Rhetoric Core Syllabi

Core Syllabus for Rhetoric 101: Introduction to Academic Writing
Catalog course description:

Rhetoric 101 is the first course in the lower-division rhetoric sequence. The course is an introduction to university-level writing. Students will develop critical thinking skills by responding to selected readings in a variety of assignments. Emphasis is on the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, and revising), rhetorical concerns (audience, purpose, etc.), using technology to enhance the writing process, and basic grammar and mechanics. The course is required unless a student has an AP score of 4-5 or departmental approval of transfer credit. Students must complete this course with a grade of "C” or above. Meets: Rh. 4 credit hours.

Required textbooks:
Bullock, Richard, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook. 3rd ed.

Student goals:

  • Develop critical thinking skills by responding to selected readings in a variety of assignments.
  • Analyze selections from the reader that exemplify various modes of writing.
  • Produce roughly 15-20 pages of writing (may include in-class essays, out-of-class essays, journals).
  • Recognize the importance of writing as a process (pre-writing, drafting, and revising)
  • Recognize the importance of rhetorical concerns, such as audience and purpose.
  • Develop basic skills related to grammar, mechanics, and style.
  • Learn ways in which technology can enhance the writing process.
  • Participate in peer review workshops.


Reading assignments:
The following chapters of The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook are required in all sections of English 101:   

 

Part 1 "Rhetorical Situations” – Chapters 1-6

Part 4 "Strategies” –Chapters 32-36, and 40


To pass RHET 101, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. The instructor is welcome to re-sequence the required chapters and to add reading assignments. 

Writing assignments:
Students will be required to write papers modeled on at least two of the three following methods of analysis: Definition, Comparison/Contrast, and Cause and Effect. All students will be required to write an Argument paper that incorporates at least two of these methods. No more than one narration paper may be assigned for the course. The instructor is free to add writing assignments.

Attendance policy for all rhetoric sequence courses:
Attend on time every time that class meets. If you are not in class when attendance is taken, you will be counted absent. Through the last day to withdraw from classes, as posted on the Academic Calendar, if you miss more than one week’s worth of class, you will be dropped from the course. For example, if your class meets four times per week, ‘one week’s worth of class’ is four classes. However, over the course of the term and regardless of reason, if you miss more than two weeks’ worth of class, you will fail the course for excessive absence unless you have arranged for a Medical Incomplete or Medical Withdrawal through Lang Center.

Two types of absence are excluded from this attendance policy:

  1. Co-curricular activities, defined as activities required by Rockford University course work.
  2. Illness excused by Lang Center. If you feel too ill to attend class, then go to or call Lang Center on or before the day class meets. If you go to another health provider, present the documentation of your visit to Lang on the next day that you are back on campus. Note: Lang Center does not excuse absences retroactively for which you cannot present documentation.

Core Syllabus for Rhetoric 102: Introduction to Rhetoric
Catalog course description:
Rhetoric 102 is the second course in the lower-division rhetoric sequence. The course is an introduction to the principles and elements of argument (claims, evidence, warrants, qualifications). Students are taught how to apply the principles and elements of argument through the process of researched writing and oral discussions and presentations and how to use technology effectively in researching and developing arguments. The prerequisite for this course is met by completion of Rhetoric 101 with a final grade of ‘C’ or above or by departmental approval of transfer credit. Meets: Rh. 4 credit hours.

Student goals:

  • Formulate a proposal
  • Compile bibliography
  • Evaluate the authority, reliability and validity of digital and print sources
  • Analyze and synthesize sources while noting points of convergence and divergence
  • Articulate an argument that responds to sources in both oral and written forms
  • Present oral reports on a project proposal, a review of a source, and/or a report on research
Required texts & materials:

Wood, Nancy V. Essentials of Argument, 3rd ed.
Bullock, Richard, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook. 3rd ed. (2nd ed. will be acceptable through spring 2014)

Required assignments
To pass RHET 102, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. The instructor is free to add reading, writing, or speaking assignments.

Reading:
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5-7, 11 of Wood’s Essentials of Argument are required in all sections.

Researched Writing:


Assignment

Recommended Length

Proposal

1 page

Annotated bibliography

10-15 entries

Evaluation of source validity:
Print source
Digital source

2 pages each

Analysis of three sources

2 pages each

Argument synthesizing multiple sources

6-8 pages

Peer review of writing assignments
Source validity
Source analysis
Argument

1 page each (form)

Peer review of oral report

½ page (form)



Oral reports— 2 of 4:


Proposal

2 minutes

Narrative of research process

5 minutes

Analysis of source

2 minutes

Argument synthesizing multiple sources

5 minutes


Attendance policy for all rhetoric sequence courses:
Attend on time every time that class meets. If you are not in class when attendance is taken, you will be counted absent. Through the last day to withdraw from classes, as posted on the Academic Calendar, if you miss more than one week’s worth of class, you will be dropped from the course. For example, if your class meets four times per week, ‘one week’s worth of class’ is four classes. However, over the course of the term and regardless of reason, if you miss more than two weeks’ worth of class, you will fail the course for excessive absence unless you have arranged for a Medical Incomplete or Medical Withdrawal through Lang Center.

