English 433: Theories of Rhetoric and Writing

Spring, 2001

Class Meeting: 11-11:50 MWTF R-115

Instructor: Philip Keith; R-107; tel. ext. 3189; Office Hr. 10:00 MWTR & by appt.

Texts: William A. Covino and David Jolliffe, Rhetoric, Concepts, Definitions, Boundaries (Allyn & Bacon)

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (Harcourt Brace)

Course Description: Rhetorical analysis of written language for students of composition and literature. Differences between speech and writing. Modes of written discourse, style and history of written composition. Prereq: English 163.

Learning Objectives:

1. To extend your knowledge of the nature and basic concepts of rhetoric and their application to the nature and development of Writing.

2. To enhance your use of rhetorical concepts and methods in the analysis of literary texts and performances.

3. To enhance your personal critical, analytical, reading, and writing skills through the application of rhetorical methods.

4. To provide experience in research in rhetoric studies.

Writing Activities:

1. Reading application log (10% of final grade): four entries or four pages (1000 words) per week aimed at applying concepts encountered in the course reading for that week. For log entry assignments, choose one of the following:

a. application of course concepts to discussion/analysis of a piece of writing in a literary or public affairs journal or newspaper, a movie, TV show or segment (as of a news segment or perhaps a commercial).

b. application of course concepts in the creation of a story, poem, dialog, political ad, brief written speech, etc. Conclude with a brief introduction/commentary on what the thing you have created does.

c. analysis or discussion of a point in the reading that you agree with or disagree with.

d. anything else that would be functional--inquiry or complaint included.

2. Short paper (20% of final grade): choose one of the items in the glossary section (pp. 27-99) of the text, and write a 3-5 page explanation and elaboration using at least 3 other sources by or about the subject of this item. This project should include a research log. Due week 5.

3. Longer paper or optional seminar group project (40% of final grade): choose one of the topics in the "contents of rhetoric" section of the text (pp. 319-791). The seminar project is a group project for which we will allocate the last week of class.

4. Take-home final exam on Name of the Rose (20% of final grade) Due By 1:00 P.M. Monday May 7 (end of scheduled final exam period)

Attendance/Participation (10% of final grade): No more than two unnegotiated absences permitted without cost. Negotiation in this sense means that I have advanced notice of your absence by phone or e-mail, along with some sense of who you will contact to review the missed class and how you will compensate [or do penance] for missing. Under departmental policy, more than 9 unnegotiated absences will result in a withdrawal/ failing grade.

Rules for written work: No unnegotiated late work. My preference is that you keep your log entries in a computer file that you can copy for me (or send as an e-mail attachment when due, but it may be handwritten if readable, and submitten in a notebook (separate from your class notes) or folder. All other written work should be word-processed or typed.

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