that remains "unresolved," research the history and context of this struggle, and eventually determine how they might participate in the rhetoric of this struggle themselves.

Course Requirements

Two 5-8 page essays, each revised once

One 2-3 page essay

Additional short assignments of 1-2 pages

Grading Policy

Unit 1: 25%

  • Research, 15-source annotated bibliography, 1-2 pgs, 30pts
  • 1 page summary, 30pts
  • various short written pieces (summaries, analyses, evaluations) in and out of class, 40pts

Unit 2: 35%

  • Visual map of power, players, and perspectives, 25pts
  • written essay mapping the argument following a shift, 5-8pgs, 30 pts
  • Peer review and revision of mapping essay, 5-8 pages, 15pts
  • various short written pieces (summaries, analyses, evaluations) in and out of class, 30pts

Unit 3: 40%

  • short rhetorical analysis essay, 2-3 pgs, 20pts
  • longer rhetorical argument,  5-8 pgs, 40pts
  • Peer review and revision of rhetorical argument, 5-8 pgs, 25pts
  • and oral or visual presentation, 15pts


Critical Situations: A Rhetoric for Writing in Communities, Crowley and Stancliff.

Brown vs. the Board of Education, Bedford St. Martin Press

Easy Writer, Lunsford.

Course packet/handouts including King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," "Three Ways of Meeting Oppression," "Women's Rights are Human Rights" from the women's conference in Beijing, 1994, various song lyrics, poems, movie clips, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Court decisions from Brown v Board, Goodridge v Massachusetts,and additional short readings as appropriate.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Tourism

Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 6
show description

In our global economy, travel and tourism are more prominent than ever before. We travel and/or become tourists to have new cultural experiences, to help relieve violence and poverty, to challenge ourselves physically and ideologically, to help victims of disasters, to get and to provide education, to spread religious and political beliefs, and for countless other reasons. Travel has been touted as the best way to broaden our horizons and become better global citizens, yet tourism has been condemned as the 21st century’s most prevalent and widely accepted form of exploitation. This course will begin with a broad range of multimedia texts that introduce contemporary concerns regarding travel and tourism, including work by Anthony Bourdain of the travel series No Reservations, Lonely Planet contributor Nicola Williams, and travel documentarian Rick Steves, among others. You will analyze texts using rhetorical theory as outlined in the course textbook Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, as well as some recent critical theory, including work by Fabian Frenzel, Edward Said, and Michel Picard, before selecting a relevant controversy for individual research and analysis. Possible controversies might ask questions concerning ecotourism, volunteering abroad, sex tourism, space tourism, or adventure travel. Using your chosen controversy as a platform, you will practice rhetorical analysis of multimedia texts that you will research and select, including print and video advertisements, magazine and newspaper articles and editorials, documentary films and television shows, travel blogs, and personal essays and memoirs. Your final project will consist of a persuasive essay based on your controversy and incorporating elements of rhetoric covered throughout the semester. 

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments (Reading Responses, Research Summaries, and Short Rhetorical

Analyses equally weighted): 20%

Annotated Bibliography: 15%

Analytical Essay Draft: 10%

Analytical Essay Revision: 15%

Persuasive Project Draft: 10%

Persuasive Project Revision: 15%

Research Presentation: 6%

Persuasive Presentation: 9%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers by Mark Garrett Longaker and Jeffrey Walker

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference by Andrea A. Lunsford

Course packet including readings by Anthony Bourdain, Nicola Williams, Joseph Conrad, and Jamaica Kincaid

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Superheroes

Meets MW 1100am-1230pm FAC 7
show description

“We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.” ~ Grant Morrison

You don't have to be Lex Luthor to know that superheroes in modern American culture are a force to be reckoned with. They fly through the pages of comic books, splay their KAPOWS across graphic novels, and constitute a multi-billion dollar movie industry. What makes superheroes such a pervasive presence in our cultural mythos? Why are they appealing? What's so super about their heroism, and, more importantly, what does our fondness for superheroes say about our society's fundamental ideals?

During this course we will explore these questions and more as we delve into the rhetoric of superheroism in American pop culture. We will learn to apply various modes of rhetorical analysis to this multimedia cultural phenomenon by dissecting the use of appeals in short stories, films, news articles and graphic novels. We will also hone our skills of argumentation by examining several thriving controversies within the world of superheroes. Ultimately, we will use research and analysis to develop nuanced arguments about what superheroism has to say about crucial sociopolitical issues like gender, race, individualism, globalism, capitalism and environmentalism. Students will leave the class with a “super” grasp of how to conduct thorough research, perform rhetorical analysis, and construct an argument.

Students will write three major papers ranging from five to seven pages. Students will also be required to contribute weekly to a class blog.

Assignments and Grading

1.1 Research Paper (5%)

1.2 Research Paper Revision (5%) 2.1 Rhetorical Analysis (10%) 2.2 Rhetorical Analysis Revision (15%) 3.1 Argumentative Essay (15%) 3.2 Argumentative Essay Revision (20%) Blog Posts (15%) Final Project (5%) Reading Quizzes (10%)

Peer Review (Mandatory)

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford

Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, Mark G. Longaker and Jeffrey Walker

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Editing

43665 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 6
show description

Whether or not we’re accepting or conscious of it, we are all editors. In the widest sense of the word, we edit ourselves -- our exterior, our public image, our ethos -- every morning when we dress and we don’t stop editing -- what we write, what we say, what we think, what we are -- until we hit the pillow (at which point editorial responsibility becomes indeterminate).

In this section of RHE 309K, we will spend the first few weeks deliberating over the broad concept of editing before proceeding through units on:

- Casual writing (i.e. email, social media, texting)

- Journalism

- Creative arts (i.e. web video, music, sound)

- Scholarship

- Academic writing

For each discipline, we will explore the various roles of editing and editors play in a text’s rhetoric.

RHE 309K is an introductory-level rhetoric class devoted to teaching principles of argumentation, research, and writing. In service to this goal, students will produce texts in a variety of genres (textual and otherwise) over the course of the semester, all of which will be subject to some mode of editing. Around week 10,  students will compile their best, heavily edited work as a portfolio and begin research toward the Final Project: a thoroughly edited, academic argument.

Grade Breakdown:

Homework: 20%

Peer Review: 20%

Portfolio: 20%

Final Project: 40%

Required Texts:

Easy Writer. Fourth Edition. Lunsford. Longman, 2009.

Everything’s an Argument. Sixth Edition. Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, Walters. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

The majority of course readings will be available through Canvas

RHE 309K • Rhet Of Subversive Cartoons

43670 • ZHU, LILY A
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm FAC 10
show description

Genderswap, sexuality, religious faith, drug experimentation, and feminist utopias – all concepts too complex and inappropriate for children, right? Surprisingly, a large and increasing number of mainstream, PG-rated, animated shows provide not only the expected juvenile laughs, but also treatments of socially controversial topics. Beemo from Adventure Time maintains a fluid sense of gender identity, referred to alternately as both “she” and “he.” Princess “Morbucks” from The Powerpuff Girls explicitly represents the perils of capitalism. Despite the varying characters, animations, and plotlines, what these shows have in common is the ability to entertain and educate an audience – ranging from children to grown adults – through the rhetorical transformation of mature content.

This course explores cartoons which occupy a subversive space – cartoons which are deemed appropriate for children, ostensibly made for children, and yet are just as risqué (if not quite so explicit) as “adult”cartoons. What requirements must be fulfilled in order for something to be classified as a “children’s” cartoon? What is the perceived purpose of children’s cartoons? What are the unforeseen ways in which the artists are able to dismantle genre expectations, cross age and culture-defined boundaries, and address public discourse concerned with the growing roles and influence of children’s cartoons? Students will begin the semester by compiling a definition of subversive “children’s” cartoon and selecting a particular show - from a list - that they will work with.

