This week, your students need you to help them make rhetorical choices for the Public Argument and begin thinking about how to approach the Rhetorical Analysis. Also this week, you’ll conduct a Public Argument workshop, wrap up the course and administer course evaluations. The chronology of this week will depend on what you did last week as well as your students’ needs. Adjust the following suggested activities according to what will work best for your class.
Begin or continue discussing visual rhetoric
Pick up where you left off talking about visual rhetoric last week. If time was short last week, begin practicing analyzing visual rhetoric here.
Connection to Course Goals. Practice with visual rhetoric helps students think about rhetorical choices being made in a new medium. Discussing approaches to the Rhetorical Analysis gives students even more analytical tools.
Discuss drafting strategies for the Rhetorical Analysis
Take time to underscore the differences between the Academic Argument and the Public Argument. Audience and genre will likely be the most changed elements of the writing situation; how will that impact the rhetorical choices students make as they write this argument? You can use the rhetorical hierarchy to prompt discussion—how might the focus change? organization? development? tone? voice? genre conventions? etc.
Point out that these are the same questions students will need to ask themselves as they draft the Rhetorical Analysis that will identify and discuss the rhetorical choices they make in the Public Argument and the Report. Put something like this on an overhead and go over the different levels of attention students might bring to their rhetorical choices:
Rhetorical Analysis A Rhetorical Analysis is good when it presents specific evidence to support its claims about the changes made, and becomes excellent as it more clearly interprets and analyzes these changes instead of merely stating them. Consider these brief excerpts, and watch how the word count skyrockets as the analysis gets more specific and interpretive:
Tip. Have students read these aloud and ask them as you go what makes each one different from the last. They might point out more words or clearer ideas, but be sure that they talk about the increasing attention to specific rhetorical elements, such as the audience appeals.
Vague, Unsatisfactory: Since my Public Argument is aimed at student athletes, I included some sports images. (14 words)
Good: Since my Public Argument is aimed at student athletes and my purpose is to make them more aware of study resources available on campus, I included an image of CSU football players celebrating after a big victory over CU and juxtaposed it with an image of CSU students dancing on graduation day, which both make emotional appeals, especially with the banner “WIN BIG” placed over the two pictures. (68 words)
Excellent: Since my Public Argument is aimed at student athletes and my purpose is to make them more aware of study resources available on campus, I juxtaposed an image of CSU football players celebrating after a big victory over CU with an image of CSU students dancing on graduation day, images that both make emotional appeals because of the excitement and sense of accomplishment depicted in each one. To make a further emotional appeal, I placed the headline “WIN BIG” in green and gold letters on top of the images, which will tap into my audience’s feelings of school pride. The headline also serves to unite the two images in the mind of my audience—winning on the field and in the classroom—which will help to serve my argument’s purpose to make athletes more aware of academic resources that can help them succeed. (143 words.)
Conduct a Public Argument and Rhetorical Analysis workshop
Design a workshop activity that reflects the goals of the assignment, the grading criteria and classroom instruction.
Homework for Week 15:
Read about analyzing and designing visual arguments in the PHG (pp. 215-238 and 252-263)
Finish drafting your Public Argument and Rhetorical Analysis and bring them to class for workshop.
Use your workshop feedback (and any Writing Center feedback you get) to help you revise your Argument and Analysis.
Your Public Argument and Rhetorical Analysis are due at our final exam session next week. [Add the date, time and place of the final exam as well as further instructions to students about what they should prepare].