Day 1: Th, 8/27, First day of class

for next class: reflecting on yourself as a writer
Describe your relationship with writing: your past experiences, good, bad, or otherwise. How has this relationship changed over the years? Do you see yourself as a writer? Tell me about your experiences with your writing teachers and classes. What has been most valuable and memorable to you about your experiences of writing in school and outside of school?

Who is your favorite writer and why?

Bring hard copy to class and be ready to share what you’ve written with us.

Tues, 2/3

Share and discuss your writing on yourself as a writer and your mini-analyses of the January 26, 2015 New Yorker cover, “The Dream of Reconciliation” and connections to “A Radical Experiment in Empathy,” TEDTalk

for next class: Read “A Murder in Deep Summer,” on the story, published in The New Yorker, July 18, 2013 about Eudora Welty’s short story “Where is the Voice Coming From” and then read the story itself.

Be ready to discuss connections to the Richards TEDTalk and our conversations thus far.

Th, 2/5

Discuss Welty and cultural and historical contexts in light of Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic pentad.

for next class: Read Chekhov’s “The Lady With the Dog,”; “On Being Moved By Art: How Reading Fiction Transforms the Self,” Creativity Research Journal; and “How Reading Transforms Us,” New York Times in light of our discussions about the persuasive nature of emotion and empathy

Tues, 2/10

Discuss genre, audience, author, purpose, and arguments in today’s three readings.

for next class (on Tues 2,17; classes dismissed in honor of Lincoln’s birthday on Th, 2/12): Read chps 1-3 from Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, and complete a RefAnnBib (Reflective Annotated Bibliography) on your reading. Check out “Writing a Summary” for help with writing a précis or summary–a difficult task that forms a crucial part of your RefAnnBib. Bring hard copy to class.

Tues, 2/17

Discuss Lakoff and Johnson / RefAnnBibs and Rhetorical Analysis assignment.

for next class: Read Emily Martin’s “The Body at War: Media Views of the Immune System,” and complete a RefAnnBib on your reading. Bring hard copy to class.

Th, 2/19

Discuss Lakoff and Johnson / RefAnnBibs and your first major paper assignment: Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact.

for next class: Read Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts.” Write a short summary and response (approximately 300 words). Bring hard copy to class.

Begin brainstorming for your first major paper, a rhetorical analysis of a cultural artifact (television show, film, or video game) using the theories and lenses we’ve been discussing. For Tuesday, bring a draft prospectus for your first paper in which you list at least 2 possible shows/films/games for your analysis, why you’re drawn to them for this assignment, and what themes and metaphors stand out to you as potentials for writing about.

For both possibilities, begin to draft notes about the sources of persuasion. Use Burke’s Dramatistic Pentad to think with: what is the act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose? As we’ve done in class, pay close attention to the purpose and motives of the main character(s). Are we asked to sympathize with them? Why? Whose “gaze” or point of view are we being limited to? Why is this important? Who is the intended audience? What is the role of emotion and empathy? I won’t ask you to turn this in but we’ll discuss your ideas in class so you can begin turning them into a paper, and I’ll ask for a formal prospectus and “zero” draft (notes toward a rough draft) on Thursday.

Tues, 2/24

Discuss your writing process, revision, drafting, and your responses to Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts.” Discuss your brainstorming and ideas for your first major paper assignment:Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact.

for next class: 

1) A formal prospectus for your first paper, essentially a formalized version of the brainstorming you did for class Tuesday. One page with the following: your final choice on “cultural artifact” / film / tv show / game. How you plan to approach your paper, focusing on the questions we’ve explored in class and from the assignment: What’s the significance of the title? The logo? Who is the audience / demographic and how does the show/game appeal to them? What “elements of persuasion” are present? What are important metaphors in the show/game and why are they important? What “arguments” are being made by their presence? How are they shaping reality and the way people think? How does emotion come into play if it does? What about empathy? Are we as an audience being asked to sympathize with certain people or groups more than others? Whose perspective do we get in the show/game?

2) A “zero draft” of approximately 2 pages in which you explore (via whatever ways work best for you–outline, focused free writing, visual sketches, etc) the questions above, that will take you toward your rough draft due next Th, Mar 5.

Th 2/26

Discuss your zero draft for your first major paper assignment: Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact with your writing partner/group.

for next class: 

Read Richard Straub’s “Responding to Other Students’ Writing,” and write a one page summary and response. Bring hard copy to class and be ready to discuss. Work on your rough draft due next Th, Mar 5.

Tues 3/3

Discuss Straub reading on being a good reader of others people’s writing, and in-class conferences with Lisa and your writing parter/group on your paper development.

for next class: 

Read Brock Dethier’s “Revising Attitudes,” and write a one page summary and response. Bring hard copy to class and be ready to discuss. Draft 1 of your paper due: Bring 2 hard copies to class for your writing group and post a copy to the class Google Drive folder. Include a writer’s letter as page one (see assignment for prompts).