Assignments and Grading

In addition to completing short blog posts (10%) and short writing assignments (20%), they will map its context and stakeholders for Paper 1 (10%), and analyze the patterns of visual and verbal rhetoric associated with that same cartoon for Paper 2.1 (10%) and Paper 2.2 (15%). For their final project, students will present a written, argumentative "pitch" for their own proposed cartoon, with an optional accompanying storyboard or script (35%).

Required Texts and Course Readings

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A. Lunsford

They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff

Critical Situations:  A Rhetoric for Writing in Communities (UT Custom Edition 2.0), Crowley and Stancliff

Supplementary Materials:

Provided excerpts from texts such as Saturday Morning Censors (Heather Hendershot) and Prime Time Animation (Carol Stabile).

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Performance

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm FAC 9
show description

This course will explore the rhetoric within and around artistic performance, including theatre, music, dance, and performance art. Students will engage with performance as argument, including visual rhetoric and other forms of non-verbal argumentation. The course will also investigate the rhetorical techniques that artists, advertisers, critics, and audiences use when speaking about performance. We will examine how performance as a concept appears in cultural discourse, examining the arguments implied by expressions such as “performance-enhancing,” “high performance,” “performance review,” and “well, that was quite a performance!” You will select a specific performance that interests you and engage in an in-depth written exploration of its rhetorical situation: the performer, the audience, the time and place, the arguments made by the piece itself, and the discussion surrounding it. After examining the arguments of and around the piece, you will select a rhetorical aspect of the performance or an argument about it to analyze in detail, showing how it makes and supports a claim. Having thoroughly investigated the rhetoric of this performance, you will make your own argument about it, in both performative and written form. In this way, you will gain a thorough understanding of how performance makes arguments, how we speak about performances, and what we mean when we use the word “performance.”

Assignments and Grading

Students will be graded on the following assignments:

Essay 1.1: Synthesizing the Rhetoric of a Performance: 5%

Essay 1.2: Revision: 10%

Essay 2.1: Analyzing the Rhetoric of a Performance: 10%

Essay 2.2: Revision: 15%

Essay 3.1: Evaluating a Performance: 15%

Essay 3.2: Revision: 15%

Final Presentation: 10%

Short Writing Assignments 1-6 :  20%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, Crowley and Hawhee

Easy Writer, Lunsford

Readings on Blackboard

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Food

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
show description

Food does more for humans than secure our survival. Food cultivation, production, distribution, preparation and consumption contribute to our individual and sociocultural identities. These practices also reflect ideological values and social norms. Just as food creates communities, it also causes controversies and raises questions. For example: Why do people practice vegetarianism? What is “healthy” eating? How do people develop “taste?” In what ways do people use food to express their cultural identities? How does food production policy in the US affect the environment and various economies? How does privilege enhance or inhibit access to food? Are factory farms really inhumane and unsustainable? In this course, we will explore representations of food and peoples’ relationships with it through various media, including articles, advertisements, film, even local menus. Through a series of reading and writing assignments, students will focus their research on one controversy in a conversation regarding food and, ultimately, advocate their own position using the rhetorical strategies they’ve engaged with throughout the semester.

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 25%

(Reading/Viewing Responses, Research


Annotated Bibliography: 15%

Literature Review Essay: 15%

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: 15%

Original Argument: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Homework*: 5%           

Peer Reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

*Note: The homework grade will consist of a combination of (1) quizzes on the readings, (2) completion of short daily assignments.

Required Texts and Course Readings

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein (2009).

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference, Andrea A.Lunsford (2011).

Food: The Key Concepts, Warren Belasco (2008).

-  Course Packet

*Note: In addition to print materials, students will view other media that make arguments about food. These materials will provide students the opportunity to perform visual rhetorical analysis. Other media will include: print advertisements, commercials, speeches, interviews, a documentary film about food, etc.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Country Music

43690 • Hixenbaugh, Dustin
Meets MW 200pm-330pm FAC 10
show description

Since its emergence in the early twentieth century, “hillbilly music,” as it was then called, has been the subject of debate, ridicule, and occasional disapproval. It has also proven extremely popular with audiences both domestic and international, and given rise to some of the US’s best-known celebrities—Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton to name just a few. But what is country music, and how has it changed in the past hundred years? How does it speak to, and for, the “country” for which it is named? What does it mean to be “country”?

 This class respects country music as a serious form of cultural expression. Through research  and extensive listening, we will situate particular artists and albums within their historical and cultural contexts. Specifically, we will explore how country music has responded to events like the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, the Vietnam War, and 9/11, and how its artists have contested the meaning of “country” by pursuing alternative sub-genres like honky tonk, the Nashville and Bakersfield “sounds,” and “outlaw” country. Though students are encouraged to research and write about artists they are interested in, the course will keep a tight focus on argument analysis—that is, how artists and audiences have argued through and about country music—and the development of students’ own research and writing skills.

Please note the course carries a writing flag and requires daily listening and reading assignments.

Assignments and Grading

In Unit 1, students will collaboratively research different country music movements before placing one song or album of their choice in its rhetorical context. Assignments include one 15-20 minute group presentation (5% of the final course grade), and one 4-6 page Context Analysis Essay (5% for the first draft, and 10% for the final). In Unit 2, students will conduct an extended rhetorical analysis of one album or song of their choice. Assignments include three Short Analysis Essays of 1-2 pages in length (15%), which they will then revise and combine into one 4-6 page Long Analysis Essay (15%). Lastly, in Unit 3, students will write one 4-6 page Final Argument Essay (10% for the first draft, and 15% for the final) in which they will explain how they see country music, as a genre, responding to a specific historical event or cultural trend.

Over the course of the semester, students will also write four 1-2 page Research Summaries (15%) and post weekly to the class’s Discussion Board (10%).

Required Texts and Course Readings

This course requires two textbooks:

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark G. Longaker and Jeffrey Walker (Longman, 2010); and

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference (4th ed.), by Andrea Lunsford (Bedford, 2009).

Students will also read excerpts from a number of other texts about rhetoric or country music. These will be made available on the online Canvas system and may include: They Say/I Say (2014), Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein; All That Glitters (1993), John Buckley; In the Country of Country (1997), Nicholas Dawidoff; Behind Closed Doors (2002), Alanna Nash; Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music (2012), Diane Pecknold; Rednecks and Bluenecks (2007), Chris Willman; and others.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Monsters

Meets MW 200pm-330pm FAC 9
show description

Zombies, demons, beasts, fiends, freaks, cyborgs, dragons and… Lady Gaga? From the celluloid to C-SPAN, we’re steeped in a culture fixated on monsters. But what makes someone or something monstrous? Whether they are evil, hideous, or flat-out strange, one thing is certain: monsters are not like us. However, insofar as they’re made for people and by people, monsters aren’t inhuman. So, what can monsters tell us about ourselves? Studying monsters as rhetorical constructions reveals the concealed boundaries between “us” and “them.”