Two types of absence are excluded from this attendance policy:

  1. Co-curricular activities, defined as activities required by Rockford University course work.
  2. Illness excused by Lang Center. If you feel too ill to attend class, then go to or call Lang Center on or before the day class meets. If you go to another health provider, present the documentation of your visit to Lang on the next day that you are back on campus. Note: Lang Center does not excuse absences retroactively for which you cannot present documentation.
Core Syllabus for Rhetoric 351: Advanced Rhetoric

 Catalog course description:
Advanced rhetoric provides students with opportunities to refine their skills in critical thinking and practice developing oral and written arguments that respond to the complex situations they will face after graduation, both in the context of the workplace and in the wider public sphere. In some sections, community-based learning projects will contribute to an environment in which students consider how their skills may be applied to resolving issues arising within the context of the workplace and to problems affecting their communities. Interdisciplinary reading, writing, and speaking assignments will help students discover connections among disciplines and will encourage them to develop strategies for synthesizing the knowledge they have acquired during their study at Rockford University. PRQ: Grade of "C” or above in Rhetoric 102 or equivalent and 45 hours of college course work. Transfer credit will not be accepted to meet this requirement. Meets: Rh, and where applicable, C. 3 credit hours

Section description:
Each instructor is asked to provide a title and description to the Registrar of her/his section offering well before the term’s timetable is posted and pre-registration advising begins. The course and section descriptions are posted/published in the course schedule. See below for a sampling of offerings.

Student goals:

  • Recognize the components of an argument, including claims, evidence, and the assumptions (warrants) upon which the argument is based.
  • Develop critical skills through analysis of evidence and forming judgments about its validity.
  • Understand the historical/cultural contexts of arguments.
  • Assess reasons why arguments are made.
  • Draw upon sound rhetorical principles in constructing and presenting arguments.

Required texts & materials:
Instructor’s choice
(Recommended supplement) Bullock, Richard, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook. 3rd ed.

Required assignments: To pass RHET 351, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. The instructor is free to add assignments.

  • Rhetorical analyses
  • Research proposal
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Argument paper
  • Two oral presentations
Attendance policy for all rhetoric sequence courses:

Attend on time every time that class meets. If you are not in class when attendance is taken, you will be counted absent. Through the last day to withdraw from classes, as posted on the Academic Calendar, if you miss more than one week’s worth of class, you will be dropped from the course. For example, if your class meets four times per week, ‘one week’s worth of class’ is four classes. However, over the course of the term and regardless of reason, if you miss more than two weeks’ worth of class, you will fail the course for excessive absence unless you have arranged for a Medical Incomplete or Medical Withdrawal through Lang Center.

Two types of absence are excluded from this attendance policy:

  1. Co-curricular activities, defined as activities required by Rockford University course work.
  2. Illness excused by Lang Center. If you feel too ill to attend class, then go to or call Lang Center on or before the day class meets. If you go to another health provider, present the documentation of your visit to Lang on the next day that you are back on campus. Note: Lang Center does not excuse absences retroactively for which you cannot present documentation.
A Sampling of Rhetoric 351 Advanced Rhetoric Section Descriptions

"Arguing About Art” Art, whether we are speaking of music, film, theater, dance, visual art, or literature, is essential to us as human beings. Because it is, we continue to discuss its nature as well as its purpose and function. In this class, we will explore a variety of aesthetic issues. We may question, for example, the relevance of art, what is meant by "public art,” what is an "authentic performance,” the role of fakes and forgeries, art and morality, photography and representation, who determines what is considered to be "artistic.” Students will be invited to learn more about these issues in order to enable them to construct arguments of their own that place them in the center of these ongoing debates.

"Rhetoric of/in Digital Spaces” In unprecedented numbers, people are writing in various online spaces. And often, this writing is composed of more than just words, as digital texts are integrated with images, audio, and video. Ever-changing digital tools make it easier than ever for everyday people to compose these rhetorically sophisticated compositions for sharing online. Of course, these new composing habits have also led to plenty of criticisms from those troubled by issues of authority, quality, economics, and intellectual property, which sometimes become muddied in the world of online communication. In this class, students will explore both the rhetoric about digital spaces and the rhetorical moves that are possible within digital spaces. That is, we’ll confront the arguments of those who praise and critique various aspects of online, digital communication culture even as we practice making the moves we see modeled online. We’ll be guided by the fundamental questions of classical rhetoric as we compose rhetorical analyses and arguments of our own: how does our understanding of audience, purpose, and community change when anyone in the world with a networked computer can access our work? Students will blog regularly, read a variety of print and digital texts, and compose a researched, multimodal text to be shared online.

"Rhetoric of Change" The Rockford University slogan—Think. Act. Change Your World—encourages us to think locally and globally about the world and take action to change it. "Change" is one of the most popular campaign pitches for politicians. In this course, we will approach the rhetorical persuasiveness of such calls to action. Eric Fromm distinguishes the rebel from the revolutionary precisely to the degree to which the rebel has an agenda that can be understood as a cogent rhetorical argument. Calls for change can come in many forms, including films, essays, slogans, Op-Ed pieces, and protest art. We will apply classical rhetorical theory to various calls to action and study the structure of arguments for change. The final project includes an extended research essay that analyzes rhetorical arguments used in achieving a particular societal change in recent history. If they prefer, students may demonstrate their abilities to effectively wield rhetorical strategies in another kind of final project. Namely, they may produce an extended, researched argument that calls for societal transformation.


"Environmental Rhetoric" This course offers students an opportunity to study rhetoric on a variety of topics related to the environment, including conservation, animal rights, environmental justice, and the local foods movement. Readings for the class will range broadly from creative non-fiction and advertisements to film and poetry. With a grounding in these texts, students will focus their writing for the semester on their own research projects related to environmental rhetoric. This section of Rhet 351 should be a good match for students in the sciences and those concerned with the challenging environmental issues that we are faced with today. This course includes a CBL component.

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