Thurs 3/5

Peer and Lisa review Draft 1

for next class: 

Revise paper
Sign up for conference with Lisa in lieu of class Tues 3/10

Tues 3/10 and Wed 3/11

Individual conferences with Lisa on your paper development

for next class: 

Bring a hard copy of your latest draft for an organizational revision exercise (“Says/Does”).

Thurs 3/12

Says/Does revision exercise
In-class conferences with Lisa as needed

for next class: 

Submit your final draft of your Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact paper to your personal folder in Google Drive. Include as page one a revised Writer’s Letter outlining your revisions and what you gained from this paper.

Tues 3/17

No formal class meeting; Lisa out of state presenting at the Conference on College Composition and Communication; Rhetorical Analysis paper due to your personal folder on Google Drive (you should have received an email from Google with a link to this folder on 3/14; please let me know if you did not).

for next class: 

Watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDTalk, “The Danger of a Single Story” (18:46), complete a RefAnnBib, and respond to the prompts below in the Discussion forum on Blackboard no later than class time (2:55p) on Th, 3/19. Here’s a transcript of her talk (also available on the TEDTalk site).

Thurs 3/19

Virtual class meeting in the form of a discussion on Blackboard on Adichie’s talk. Prompts to respond to on Blackboard:

What quote from Adichie’s talk most resonates with you and why? What is your response to her talk? She argues that “power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.” Think of an example of this kind of stereotyping of a group of people in popular culture (film, video games, songs, television) and relate it to her argument.

for next class: 

  1. By class time Tues, 3/24, respond on Blackboard to the Adichie posts of at least two other people. Please bring the transcript of her talk and a hard copy of your RefAnnBib with you to class.
  2. Read “How Many Rhetorics,” Wayne Booth and compose a RefAnnBib (bring hard copy to class).

Tues 3/24

Discuss Adichie and Booth
Introduce  Paper #2: Research-Based Argument

for next class: 

  1. Read Thomas Miller, “What is Rhetoric” and complete a RefAnnBib (bring hard copy).

Thurs 3/26

  • Discuss Miller, “What is Rhetoric” and approaches to your project
  • Begin thinking about the direction you want to go with your Research-Based Argument paper. Do a focused free write with ideas you could pursue. Think at least two “identity markers” you could focus on for your research and analysis. For example, you could focus on how “immigrants”, people with autism or other disabilities, people of Jewish, Muslim, or Christian faith, people who ascribe to feminism, “gamers,” lesbian/gay or transgender people, “protestors” (from Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson or other movements), or people from various social classes or occupations are constructed in popular culture. What’s your motive for choosing these two? What’s your interest level in each? What questions do you have about this assignment?

for next class: 

  1. Read Rebecca Jones, “Finding the Good Argument OR Why Bother With Logic” (pg 156) and complete a RefAnnBib (bring hard copy).
  2. Write an informal prospectus for your paper and bring hard copy to class. Pick at least 2 groups/identity markers/or, as we discussed in class Thursday, specific people on which to focus and tell me why you’re proposing these in particular. What texts in popular culture (songs, films, television shows, video games, news outlets) do you plan to focus on in terms of how this identity marker has been portrayed? What kinds of stereotypes (warrants, common sense or “sense held in common”) about this group have been created and perpetuated by pop culture texts? Check out a revised version of the project assignment after Thursday’s discussion. Include any questions you have at this point.

Tues 3/31

  • Discuss Jones, “Finding the Good Argument” and approaches to your project
  • Discuss Five Categories of Claims from Stasis Theory in Argumentation and how they relate to the way you’ll approach this project

for next class: 

  1. Read James Purdy on Wikipedia, pgs 205-224 in Writing Spaces, Vol 1. Bring a precis + reflection + one question from your reading in hard copy to class Th
  2. Draft a formal prospectus for your project in which you finalize your choice of group or person on which/whom to focus: tell me whom you’ve chosen, your interest level in this group and your own relationship to the group or person, what you hope to learn from this project, what 2-3 cultural artifacts you want to focus on that contain stories about this group or person, and finally, any questions you have at this point. Please bring hard copy to class.
  3. Continue research + reading for your project
  4. Meet in VC 7-205 computer lab vs our regular classroom

Th 4/2

  • Meet in computer lab, VC 7-205
  • Discuss Purdy on Wikipedia and finding answers to questions using Google Scholar and academic databased in Baruch’s library
  • Discuss and practice incorporating sources and others’ ideas into your own writing with rhetorical and syntactically savvy

for next class [after Spring Break]: 

  1. RefAnnBibs of your four (4) outside sources
  2. Continue research + reading for your project [rough draft due Thursday after Spring Break]

Tues 4/7 & Th 4/9, no class meeting, Spring Break Holiday

Tues 4/14

  • In-class work with your writing group and Lisa on your project

for next class: 

  1. Project draft due + writer’s letter to Google Drive and also bring 3 hard copies to class

Th 4/16

  • Writing workshop: Give and receive feedback on your project draft from your writing group and Lisa

for next class: 

  • Read “Why First Person Is Important” in Writing Spaces, Vol. I and bring hard copy of a precis + reflection + one question the piece raises for you.