This course explores how monsters, whether from the Black Lagoon or Sesame Street, expose the undisclosed fears and desires of their audiences. First, you’ll select a type of monster to study and map its history. Then, we will analyze representations of an array of monsters in various media, paying close attention to how they operate as rhetorical objects. By the end of the course, you will consider how the monster you chose operates in contemporary discourse. Along the way, you will consider the following questions: What is the effect of using the word “monster” to describe real people? What does a media representation of a monster tell us about the intended audience? How have conceptions of monsters changed over time? Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Assignments and Grading

Research Summary 1: 6%

Research Summary 2: 6%

Research Paper: 16%

Analytic Essay 1: 6%

Analytic Essay 2: 6%

Analytic Essay 3: 6%

Argumentative Essay: 27%

Final project: 27%           

Required Texts and Course Readings

Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg, The Little Seagull Handbook

Mark Garrett Longaker and Jeffrey Walker, Rhetorical Analysis

Course Packet

Stephen Asma, “Extraordinary Beings” from On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Fears

Carol Clover, “Final Girl” in Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film

Jeffrey Cohen, "Monster Theory (Seven Theses)" from Monster Theory: Reading Culture

David Gilmore, “Why Study Monsters?” from Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors

Jack Halberstam, “Parasites and Perverts” from Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters

Edward Ingebresten, “Thinking About Monsters” from At Stake: Monsters and the Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture

RHE 309K • Arguing The Digital Divide

Meets MW 330pm-500pm FAC 9
show description

As students, we research course descriptions and register for classes online. As social individuals, we send Facebook and text messages to connect with friends near and far. As contributors to a globalized economy, we apply for jobs using email and make purchases on Amazon. Yet within Austin, within America and across the globe, diverse populations are not yet included in this contemporary digital age. Over the past decade, the controversy over this disparity — commonly called the digital divide — has widened beyond its political and economic origins. Questions of a production gap between the vast majority of consumers and the few users who create online content have arisen. Simultaneously, as more people plug in for the first time, digital literacy and the ability to interact as informed, critical subjects within this new media environment have become increasingly important rhetorical skills often overlooked.

Within this course, students will closely exam these and other digital divides: their root causes, broad implications and differing responses. The class will work to construct a vocabulary and a conceptual framework through which we can discuss the differing digital divides. Informative, critical and influential articles will introduce students to a variety of controversies within the larger topic, positions within those controversies, and stakeholders who hold those positions. To do this, we will follow the origins of the term digital divide through its historical development, beginning with geographical, economic and political examples of technological inequality on both a micro and macro (local and global) level. With a basic background established, we will then trace the term as it has been used to describe consumerist dynamics on the Internet, gaps in how new media literacy is (not) taught, and demographic divisions that have developed within Web 2.0. Three longer essays will be augmented throughout the semester by short writing assignments and a creative multimedia project that will ask students to engage the problems of the general controversy firsthand.

Assignments and Grading

Paper 1.1: Advisory grade

Paper 1.2: 10%

Paper 2.1: 15%

Paper 2.2: 15%

Paper 3.1: 15%

Paper 3.2: 15%

Research summaries (5): 25%

Social media assignment: 5%

Required texts and Course Readings

Rhetorical Analysis. Longaker & Walker. Pearson, 2010.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Fourth Edition. Lunsford. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

Various readings provided on Canvas including articles by Straubhaar, boyd, McChesney, et. al.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Guilty Pleasure

43710 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 6
show description

“Guilty pleasure" is a commonplace phrase, often used in reference to artifacts of low-brow, popular -- memes, Lady Gaga, Ice Road Truckers. But anything can be, or become, a guilty pleasure, and the phrase does more than reinforce cultural hierarchies. Each of us has our own guilty pleasures, whether they exist in the world of food, the internet, movies, etc. One might infer that humans have always had guilty pleasures, and reason that feeling guilt about our actions or thoughts is what makes us human. But is the guilty pleasure flourishing in the digital era? Are we more guilty about our pleasures now than ever before? Do we have more to feel guilty about? In general, “pleasure” is a personal experience, while “guilt” is typically understood as a social construct. So, how do guilty pleasures reflect an intersection of our inner (psychological) and outer (social) worlds? What do our guilty pleasures tell us about ourselves, our culture, and our interaction with that culture?

This class will begin by studying two central concepts (guilt and pleasure) from a variety of perspectives, including psychology, religion, culture, and of course, rhetoric. Reading from a variety of disciplines will teach students to recognize and analyze rhetorical techniques in different contexts and -- in service to the final project -- teach them to employ solid rhetorical principles in making their own argument. Learning about the history of debate surrounding guilt and pleasure will bring us insights into the way the “guilty pleasure” functions as a commonplace in our culture. Subsequent class periods will be devoted to notable categories of guilty pleasures -- for example, Top 40s music, fast food, and the internet.

Students in this class must be comfortable engaging in self-reflexive thinking and sharing personal insights with their peers.

Assignments and Grading

Homework: 10%

Short Essays: 10%

Paper 1 (Descriptive): 15%

Paper 2 (Analytical): 20%

Paper 3 (Argumentative): 25%

Presentation: 10%

Peer Review: 10%

Required Texts and Course Readings

Lunsford, Andrea A. Easy Writer. 4th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument with Readings. 6th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

Nietszhe, Friedrich. Selections from Beyond Good and Evil (1886) and On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Video Games

43715 • Nelson, Scott
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 104
show description

This course seeks to explore video games as a modern discursive medium. Far from being mere “mindless entertainment,” many video games make explicit or implicit arguments about gender and sexuality, economic systems, corporate practices, geopolitics, and both real and imagined societies. What arguments do these simulations and simulacra mount about how the world is? What arguments do they mount about how the world should be?

Much of the past and current study of digital rhetoric seems to look at the content of computers through applying older means of rhetorical analysis, looking at the text and images contained on computers rather than the processes through which this content is represented. What we seek to explore is a relatively new field—procedural rhetoric—and the ways this new field can inform video game criticism. How do the procedures inherent in video games make arguments about the world?

Assignments and Grading

The Learning Record Online (LRO) will account for 100% of the grade.

Longer Assignments:

- Rhetorical Analysis of serious game: Draft (Peer & Instructor reviewed) + Final

- Rhetorical analysis of video game chosen by student: Draft (Peer & Instructor reviewed) + Final

- Project proposal for final project: Draft (Peer & Instructor reviewed) + Final

- Final presentation

- Final Learning Record

Short Assignments:

- Blog posts throughout the semester (5)

- LRO part A

- LRO Part B1

- LRO Part C1

Required Texts

Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost (ISBN#9780262026147)

• Bully ($29.99 on Steam)

Mass Effect ($19.99 on Steam)

• America’s Army (free)

• A Massive Multiplayer Online game ($15-$40 on Steam)

• Another game of the student's choice

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Satire

43720 • Zacks, Aaron S
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 6
show description

With the bountiful and diverse new media at their disposal in the 21st century, satirists are playing an increased, and increasingly mainstream, role in world culture. Satire’s diversity—of subject-matter, genre, tone, and humor—helps it to cross national and language boundaries, so that a satirical argument about gets picked up quickly by news outlets and spreads, meme-like, among various rhetorical contexts. A few years ago, a Danish newspaper published a collection of cartoons depicting the prophet of Islam Muhammed in a variety of controversial scenarios. The subsequent public debate, centering around freedom of speech and religious sensitivity, was taken up briskly by pundits of all kinds, earnest and satirical, from CNN to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and inspired a two-part South Park episode representing the debate in its characteristically zany but targeted brand of argument-making. More recently, during the 2012 US Presidential election process, satire outlets such as The Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live brought political issues to a wide audience by supplying an alternate, satirical version of the news cycle. Back in 2004, Ted Koppel admitted, albeit lamentably, that “a lot of television viewers...get their news from the Comedy Channel.”1

Surely that number has grown dramatically in the past eight years. With viewership comes legitimacy, and whether or not the satirist wants to be taken seriously ceases to a matter under his or her control. Unevenness of audience expectations produces a complex rhetorical situation, especially in response to the most serious of world events, most recently Hurricane Sandy and the Sand Hook tragedy. On other, bizarre occasions, we have seen satire misread as earnest argument, such as this past December, when a Chinese news outlet reported that The Onion had named North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jung-un the “Sexiest Man Alive in 2012.” When utilized effectively, satire speaks truth to power through the indirect strategy of irony—saying the opposite of what one means—and can, perhaps, encourage useful public debate. It is also entertaining and, when done well, tremendously funny. This is the central irony of satirical rhetoric that we will dwell on in this course.

