ENG362 Assignments

banner imageEnglish 362 Rhetorical Traditions
Tues/Thurs. 9:30-10:45, Bio West 219

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Professor Thomas Miller tpm@u.arizona.edu
Modern Languages 460,
Tues. 11-12:30 and Wed. 1:30-3:00
Copy of Syllabus


JFK RMN tv video screen from debateOVERVIEW OF ASSIGNMENTS

Unit 1: Reviewing Classical Theories of Rhetoric    

Unit 2: Exploring Contemporary Applications of Rhetoric    

Unit 3: Reflecting on Your Own Civic Engagements

If you miss the deadline for posting the draft, your paper grade will be reduced by one later grade, and if you submit your revision after the due date, its grade will be reduced by one letter grade for each workday that it is late.


One oral and two written summaries of readings

To begin our discussions each day, I will select a couple of students to summarize the arguments of readings.  If you are asked to provide an overview, you will be graded on how well you specify the main claim and summarize the overall line of argument in the reading.  To prepare, you should simply take a couple of minutes to review your annotations on readings.  This practice will improve your comprehension and retention of readings.  You will also select two readings to summarize in one page each (250 words).  You must turn each summary in on the day we discuss the reading.  One is due on or before January 25 and the other by February 8.  Each oral and written summary is worth 5% of the course grade.

Exam on classical rhetoric

At the end of the first unit on February 20, we will devote a class to an examination that will include short answer and essay questions on the readings and lectures in the first unit.  Your exam grade will make up 20% of your course grade.

Rhetorical analysis of a political text

In the second unit on political rhetoric, you will write the first rhetorical analysis essay on a political text related to a figure, group, or movement that you will research in the unit.  Rather than evaluating what is argued, you will analyze how the speaker appeals to his or her audiences and why such strategies are presumed to be effective with them.  You will select a particular political figure, an advocacy group, or a social movement.  This assignment is not about whether you agree or disagree with a particular politician or group but about how a text is intended to appeal to the assumptions, expectations, and experiences of a particular audience.  Such analyses can help you expand your understanding of other viewpoints, if for no other reason than to anticipate counterarguments to your own positions.

You will submit your four-page, double-spaced rhetorical analysis and all later writing assignments to our Caucus website.  The draft of your paper must be submitted to the website by noon on the day it is due, and then you will generally have two days from that time to write responses to the drafts of the four other students in your group.  We will develop criteria that you will use for the assignment, and then I will use those criteria to grade your revision.  The grade on the first rhetorical analysis essay is 10% of your grade, and all of your responses to the drafts will be worth 5%.

Group presentation on a figure, group, or movement

You will follow up from your rhetorical analysis to work in a group with several other students to research and analyze the public representations of the individual politician, the advocacy group, or social movement.  You will give a presentation on the strategies that are used to appeal to the core supporters and broader audiences.  These presentations will be coordinated with our discussions of the book that we will discuss in the second unit, A New Engagement: Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen.  In addition to relating your research to the reading from A New Engagement that we will be discussing on the day you are presenting, you will also be responsible to develop a multimedia presentation that may include a Power Point or other presentation format but which must include a two to three-page, single-spaced handout to provide varied information on the rhetorical strategies that are used to appeal to the various groups of core supporters and broader audiences that are addressed.  To develop a basic sense of the principles of document design, review Design Principles for Exceptional Documents and browse the lessons on Graphic Design Basics on the About: Desktop Publishing website.  Resources on researching demographics, political campaigns, and other factors are included on the course Resource page (http://www.gened.arizona.edu/tmiller/resources.htm).  The group presentations will build on the rhetorical analyses of the individual members and should also include the research that people are doing for the next paper.

Researched analysis of a political figure, group, or movement

In your second essay, you will analyze how the figure, group, or movement that you are studying relates to our discussions of American civic life to address questions about how the issues involved are related in ways that connect with the values, experiences, and needs of related audiences.  You will draw upon your previous essay, the research you did for your group presentation, and the themes that we have discussed to examine what the politician, advocacy group, or social movement tells us about American political and social life.  You will write a eight to ten-page, double-spaced essay focusing on a theme or emphasis of the figure or group as it is represented in several such texts. Your researched analysis will make up 15% of your final grade in the course.

For your research, you must include at least three scholarly articles or books. Resources on research are included on 362 page created by librarian Atifa Rawan that is linked to our Resource page.  Dr. Rawan's website includes A Guide and Tutorial on  distinguishing popular and scholarly sources.  You can also find tutorials and help on finding scholarly sources on Dr. Rawan's page.  As discussed on another page linked to our Resource page, you should include several primary sources for analysis.  You should have about six to ten sources, but more important than the number of sources is the ways you use them.  Introduce sources before quoting or summarizing them, and follow up with parenthetical references and a Works Cited page using MLA or APA style of documentation, and in your introductions, you should analyze the trustworthiness of your sources.  As with the first paper in this unit, you need to analyze the rhetorical dynamics of the primary and secondary texts, including their arguments and their other appeals to their audiences.

A rhetorical autobiography    

In the final four to six-page, double-spaced essay, you will reflect on how your own experiences, beliefs, and community identifications have contributed to your attitudes to language, writing, argument, or other rhetorical concerns.  You may focus on how you analyzed a political group, issue, or candidate and what you learned from your analysis.  You may also look beyond the course to reflect upon how the language of a group with whom you identify has shaped your modes of expression and response.  We will use the writings of Frederick Douglass and Gloria Anzaldúa as points of departure for the final unit.  You will submit the final essay along with a portfolio containing all the writings that you have submitted this semester and a one to two-page cover memo that reflects upon your strengths and needs as a writer.  The grade on the final essay will yield 15% of your final grade.  A more detailed assignment sheet.

Quizzes and additional class assignments

You will have varied additional assignments and occasional quizzes, including one on grammar and punctuation in the final unit.  In that quiz you will be required to be able to correct the sorts of errors that I have pointed out in your own writings.