reading for monday 9/12

There is no writing assignment due on Monday, so please focus on the reading and give it care. This reading assignment is a critical piece in the foundation of our class. For Monday, please read the DK Handbook, pages 1 – 16 (on “Rhetoric and a Process for Composing”), pages 82 – 93 (“What Is Analysis?”), pages 184 – 189 (on “Visual Organization”), and 260-263 (“Style in Visual Texts”). (If you cannot find a book to buy, please see the Course Documents page  for the PDF files to download.) As you read, think broadly about how you could use this method called “rhetorical analysis.” Notice how the textbook uses the terms “composers” and “communication” instead of “writers” and “writing.” This will help us easily apply these concepts to visual culture. The two sections on visual design will also give us ideas for finding rhetorical strategies in texts with visual elements. After class on Monday, hopefully you see that “everything has rhetoric: classrooms, churches, speeches, supermarkets, department store windows, Starbucks, photographs, magazine covers, your bedroom” (Rosenwasser and Stephen 70).

Since you don’t have to write anything this weekend, you could use this opportunity to get caught up if you are behind already, and it would be smart to even start working ahead since the reading assignment for Wednesday is not small. I will hand it out in class on Friday.

Have a rhetorical weekend!

photo shared by Flickr user felibrilu

assignment 1-1: testing the waters

Due: Friday September 9
Format: Submit the typed portion of this assignment as a comment on this post. (Scroll to the very bottom of the post until you see the “Leave a Reply” box. You must be logged in to comment. Note: Your very first comment may not appear immediately. Don’t panic.) Also, print the assignment and bring it to class.


First, register for this blog. You will be prompted to enter a username and email. You can choose any username, but you might want to use your school email since this is a school project. Once you receive a password, you can log in to your “Dashboard” and change your settings. Please enter a real name for “Display name publicly as.” It does not have to be your full name; a first name and initial would be fine.

choose a real name to display publicly


Read these short texts (in this order) to lay groundwork for the course:

  • the Course Description, which I forgot to hand out in class but which is uploaded to Course Documents (in the navigation bar just above this post). Don’t print unless you need to – just do your best reading it on the computer. I have copies for you and will distribute on Friday.
  • the purple Student’s Guide, available at the book store
  • the syllabus, handed out in class and uploaded to Course Documents
  • DK Handbook pages 144-147
  • skim “Nuts and Bolts of College Writing” uploaded to Course Documents

As you read, use scratch paper to make a list of things that you notice. You can keep one list for all the readings, as long as you keep track of where observations come from. Ask yourself, what do I find interesting, strange, revealing, or significant in the reading? In addition, you should use the margins to write any questions you have about these documents.


Decide which observations on your list are most important or puzzling and rank the items. Ask yourself, what three observations (specific features of the assigned reading) are most interesting, strange, revealing, or significant to me?


Now, type up a few paragraphs in which you explain what three observations topped your list and why. Describe your impression of this course by focusing on these three specific points and asking yourself, what about my background, previous writing/reading experiences, or knowledge makes me concerned with these three things?  Be careful to distinguish what you have heard about the course from what you read about it in the course materials.  Use quotes and paraphrases, and identify where passages come from.


As you explain the why of your observations in step 4 above, don’t hesitate to be critical of something you read. You might consider how being a writer in English 101 is like/unlike other writing situations. How do the course materials represent students? Why might you discard or adopt the practices described in the readings?


On scratch paper, describe any questions you have about this course, its policies, procedures, and expectations, based on the first class meeting and your reading of the course materials.

In our next class meeting, we will be discussing your initial writing from this assignment. Please bring a hard copy (print-out) of the assignment, your scratch notes, the purple Student’s Guide, syllabus, and The DK Handbook.