What role does satire play in our culture? How are satirists utilizing new media and technology to infiltrate spaces usually reserved for earnest argument? Can satirical argument produce measurable change in the world like other rhetorical modes, such as political speech and news broadcasts? What role do we, as engaged citizens, expect satire to play in our lives? How does satire meet or challenge those expectations? And what on Earth does it mean that a portion of our country believes Jon Stewart is more reliable a reporter than Wolf Blitzer? And, for starters, what is satire, anyway? We will engage these and many other questions over the course of the semester through studying satirical arguments about various subjects (music, sports, politics, etc.) in a wide variety of genres (television, internet, poetry, video games, radio, etc.). Students will apply concepts of rhetorical analysis in our discussions of these texts and learn to move deftly between different media. We will study some classic rhetorical texts, such as Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal (1729) and Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary (1906), but, because satire is, above all, topical, most of the course content will be contemporary. As with all rhetorical study, the underlying aim of this course is to hone our sensitivity to the arguments surrounding us, making us more careful interpreters of our society and cultures. This course is writing-intensive and revision-intensive; students will produce and revise approximately 30 pages of original writing over the course of the semester. This course also requires active participation in class discussions and one or more presentations. In the final weeks of the semester, students will produce a piece of satire, in the genre of their choice, accompanied by an essay describing their use of rhetorical strategies.


Assignments and Grading

Research Summaries 10%

Annotated Bibliography 10%

Essay 1.1 (Rhetorical Analysis) 10%

Essay 1.2 (Revision) 15%

Essay 2.1 (Persuasive Essay) 10%

Essay 2.2 (Revision) 15%

Final Project and Essay 15%

In-Class Writing 5%

Homework 10%

Peer Review Mandatory

Required Texts

Course Packet (available the first week of the semester from Speedway Copy in the Dobie Mall) Gray, Jonathan, Jeffrey P. Jones, and Ethan Thompson. Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era (2009) Scharton, Maurice and Janice Neuleib. Things Your Grammar Never Told You: A Pocket Handbook (2nd Edition, 2001) Sample Satirical Texts Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil’s Dictionary (1906) Colbert, Stephen, et al. The Colbert Report (2005-) Judge, Mike. Office Space (1999) Kafka, Franz. “A Hunger Artist” (1924) Melville, Herman. “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” (1853) Onion, The (1988-) Stewart, Jon, et al. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1999-) Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal (1729) Tomorrow, Tom. This Modern World (1988-) Travesty, Texas (1997-)

RHE 309S • Crit Read And Persuasive Writ

43725 • Hedengren, Mary L
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 101
show description

The goal of this class is to develop your skills in writing, analyzing, and producing public arguments. This is a class about argumentation. You will be learning to recognize and use effective strategies for every area of academics and public discourse. You will learn to write to specific audiences to achieve specific purposes--to change your readers' minds, adjust their attitudes, or inspire them to take action.

You’ll have the chance to research a single controversy in depth through three long written assignments, culminating in a persuasive document of your own position. Your grade will NOT depend in any way on the position you take on an issue. But it WILL depend on the effort you invest in openly exploring the issues, analyzing the strength of your own and others’ arguments, tailoring your arguments to a variety of readers (including those who may not agree with you), and refining your own argumentative techniques.

Main Texts

They Say, I Say, Gerald Graff, second edition

A Little Argument, Lester Faigley & Jack Selzer

Easy Writer, Fourth edition

Assignments and Grades

Your final grade will be a composite of grades on your papers and your involvement during the semester as a whole:

·       State of the Issue –200 pt

·       Rhetorical Analysis—300 pt

·       Persuasive Document—300 pt       

·       Class participation: discussion board posts, peer reviews, etc.—100 pt

         ·       Assignments encouraging individual responsibility for writing improvement—TSIS                

                 exercises, short assignments, quizzes, conference prep, etc.—100 p

RHE 309S • Crit Read/Persuasive Writ-Nsds

43735 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WCH 1.108
show description


The aim in this course is to develop a better understanding and mastery of rhetoric-the art of persuasion-an art that's essential not only for your college work, but also for your participation as a citizen in a democracy. You already know this art instinctively: every day, all day, you're immersed in rhetoric. But our goal in this course is to become more consciously and effectively rhetorical.

To accomplish this goal, we'll use a number of approaches. We'll complete a number of assignments addressed to specific audiences for specific purposes; we'll engage ourselves in additional assignments involving analysis and evaluation; we'll read rhetorically, with a critical awareness of the techniques and strategies adopted by writers; and we'll involve ourselves in discussions about what we read.

The course-and its assignments-will challenge you to think differently, to question age-old assumptions, and to engage in argument as part of a larger community. This course isn't for the faint of heart. If you're not prepared to be challenged in your thinking, or if you're not comfortable participating in conversations with others, you best not sign up. But if you're a hard worker, you like to share your thoughts, and you're open to a slightly different approach to learning, then this is the place for you.

RHE 310 • Intermed Expository Writing

Meets TTH 930am-1100am FAC 7
show description

You write every day, for hundreds of different reasons. You write papers for your classes. You write text messages to your friends and your crush and your study group. You write notes and lists to your own future self. You write emails to your parents and professors. You write applications to job interviews and graduate schools. You write a complaint to your crappy internet service provider. You write a message on Facebook to a faraway friend. You write jokes in the hashtags of your Vine videos or Instagram posts. All this is writing. Most of this is prose.

RHE 310, Intermediate Expository Prose, is a writing-intensive workshop focused on rhetoric and prose style. Expository prose is a kind of writing (not in verse) that exposes something. The focus of this class is not on the what that gets exposed, but on the how writing exposes it. In this class, you will practice sharing your work-in-progress with classmates, practice giving effective feedback focused on rhetorical issues, and practice responding to feedback on your writing through revision. RHE 310 carries a Writing Flag.

Our class will learn to pay attention to the variables that effect rhetorical style, including (but not limited to) word choice, sentence structure, rhythm, punctuation, grammar, usage, & more. We will observe how style shapes what can be said and to whom; we will imagine how differences in style effect different audiences. You will experiment with your writing not only in text but also in new media (including images, video, and sound); you'll experiment not only on your own, but by collaborating with your classmates. Together we will develop keener senses of rhetorical force in prose style.


Grades are determined using the Learning Record, a portfolio-style, evidence-based model for assessing student progress and achievement. (More at

Major Assignments

Maintain a commonplace book through the semester

10 progymnasmata: shorter rhetorical exercises and/or compositions in digital media

3 concise analysis papers

Required Texts

Rhetorical Grammar, Kolln

Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Williams

RHE 315 • Intro To Visual Rhetoric

43745 • Hawkins, Tekla
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm FAC 7
show description

This course will focus on ways of looking and the rhetoric that surrounds visual texts. We will examine visual texts from the early 20th century through the 21st century - from the Blanton Museum and the Harry Ransom Center, to comics, to photographs on Flickr and Imgur, .gifs on Tumblr, and videos on Vine and Youtube. In each section we will examine who the expected audience might be, and how our own perspectives might vary our reading of the texts. After a general introduction, students will select a topic to focus on for the rest of the term. Students will improve their skills in analyzing, interpreting, and designing visual and multimedia arguments as well as their ability to place those texts in different contexts. In addition to developing their writing skills, students will learn basic digital image composition in various formats.


Two analytical essays focusing on visual artifacts

Two multimedia projects

One final project including oral presentation

Regular online discussion prompts in response to the readings and multimedia work

Completion of the Learning Record

Students will receive regular feedback from their peers and the instructor on their projects and essays, and have individual conferences with the instructor to discuss drafts.


Due to large variations in experience with multimedia composition, 100% of your grade in this course will be determined by the use of the Learning Record. This assessment system requires students to compile a portfolio of work at the midterm and end of the semester, and to write an analysis of their learning process. Final grades are determined based on the quality of writing and the degree to which you convincingly demonstrate improvement over the course of the term. Because of the nature of the course, consistent attendance and participation are required.

Required Texts

Picturing Texts, Faigley, et al.

