WRT 340: Contemporary Issues in Writing and Rhetoric

Project 1: Rhetorical Analysis 10%

With this first assignment, you will learn to rhetorically analyze a journal within your individual subdiscipline.

Project 2: Classroom Ethnography 20%

For this assignment you will begin by observing two different WRT classes within your track of the major. One of those courses must be an advanced course (200- to 400-level) within your track in the major (writing studies, professional writing, digital media). The other may be in first-year writing course or an advanced writing class within another track. You will collect some artifacts along with your observation notes for each class (course syllabi, sample assignments). Finally, you will do some online research to locate syllabi and other materials for courses similar to the ones you observed. You will write a 5-7 page ethnographic study of the two courses that identifies the theories informing the classes, research methods employed, and demonstrated disciplinary values.

Project 3: Central Text Presentation 10% and Group Paper 20%

For this project you will introduce a central (important) or foundational text within your subdiscipline (or major track). You will work with 1-2 classmates to summarize that text, provide a historical context for it, and identify 3-4 new works that build off of or make use of that text. In other words, you will tell the class about an influential text within your field and then show us what that text has influenced. Your group will also write a review of that text, elaborating on what you learned about it and its influence on the field. This 5-7 page collaborative paper will be worth 20% of your grade in this class. Your group will also develop a multimodal presentation to deliver to the class based on your research. This presentation will be worth 10% of your grade.

Blog/Journal 20%

Throughout the semester you will be asked to respond to issues/debates/disagreements within the field. From time to time, you will be asked to place those issues within the context of your individual subfield as well. Journal entries will need to be thorough, informed, and critically/intellectually engaging, demonstrating your understanding of the complexities of the issues/debates/disagreements.

Online and In-Class Work 20%

Online class work will generally be graded on a 4.0 scale and may not be made up or revised for a better grade. Some low-risk online activities will be graded pass/fail. Online work includes peer reviews, discussion forums, group activities, collaborative writing, and quizzes. Because this is a collaborative, workshop-style class, most online and in-class class work may not be made up if you do not complete it by the deadline or revised for a better grade.