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Syllabus

Page history last edited by T. Thompson 9 years, 11 months ago

Download syllabus here

 

RWS 100:  The Rhetoric of Written Argument

Fall 2011

TTH 11:00-12:15 Room: LSS 246

                                                              

Email: cosythews@yahoo.com

Mail:   RWS Main Office, AH 3101

RWS Phone: 619-594-6515

 

Professor: Tyler Thompson                

Office:  AL 276

Office Hours: M: 10:45am-11:45am,

T: 9:30am-10:30am, or by appointment

 

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

-H.G. Wells

Required Texts and Materials:
-Bullock, Richard and Francine Weinberg. The Little Seagull Handbook.

-Clark, Carol Lea. Praxis: A Brief Rhetoric

-Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say. 2nd ed. 

-RWS 100 Course Reader

-Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

 

The Background and Benefits of this Course:

This course will help you to identify features of written arguments and to create successful compositions with complex, in-depth analysis of written arguments.

You will learn to write and revise papers in which you address specific authorial rhetorical strategies and devices.

You will also learn to use source materials responsibly, structure conventionally accurate and cohesive essays, and better comprehend aims of written argument.

The four main paper projects in this course will give you useful practice in the following rhetorical skills:

1)     In Project 1, you will produce an account and analysis of a single argument.

2)     In Project 2, you will gather sources, situate an argument within a field of other texts, and map out and analyze relationships between them (extend, complicate, illustrate, etc.) 

3)     In Project 3, you will identify and evaluate rhetorical strategies of a text.

4)     In Project 4, you will present on rhetorical devices and strategies.

 

Course Activity Requirements:

Conference session (at least 1)                                    In-class timed writings

Attendance (absences and promptness)                       3 essays (original work – no plagiarism)

Readings                                                                   Workshop participation

Short writing assignments                                        Presentation

Homework assignments                                            Class participation

 

Grading/Evaluation:

Assignment

Points/

% of grade

4 major projects in this sequence (45 points each)

180 / 60%

3 Essay revisions (20 points each)

  60 / 20%

Participation: (attendance 30 points)            (homework 30 points)

  60 / 20%

Total:

300 / 100%

 

PROJECT

DRAFT 1 DUE DATE

DRAFT 2 DUE DATE

DRAFT 3 DUE

DATE

Project 1

9/22

10/4

10/18

Project 2

10/25

11/3

11/17

Project 3

11/22

12/1

12/15

Project 4

N/A

N/A

Present 12/6 or 12/8

 

*All assignments, percentages, & due dates are subject to change at the instructor’s discretion*

 

Course Policies:

Attendance/Missed assignments: Work is done in class as well as out of class. If you do not come to class and fail to turn in an assignment or miss a task, you will receive a zero for that item.

Note: More than three missed classes will result in a lower grade.

 

Participation: You will be working in groups with other students during class activities as well as in editing workshops. In the workshops, you will need to bring at least three copies, one to turn in for credit, and two to share with your peers. Your effort and contribution to these collaborative efforts will be taken into account as part of your assignment grades, as will your individual participation throughout the semester.

 

Late work: I do not accept late work. If you have an extenuating circumstance, you are welcome to discuss it with me, provide necessary documentation, and perhaps we can work something out.

 

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is considered a failing grade. Any student found to have plagiarized may be subject to discipline under university policies.

 

Student Athletes: If you are a student athlete with away games scheduled during the semester, let me know by the end of the first week of class, and present me with a copy of your team travel schedule. We will then make appropriate scheduling arrangements.

 

Disability Discrimination Prohibited: No otherwise qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any academic or other postsecondary education program receiving federal funds. If you are registered with Disabled Student Services (DSS), I am happy to work with you to accommodate your learning needs.

 

Essay format and revisions: Your essays should follow the MLA guidelines. They should be typed (11 or 12 font), double-spaced with one-inch margins. Revising is an important part of the writing process. Global revising comments will be provided during workshops and class discussions. Pay careful attention and revise your own papers accordingly to experience grade enhancement.

 

Technology: Please be courteous to your fellow students by turning off cell phones and iPods, and refraining from laptop work or conversation unrelated to this course.

 

Office Hours and Appointments: I encourage students to talk with me regarding the class, readings, and writing assignments.  No appointment is necessary during my scheduled office hours. If time allows, there will be a mandatory scheduled course conference. 

 

Support Services: Research materials are regularly available at the SDSU library. Additionally, drop-in RWS tutoring services are available at Adams Humanities 3104. Tutor times vary per semester so check the schedule early on in the course for availability.

 

Blackboard: We will use Blackboard for homework postings, quizzes, and reading responses. Please check it on a regular basis: https://blackboard.sdsu.edu.  

 

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Be self-motivated;
  2. Be able to keep track of assignments;
  3. Have a positive attitude and a willingness to do the work;
  4. Ask questions and/or come see me when you don’t understand something;
  5. Have the reading/writing done for class;
  6. Make a positive contribution to class discussions;
  7. Be able to work in a group for small assignments and larger ones;
  8. Be prepared to write in and out of class;
  9. Share your writing in class or on discussion board;
  10. For every one hour of class, schedule at least two to three hours for homework and studying.

 

RWS 100 Student Learning Outcomes                               

 

 
     

Our Learning Outcomes Reflect the Goals and Capacities of the General Education Program. RWS 100 is one of several courses in the area of general education defined as “Communication and Critical Thinking.” Focusing particularly on argument, this course emphasizes four essential general education capacities: the ability to 1) construct, analyze and communicate argument, 2) contextualize phenomena, 3) negotiate differences, and 4) apply theoretical models to the real world. This course advances general education by helping students understand the general function of writing, speaking, visual texts, and thinking within the context of the university at large, rather than within specific disciplines. In addition to featuring the basic rules and conventions governing composition and presentation, RWS 100 establishes intellectual frameworks and analytical tools that help students explore, construct, critique, and integrate sophisticated texts. 