Students should also own a college-level composition handbook that covers mechanics, usage,and documentation (such as The Little Penguin Handbook or Easy Writer)

Various online readings and viewings

No previous digital writing or editing experience is necessary, but regular internet access is required.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

43750 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.208
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

43755 • Smith, Daniel
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 103
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric

43760 • Smith, Daniel
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 208
show description

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an writing flag course.

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 325M • Advanced Writing

43765 • Charney, Davida H
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm FAC 9
show description

RHE 325M is an advanced-level workshop in writing and editing. Its goal is to make already skilled writers more polished and publishable.  It will introduce you to stylistic analysis, the study of how word choice, sentence construction, audience adaptation and passage arrangement influence the rhetorical effects of texts on their audiences. The examples will come from non-fiction texts and popular, functional genres such as newspapers, blogs, political speeches, ads, music reviews, etc. In addition to one long paper, you will be doing many short exercises on passages of your own or ones you choose.

Assignments and Grading

30% Examples: 7 one-page analyses and/or mark-ups of how a passage illustrates one  or more features.

30% Exercises: 5 two-page rewrites or imitations of a passage.

30% Final Paper: Comparison and evaluation of style of several passages from a particular writer or from several writers on a particular topic.

10% Participation: Daily quizzes, peer reviews, and posts on discussion boards


Fahnestock, Jeanne.  Rhetorical Stylistics, Oxford University, 2012. ISBN: 978-0199764112

Graff, Gerald & Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say, 2nd Edition. Norton, 2009. 978-0393933611

RHE 328 • Magazine Writing/Publishing

43770 • Buckley, Tom
Meets W 500pm-800pm PAR 101
show description

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the magazine field from the perspective of both writers and editors. The course offers a broad core of practical knowledge while also exploring issues related to the field. In the first part of the course, students will learn how to generate story ideas; research appropriate magazine markets to pursue; conduct interviews; sell their ideas (and themselves) in query letters; develop the best format for presenting their information; and, finally, organize the materials, write, and revise the article itself, and send it off for publication.

In the second half of the course, students will publish an issue of a magazine, acting as writers, editors, and designers responsible for its content – and beholden to a publisher. They'll identify a niche audience, formulate an editorial vision, and write, revise, edit, fact-check, and generally take part in all aspects of the publication. In short, they'll perform all the editorial functions of a magazine staff. They'll work individually and in teams, devising departments, assigning stories, gathering art, selling ads. They'll write headlines and captions, crop pictures, fit copy, and design layouts. And they'll engage in discussions about issues of advertising, media ethics, and publisher control.

No previous journalistic experience is necessary.

 Course Requirements

Three articles during the first half of the course (profile, issue of conflict, feature); various tasks associated with publishing a magazine in the second half of the course. During the second half, students will also continue to revise the three articles from the first half of the course.

Grading Policy

Three articles, with revisions: 25% each

Shorter exercises: 15%

Participation in second half of the course: 10%

Required Texts

Writer's Market 2010, Robert Lee Brewer (Editor)

Writing for Magazines: A Beginner's Guide, Cheryl Sloan Wray

RHE 328 • Writing For Nonprofits

43775 • Spinuzzi, Clay
Meets MW 930am-1100am PAR 6
show description

Do you feel passionately about a cause—such as protecting the environment, ending world hunger, or ensuring civil rights for all people living in Texas? Can you see yourself working for an organization whose main purpose is to raise awareness about that issue and make a difference in people’s lives? If so, Writing for Nonprofits is for you.

Nonprofits do a lot of good in their communities, but their survival depends on how well they do two things: 1) promote their mission and 2) create opportunities for people to support it.  In this class, you’ll learn about the crucial role writing plays in achieving these goals. Our objectives are to:

1. understand the rhetorical situation inherent in nonprofit work

2. think critically and innovatively about the way various nonprofit messages are constructed and become adept at creating them

3. learn how to research and assess potential donors, using Internet and print sources

4. develop the knowledge and skills necessary to write a compelling grant proposal

5. develop collaboration skills

This service-learning course provides you with the unique opportunity to work directly with local non-profit agencies and create materials their directors can use for publicity and fundraising. The materials you’ll write for class will be the kind that employees of nonprofits create on a daily basis. Each of you will write a feature article and work with a group to research and write a grant directed at a particular foundation. You will also design a project of your own that meets the needs of one of our partner organizations or another local nonprofit.

We will have several guest speakers in class this semester. Some have specific writing needs and would like your help; others will simply be here to share some of their hard-won experience in the nonprofit realm and field your questions about nonprofit careers.  


Strategic Communications for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Working with the Media by Kathy Bonk (print or Kindle)

Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals by Tori O'Neal-McElrath (print or Kindle)

21st Century Feature Writing by Carla Johnson (print only; you can get it used on Amazon for 1 cent)

The Future of Nonprofits by David J. Neff and Randal Moss (print or Kindle)

Miscellaneous readings (see links in the schedule)


This course has 6 major projects:

Project 1: Analyzing a nonprofit’s needs (15%)

Project 2: Analyzing a nonprofit’s current communication strategy (20%)

Project 3: Researching a foundation (15%)

Project 4: Writing a grant to a foundation (25%)

Project 5: Writing a feature article for a nonprofit (15%)

Project 6: Developing an innovative strategy for donor engagement (Group project, 10%)

RHE 330C • Digital Self And Rhetoric

43780 • Boyle, Casey A
Meets TTH 930am-1100am FAC 9
show description

A chief concern for today’s networked age is how we develop, present, and manage our identities in digital spaces. We find easy examples for this concern in our understanding of how companies track our buying habits for precisely targeted marketing campaigns; in our fearing that our identities can be stolen for someone else’s financial gain, in our increasing awareness that security agencies monitor our activities. In each of these examples–and in many others we could list–our anxiety can be traced to not knowing what information we are producing and, further, not knowing who can access that information we produce. In short: we need to know more about how we are known.

 While these concerns have intensified through the rise of digital networks and our increasing use of those networks, the underlying problems reach at least as far back as the birth of the western tradition.  In the long rhetorical tradition, concerns over self-presentation and practices for establishing good character have provided an ongoing task for becoming effective and engaged public citizens. As such, this course will draw heavily from rhetorical understandings of ethos–character, credibility, ethics–to develop an understanding of self-construction and self-presentation through digital media and online networks. The course, then, will be an opportunity to develop an understanding for and facility with how digital media can produce, collect, share, and shape identities and how we might use those digital media to further manage our online selves for academic, professional, and public purposes.


Reading Responses – 10%

These will be ongoing short, focused video/audio responses to our readings and will serve as conversation starters for our class discussions.

Case Study – 20%

Each student will be responsible for presenting one extended case study that analyzes a recent case/event relevant to our courses readings for that day/week.

Off Grid Analysis – 30%

This assignment will include a short multimedia essay that analyzes your gameplay for Off Grid, a game designed to teach its player about metadata and information security.

Quantified Self(ie) – 40%

This is a semester long data collection and presentation project that asks you to record and present an (reasonable) account of your own activities in and through digital media. This assignment will include: a brief proposal; a short presentation; and a final report that uses information visualization techniques to present a coherent story of complex data.


Many of our assignments will be opportunities for us to research, collect, and present many examples of the kinds of media we will be reading about. We will make use of free and easily accessible software applications to accomplish these tasks (i.e. video editing, information visualization, document design). No prior knowledge of these applications will be required, but students must be willing to explore and practice the software introduced in the course.

Required Texts and Materials

Marwick, Alice E. Status update: Celebrity, publicity, and branding in the social media age. Yale University Press, 2013.

Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor. Delete: the virtue of forgetting in the digital age. Princeton University Press, 2011.

Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The new social operating system. MIT Press, 2012.

Rettberg, Jill Walker. Seeing Ourselves Through TechnologyPalgrave Pivot, 2014.

Rudder, Christian. Dataclysm: Who We Are When No One is Looking. Crown Publishers, 2014.

Vaughn, Brian K.  and Marcos Martin, The Private Eye, Panel Syndicate, 2014.

Off Grid, Semaeopus Games, 2014.

Several other readings will be made available via course site may include: Aristotle, On Rhetoric (selection); Jim Corder (selected essays); Michel Foucault, “Self-Writing”; Isocrates, Antidosis (selection); Nigel Thrift, “Lifeworld, Inc.”; Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory(selections).

RHE 330C • Writing With Sound

43785 • Boyle, Casey A
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm FAC 9
show description

This course will examine recording, editing, and distribution of sound as a form of writing. In a contemporary world where writing is mostly digital, we often overlook the presence of sound—music that accompanies video, voice published as podcasts, noise remixed into an ambient art form. In order to understand the rhetorical effects of sound compositions, this course will read and discuss important works in the field of sound studies and offer an introduction to using open source digital audio editing tools for writing with sound.

Note: This course will be organized as a project-based workshop (especially in the second half of the semester). In addition to readings and discussions, several of our class meetings will be opportunities for hands-on practice with digital audio tools that will involve your classmates and the instructor. Please be advised that such work demands regular attendance and requires active participation.

Texts and Materials

Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism & Production, Jonathan Kern

The Book of Audacity: Record, Edit, Mix, and Master with the Free Audio Editor, Carla Schroder

The Acoustic City, edited by Matthew Gandy and BJ Nilsen

Sound Studies Reader, edited by Jonathan Sterne

Audacity – Open Source Audio Editing Software

Additional essays and articles will be provided on the course site


Reading Responses (20%)

8 written responses to required readings posted to our course site (300-500 words posted in Canvas). Responses will be opportunities to critically and creatively engage course readings and case studies as well as provide the starting point for much our class discussion. In the first week, I will provide a more detailed assignment sheet for how to organize the responses.

Soundscape Analysis (15%)

Students will script and compose a 4-5 minute analysis that examines and reenacts the various sonic dimensions of a chosen location.

Sonic Remediation (25%)

This assignment asks students to select a print-based writing–a short essay or article from/related to our course readings–to remediate into a sound essay.

Podcast Series (40%)

This final assignment will include a short proposal, three podcast episodes, and a brief prospectus that outlines a digital distribution plan. Of your three podcasts, one will include a site recording, one an interview, and one studio recording.

RHE 330C • Ethics And New Media

43790 • Syverson, Margaret A
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 104
show description

This course is intended to explore the foundations on which we base our decisions, actions, and judgments in relation to online environments for communication, expression, and activity. It is not a course about formal propositions and theories of ethics, but about what emerges as we interact with new technologies and reflect about our concepts of right/wrong, good/bad, helping/harming. Students will not apply existing codes of ethics, but engage in explorations about their own beliefs and practices. When there are no absolute rules on which everyone can agree; what do we use to guide our behavior? In this highly collaborative course, students will engage with new media both as producers and as audiences, cultivating a deeper understanding about their own foundational principles and those of others.

Students will read and discuss some contemporary texts both online and in class discussions. They will engage in various construction projects, both individually and collaboratively, developing a richer understanding of the theories and application of the concepts in the course, and they will explore the ethical implications of composing and communicating online. In the process they will gain greater control over their own composing.

This course is taught in the Digital Writing and Research Lab; a significant part of our class time will be spent working with networked computers. All necessary skills will be taught in class and practiced outside of class. The writing component of the course includes four major projects with topic proposal, drafts, and final revision, project memo; one of these projects is the completion of the Learning Record. Students will also post weekly to the class blog in response to readings and discussion. The format, scope, and topic of projects is decided through individual consultation with the instructor.

Grading Policy

Grades in this course are determined on the basis of the Learning Record, which accompanies a portfolio of work presented at the midterm and at the end of the course. (More information about the Learning Record is available at These portfolios present a selection of student work, both formal and informal, completed during the semester, ongoing observations about student learning, and analysis of student work and interpretations with respect to the student's development across five dimensions of learning: confidence and independence, knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, use of prior and emerging experience, and reflectiveness. This development centers around the major strands of work in the course: rhetoric and composition, research, technology, and collaboration. 

Please note: All assigned work must be completed to receive a passing grade in this course.


Ethics for the New Millenium, The Dalai Lama

Ethical Know-how, Francisco Varela

Online readings as assigned

RHE 330D • Kairos & The Rhet Situation

43795 • Charney, Davida H
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm FAC 9
show description

Why does a joke fall flat in one situation and bring guffaws in another? Why has Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" been so successful after decades of public apathy about global warming?

Kairos (or timeliness) has been one of the most important concepts in rhetoric since it was invented in classical Greece. It is related to the classical Roman notion of Carpe Diem (or "seize the day"). In this class, we will use this concept to investigate why some writers succeed at grabbing attention and inspiring action while others fail. You will also learn to make use of these concepts in your own writing in college and in the public arena.


Paper 1: Rhetorical Analysis of Hot and Cold Texts (25%)

Paper 2: Analysis and Design of Problem Statements (25%)

Paper 3: Synthesis of "Interesting Research" in a Discipline (25%)

Informal Responses and Peer Review (25%)

Required Texts

Having Your Say, Charney, Neuwirth, Kaufer, and Geisler

Course Packet

RHE 330D • Classical To Modern Rhetoric

43800 • Ruszkiewicz, John J
Meets MW 200pm-330pm PAR 104
show description

This course will survey the history of rhetoric, one of the original seven liberal arts, exploring its impact on political, religious, and literary discourse in the West from antiquity to (almost) modern times.                

In "The Rhetorical Tradition," we will examine the theorists and practitioners who shaped the arts of speaking and writing in Europe and America.  We will read several classical texts (including Phaedrus, the Rhetoric of Aristotle, selections from Cicero and Quintilian) to understand how rhetoric was taught and practiced in antiquity and where it stood in relationship to the other arts of the trivium—, that is, logic and grammar.  The influence of rhetoric in the Medieval and Renaissance periods will be presented chiefly through literary and religious texts--for example, selected English sermons, "The Pardoner's Tale," Julius Caesar, Areopagitica, and so on.  We will also examine the influence of rhetoric on English prose style and the on the development of scientific and philosophical writing. 

In the modern period, the course will examine British/Scottish neo-classical and belletristic rhetorics, particularly as they shaped systems of education and literary tastes in England and America.  The decline, near disappearance, and renewal of the rhetorical tradition in the last century will be chronicled through the work of major theorists, including I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Richard Weaver, and Chaim Perelman. 

Our focus throughout the semester will be both theoretical and practical: we will read the theory and then examine cultural and political applications.  Anyone with a general interest in language or literary studies will probably find this course of interest.  It will be especially helpful to rhetoric and English majors going on to graduate school, most of whom will teach courses in rhetoric/composition as part of their graduate programs. 


Grades will be calculated according to the following formula:

30%: Midterm

30%: Final

10%: Oral Report

30%: Portfolio of Position Papers


Bizzell, Patricia and Bruce Herzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition.

RHE 330D • Rhet Inventd/Revised/Retold

43805 • Diab, Rasha
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 306
show description

In this course, we will examine how rhetoric has been theorized, taught, practiced and revisited. Throughout its history, different voices have shaped what rhetoric is and its function in a community. At times, these different understandings of rhetoric expanded and at others narrowed rhetorical territory. Moreover, social, political, intellectual, historical changes can facilitate and mandate a revision and a retelling of rhetoric.

In this course, we will revisit and critically engage the writings of key figures exemplifying rhetoric in antiquity; medieval; renaissance; enlightenment periods. We will also explore modern times, needs and challenges, studying how the work of, for example, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Jacquline Royster, Susan Jarratt and others impact our conception of rhetoric today.

Focusing on how rhetoric is revisited and retold, we will explore some influential revisions of rhetoric. These revisions continue to expand rhetoric’s territory beyond that conceived in antiquity. We will investigate revisions that uncovered women’s rhetorical contributions (Royster; Glenn); different rhetorical traditions; the intersections of culture, race, nation, etc. and rhetoric. For example, we will explore how scholars continue to shed light on the nuances of rhetoric especially when it intersects with facets of our experiential, relational and material lives including culture, ability, race, etc.