Within this framework of four general capacities, the course realizes four closely related subsidiary goals. These goals focus on helping students:

1)    craft well-reasoned arguments for specific audiences;

2)    analyze a variety of texts commonly encountered in the academic setting;

3)    situate discourse within social, generic, cultural, and historic contexts; and

4)    assess the relative strengths of arguments and supporting evidence.

         Our student learning outcomes for RWS 100 are closely aligned with these goals and capacities, and reflect the program’s overall objective of helping students attain “essential skills that underlie all university education.”

Outcomes across the semester: the following points describe outcomes to work on throughout the semester, to be attained over the 15 weeks.  Students will be able to:

  1. describe elements of an argument--claims, methods of development, kinds of evidence, persuasive appeals; annotate the work that is done by each section of a written argument;
  2. use all aspects of the writing process--including prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading;
  3. choose effective structures for their writing, acknowledging that different purposes, contexts and audiences call for different structures; understand the relationship between a text's ideas and its structure;
  4. identify devices an author has used to create cohesion or to carry the reader through the text; use meta-discourse to signal the project of a paper, and guide a reader from one idea to the next in their writing;
  5. effectively select material from written arguments, contextualize it, and comment on it in their writing;

10.  determine when and where a source was published, who wrote it and whether it was reprinted or edited; understand that texts are written in and respond to particular contexts, communities or cultures; examine the vocabulary choices a writer makes and how they are related to context, community or culture, audience or purpose;

11.  respond in writing to ideas drawn from various cultures and disciplines, using the activity of writing to clarify and improve their understanding of an argument;

12.  analyze and assess  the relative strengths of arguments and supporting evidence

13.  analyze and assess arguments made by visual texts; incorporate visual images into their documents;

14.  craft well reasoned arguments for specific audiences

15.  edit their writing for the grammar and usage conventions appropriate to each writing situation;

16.  assign significance to the arguments that they read;

17.  reflect on how they wrote their papers, and revise arguments and findings based on critical reflection.

RWS 100 Schedule Fall semester, 2011

Project 1: Construct an Account of an Author’s Project and Argument

WEEK

TOPICS 

DATE

CLASS PROJECT

 

 

1

Introducing Rhetorical Concepts 

T

8/30

Introduction to RWS 100 –

Library scavenger hunt

TH

9/1

Intro to rhetoric & argument

Framing ads and headlines

 

 

2

More on Rhetorical Concepts

T

9/6

Key terms & concepts presentation

Op-ed pieces/headlines

TH

9/8

Rhetorical concepts/précis

Ethos, pathos, logos appeals

 

3

Project 1:

Rhetorical Analysis

T

9/13

Charting/The Little Seagull             

Intro Project 1: Orestes and MLA

TH

9/15

Main points of analysis

Continue PACES discussion

 

 

4

Drafting

&

Peer Review

9/20

Orestes discussion

Power Verbs                

TH 9/22

Peer review                               Project 1 first essay due: 3 copies

Transitions

 

5

 

 

 

 

Editing

&

Reflection

T

9/27

Project 1 back                     

Universal concerns

TH

9/29

They Say, I Say Activities

Organization                               

6

T10/4

 

Connecting sources                             Project 1 graded essay due

The Little Seagull Activities

 

Project 2: Gathering sources, arguments within a field of other texts, analyze relationships  

WEEK

TOPICS 

DATE

CLASS PROJECT

6

 

 

Gathering Sources

TH

10/6

Context, audience, and aim

Discussion

 

 

7

T

10/11

Watch Food Inc.                                  Project 1 revised essay due

Using Internet databases

TH

10/13

Finish Food Inc. / Using outside research

Illustrate vs. complicate vs. extend..

 

8

Project 2: Rhetorical Connections

T

10/18

Peer Workshop                         Project 2 first essay due: 3 copies

Establishing ethos

TH

10/20

Charting/PACES Review

Analyzing compatible texts

 

 

9

 

Drafting and Peer Review

T

10/25

Global concerns with essays

Project 2 draft one back

TH

10/27

Credible Sources

Fact checking

 

 

10

 

Editing and Reflection

11/1

Diction and style                                 Project 2 graded essay due

Peer Review/Sign up for Conferences

TH 11/3

They Say, I Say Activities

Structure

 

Project 3: Identify and evaluate rhetorical strategies of a text 

WEEK

TOPICS 

DATE

CLASS PROJECT

 

11

 

Identification

T

11/8

Discuss Skloot

Sustainability Argument

TH

11/10

Discuss Skloot

Intro Project 3

 

 

12

Project 3: Evaluating Rhetorical Strategies

T

11/15

Discuss Skloot MC, DCs                    Project 2 revised essay due

Using effective evidence

TH

11/17

Conferences

 

 

13

 

Drafting and Peer Review

T

11/22

Peer Evaluation                        Project 3 first essay due: 3 copies

Voice and style activities

TH

11/24

No Class-Thanksgiving

 

 

14

Review, Editing, and Reflection

11/29

Presentation prep

Global concerns with essays

TH

12/1

Flow, rhythm, pace                            Project 3 graded essay due

Presentation prep

 

15

 

Project 4:

Presentation Prep

T

12/6

Presentations

 

TH

12/8

Presentations                                     Project 3 revised essay due

 

 

 

 

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