Requirements and Grading Policy

Students’ performance will be assessed based on an achievement rubric detailed at the beginning of the semester.   

Major assignments will include:

-       Two researched, peer reviewed, and substantially revised research papers

-       Short assignments

-       Participation (class participation, oral report/leading class discussion/individual or group presentation)

-       Attendance (attendance policy detailed at the beginning of the semester)

Texts May Include (but will not be limited to):

-       A history of rhetoric book

-       Primary readings will include Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Plato’s Gorgias, Cicero’s De Oratore

-       A course reader including selections from Keith Gilyard, Cheryl Glenn, Martin Bernal, Krista Ratcliffe, Susan Jarrett, LuMing Mao, Jackie Royster, and others.

RHE 330E • Film As Rhetoric

43810 • Ferreira-Buckley, Linda
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm MEZ 1.102
show description

“The words, too, ought to set the scene before our eyes;  for events ought to be seen

in progress rather than in prospect.” Aristotle, Rhetoric

“[S]ight engraves upon the mind images of things which have been seen. And many frightening impressions linger, and what lingers is exactly analogous to [what is] spoken.” Gorgias, “Encomium of Helen”

This course is designed to examine films as rhetorical acts that serve as powerful function in the American polis. Their status as popular entertainment sometimes obscures viewers’ perception of films as a vehicle of persuasion. In what ways does film function as rhetoric, which Kant labeled as “the art of deceiving by a beautiful show” aiming “to win minds to the side of the orator before they have formed a judgment and to deprive them of their freedom”?  Is the director the rhetor, or is the message framed more collaboratively by, say, the director, screen writer, actors? 

We will attempt to answer these and similar question as we discuss approximately 7 to 10 films that students have viewed for class (no more than 1 film per week).  The syllabus will be organized around signal rhetorical concepts, which we discuss in class and which students will use to analyze films in 8 short response papers.  Additionally, students will keep a dialectical journal. Students will develop one longer paper on a film of their choice not viewed or discussed in class.  They develop their over the second half of the semester, during which time it will be reviewed by peers,  presented in a conference with the instructor and, finally, revised and submitted for a grade.

This course does not study cinematic technique though we will occasionally draw on technical terminology and concepts as we discuss how film makers use images, movements, and sound to rhetorical effect.

Assignments and Grading

40%            8 response papers, 1 to 2 pages each

40%            1 longer paper, 6 to 9 pages

10%            quizzes

10%            final exam

Peer reviews, revisions, attendance, participation  all required to pass course.

Required Texts and Course Readings





Thank You for Smoking

The Great Debaters

The King’s Speech

Film nominated and selected by students to be integrated into syllabus


Barry Brummett, Rhetorical Dimensions in Popular Culture

Course packet to include:

Robert Arnett, “The Enthymeme and Contemporary Film Criticism.”

Laurence Behrens, “The Argument in Film: Applying Rhetorical Theory to Film Criticism.”

Wayne Booth, “Is There an ‘Implied’ Author in Every Film?”

Michael Carter, “Stasis and Kairos: Principles of Social Construction in Classical Rhetoric”

Pauline Kael, “Pauline Kael Talks About Violence, Sex, Eroticism and Women & Men in the Movies,”

from Conversations with Pauline Kael.

James Naremore, “Death and Rebirth of Rhetoric,” In Senses of Cinema

Chaim Perelman, “The Social Contexts of Argumentation.”

Colleen Tremonte, “Film, Classical Rhetoric, and Visual Literacy”

Annalee R. Ward, “Disney, Film, and Morality”  &  “Mulan: East Meets West”

              in Mouse Morality: Rhetoric in Disney Animated Films

Trinh T. Minh-ha. “‘Who Is Speaking?’ Of Nation, Community, and First-Person Interviews”

              from Feminisms in the Cinema


Dartmouth Writing Program, “Writing About Film,”

Movie Speeches.” American Rhetoric. <>

Internet Movie Database (IMDb),

Yale, “Film Analysis Website 2.0,”

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Narrative

43815 • Smith, Daniel
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.302
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The study and practice of rhetoric often focuses on the dynamics of argument as a mode of influence.  That is, practices of communication that attempt to demonstrate why one should think, feel, act, or live in specific ways.   There’s no doubt that demonstrative rhetoric is a prominent part of our personal, professional, and civic lives.  However, argument—modes of demonstrative communication that can influence people in specific ways—is not the only way that rhetoric operates and circulates among us.  In other words, there are “non-demonstrative” modes of communication whose influence upon how we think, feel, act, and live is just as significant as argument, if not more so.  Among these non-demonstrative forms of rhetoric, narrative is probably the most common and, perhaps, the most influential of all. 

This course will challenge students—through readings, discussion, research, and writing—to explore and examine the pervasiveness of narrative and its rhetorical dynamics.  Some of the questions students will engage include: What is narrative?  What forms do narratives take?  Aren’t narratives ‘just stories’? How are narratives rhetorical?  How do narratives ‘in-form’ human communities, identities, institutions, and practices?  What role do narratives play in culture, politics and other domains, such as work and citizenship?  Are we hard-wired for narrative?  Is narrativity more fundamental than rationality for understanding how we think, feel, act, and live?  How can we examine and analyze the rhetorical dimensions of narrative?  And what can we learn from and do with such analyses?

Assignments and Grading

Mid-Term Exam  - 30%

Research Paper - 30%

Multimedia Rhetorical Analysis of Narrative (composed via Storify) - 20%

Reading Quizzes, Brief Response Papers, Class Participation - 20%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will develop and be capable of demonstrating:

  • an elementary understanding of narrative modes and their rhetorical dynamics
  • an ability to engage and discuss the rhetorical dynamics of narrative critically and analytically
  • competence in researching, assessing, and using relevant information and multimedia re/sources
  • proficiency in exploratory, expository, and argumentative writing

Required Texts and Course Readings

Bruner, Jerome. “The Narrative Creation of Self.” In Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life (Harvard UP 2003).

Card, Orson Scott. “Stories.”

Fisher, Walter. “The Narrative Paradigm.”

 ___________. “The Narrative Paradigm: An Elaboration.”

Horsdal, Marianne. “Learning from Vicarious Experience: The Role of Mirror Neurons and Narrative.”

Kreiswirth, Martin. “Merely Telling Stories? Narrative and Knowledge in the Human Sciences.”

McClure, Kevin. “Resurrecting the Narrative Paradigm: Identification and the Case of Young Earth Creationism.”

Miller, Frank (author) and Klaus Janson (illustrator). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 10th anniversary ed., 1997).

Naugle, David. “Narrative and Life: The Central Role of Stories in Human Experience.”

Scholes, Robert and James Phelan. “Narrative Theory, 1966 – 2006: A Narrative.” In The Nature of Narrative (Oxford UP, 2006).

Suzanne Keen, “A Theory of Narrative Empathy.”

Thiele, Leslie Paul. The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative (Cambridge UP, 2006).

Weber, Samuel. “Networks, Net-War, and Narratives.”

RHE 330E • Nonargumntatv Rhet In Zen

43820 • Syverson, Margaret A
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm PAR 104
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American rhetoric is strongly grounded in argument and persuasion, and infused with judgments of good and bad, right and wrong. This is true not only for public discourse in the media, academic discourse in schools, and professional writing and speaking, it is also true in everyday conversation. We are constantly trying to convince someone of our judgments, it seems, or that something or someone is good or bad, right or wrong—a restaurant, a movie, a car, a teacher. Everything is evaluated and every conversation is full of assertions of value. But what if there were a different, equally “real” way to talk about the world and each other? What if we believed that each person is quite capable of waking up to the reality around him or her, and responding appropriately, without being converted to some position or belief we share? What kind of language would we use, and how would we use it?

Zen training begins by kicking the props out of our customary ways of understanding and talking. It subverts value distinctions, challenges our habitual ways of expressing ourselves, and denies the superiority of rationalist, linear logic. It does not do this merely to "deconstruct" language, or to tear down all meaning. It has a radical project of waking us up out of the trance we create for ourselves and others through our habitual uses of language. This class will explore how contradiction, negation, story, surprise, gesture, and silence are used in Zen training as resources for awakening to reality, rather than as assertions or arguments about it. The cryptic pronouncements of Zen masters seem impenetrable. They appear to defy our western rhetorical traditions that depend on logic and formal reasoning as the key to building knowledge. Zen teachers complicate the issue by insisting that language is only "the finger pointing at the moon, not the moon itself." If you have ever tried to write about a meaningful experience, you will recognize the problematic relationship between language and reality. This course engages students in exploring the surprising uses of language and image to create meaning in Zen tradition and practice. 

Students do not need any prior experience or knowledge of Zen rhetoric or practices. The first part of the class will provide background on Zen concepts including ethical precepts and koans, then consider the emergence of the American Zen rhetorical tradition. This class is not an introduction to Zen practice, but rather an exploration of an alternative rhetoric, a different method of using language to construct meaning and shape relationships. We will also be exploring new technologies and the ways that Zen is represented in online media. 

Grading Policy: Grades in this course are determined on the basis of the Learning Record, which accompanies a portfolio of work presented at the midterm and at the end of the course. These portfolios present a selection of student work, both formal and informal, completed during the semester, ongoing observations about student learning, and analysis of student work and interpretations with respect to the student's development across five dimensions of learning: confidence and independence, knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, use of prior and emerging experience, and reflectiveness. This development centers around the major strands of work in the course: rhetoric and composition, research, technology, and collaboration. The criteria for grades are posted at the Learning Record web site. Please also notice the RHE policy on absences, which can affect your grade. Three unexcused absences will lower your final grade, four unexcused absences results in automatic failure of the course.


Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones; Joko Beck, Everyday Zen; Steve Hagen, How the World Can be the Way It Is; Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones; Diane Rizzetto, Waking Up to What You Do; Brad Warner, Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality; Diane Hacker, Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age

RHE 360M • Rhet/Writ For Teachers Of Eng

43825 • Buckley, Tom
Meets TTH 800am-930am PAR 304
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Designed for students planning a career teaching English, this course will introduce you to scholarship in composition that informs the teaching of writing today. Theories will be examined in terms of their assumptions about the nature of language and learning. Among the topics we'll discuss are the writing process; the rhetorical situation; the relationship between language and identity; the place of grammar and usage; curriculum for basic and developmental writers; collaborative learning; and creating and evaluating assignments.

Although this isn't a methods course, it will have a practical orientation: we'll discuss the implications of each approach for designing courses and for evaluating writing. In addition to reading about writing, you'll write about writing. You'll compose a number of writing assignments, each to be revised after receiving written critiques both from me and from your peers. You'll also write critiques of your peers' work as a way to sharpen your own analytical abilities and to develop the ability to offer writers detailed, pointed, tactful advice. Additionally, you'll keep a reading journal; do writing, style, and grading exercises; and investigate a contemporary educational debate on the issue of your choice. A mid-term exam will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the information studied.

This class is not for the timid or narrow-minded. Participation is a must as we try to hash out in a conversational setting important questions about contemporary education.

RHE 366 • Internship In Rhetoric & Writ

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This course provides an academic foundation and practical support for upper-division students working in DRW-approved internships.

It is designed to help students 1) recognize how rhetoric is applied in the workplace environments, and 2) apply their training and skills in rhetoric and writing professionally.

To meet these objectives, students will participate in a variety of activities: assigned readings, class discussions (in class and online), journal reflections on their workplace experience, university-sponsored workshops about job searching and workplace protocol, and in-class workshops and peer critique sessions designed to further develop their writing skills.

Students will produce 20 pages of writing (which may include Discussion Board assignments and journal entries at an instructor’s discretion) by the end of the semester. Because the amount of on-the-job writing students do will vary per internship, students will consult with the instructor at the beginning of the semester to determine the types of writing they will produce.

This course is offered on a pass/fail basis. It does not count toward the rhetoric major.

It may be repeated once for credit when the internships vary.


Consent of supervising instructor must be obtained. Upper-division standing and twelve semester hours of work in Rhetoric & Writing are required.


A course packet

Others TBA

RHE 368C • Writing Center Internship

43840 • Ruszkiewicz, John J
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm PAR 104
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RHE 368C is a course designed to prepare undergraduates to serve as peer tutors in the Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC). During the first part of the term, students will study issues related to writing center theory and practice. They will analyze the goals and practices of writing centers, examine elements of contemporary rhetorical and composition theory (including the writing process), survey typical course syllabi and assignments, and review basics of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Later in the term, they will work under supervision for six hours a week as a consultant in the Undergraduate Writing Center.

Course Requirements

Coursework includes a variety of writing assignments (including a literacy biography and an argument), quizzes on grammar and mechanics, observations of UWC tutoring sessions, participation in mock UWC tutorials, midterm and final self evaluations, and supervised tutoring in the UWC itself. Students will download all written assignments to the Blackboard course site or course where classmates may read and comment on them. Instructor's permission is required for registration in RHE 368C.

Grading Policy

Literacy Biography: 5%

Argument: 20%

Midterm self-assessment: 15%

Grammar quizzes: 20%

UWC Observation reports: 15%

Mock Tutorial report: 5%

Class participation and attendance: 5%

Final self-assessment: 15%


Gillespie and Lerner, The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring / 2nd edition

Ruszkiewicz, Friend, Hairston, The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers, 8th edition

RHE 368E • Grammar: Writ/Editors/Tchrs

43845 • Henkel, Jacqueline M
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
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Students in Grammar for Writers, Editors, and Teachers will study the grammar or structure of written English; assess grammatical issues, handbooks, and controversies; and apply grammatical knowledge in composing, rewriting, and editing exercises.  They should expect to learn traditional grammatical vocabulary and also to critique it; to learn about different approaches and attitudes toward “correctness”; to look carefully at the structure of written English; and to edit effectively.

This course is meant for students who:

- want to become more conscious and confident about their own sentence-level editing choices.

- want to know which “rules” to follow and which not.  (If the New York Times can split infinitives, why can’t you?)

 -want to develop grammatical knowledge and conquer “grammar anxiety.” 

- will need to teach grammatical lessons but are unsure of their own knowledge.

(Note:  Students need not begin the course knowing grammatical terminology.)

Assignments and Grading

Minimum requirements are:  1) satisfactory performance both on unannounced and announced quizzes or problems; 2) satisfactory work on writing exercises (1 paragraph-1 page each); 3) satisfactory text analyses (1-2 pages each); 4) effective peer review and workshop participation in class; 5) discussion informed by familiarity with the required readings; and 6) regular attendance. Note that these are minimum requirements.

Grades are based on quizzes and problems (30%); writing exercises (30%); text analyses (10%); peer review, discussion, and workshop performance (30%).  Attendance and courteous classroom behavior are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average.

Final course grades are assigned relative to the overall performance of the class; in other words, scores are "curved" rather than absolute.  Final grades include "plus" or "minus" grades.  Final class scores may be rounded up or down, according to students' class participation and performance on minor and ungraded assignments.

A grade of C will indicate work that meets all the basic course requirements; A's and B's are honors grades, designating work of some distinction.  Grades are based only on work assigned to everyone in the class; no extra credit work can be accepted.

Required Texts and Course Readings

Kolln, Martha J., and Loretta Gray.  Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 7th ed., 2012.

Scharton Maurice.  Things Your Grammar Never Told You:  A Pocket Handbook, 2nd ed., Longman, 2001.

David Crystal, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, Oxford UP, 2008.

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