Rhetoric 380 Home Page
Rhetoric 380: Persuasive Writing

Tentative Course Schedule

Week 1

Introduction. We will explore basic rhetorical principles for professional writers. Discussion of ethos and audience awareness. We will begin looking at strategies for analyzing the audiences for our professional documents.

In-class writing prompt (Thanks to Jim Nugent)

Conducting an audience analysis. Collaborative Audience Analysis and Presentation.

APA/MLA Comparison

Homework: Read pages 2-16 and 125-129 in our textbook, the Quick and Not-Dirty Guide; Read about Writing Effective Emails. Read OU's Academic Conduct Regulations; Read Wikipedia's definition of Copyright Infringement. Bring the Quick and Dirty Guide and the Non-Designer's Design Book to class next week.

Week 2

Writing effective emails.

What is Rhetoric?

In-class writing prompt

Example Email 1

Example Email 2

Example Email 3 (Please log on to Moodle for this example)

Group Work

Designing a business card--introduction to designing in word.

Homework: Read more about Rhetoric. Also read in The Quick and Not-Dirty Guide, pages 17-19; 29-45; and in the Non-Designer's Design Book, pages 11-48. Please bring one brochure or flyer (that you find) to class next week.


Weeks 3 & 4

We will discuss the rhetoric and design of  business letters, memos, and emails, and begin our discussion of collaborative document production and editing. During week four, your group will also make first contact with your  “client” (the organization or group on campus for whom you will design documents).

Week 3: Before we discuss some of the designs you brought to class, I'd like you to take a couple of quick Word tutorials dealing with using styles in Word and using Word to facilitate collaborative editing.

Take the Microsoft Styles Tutorial

Take the Microsoft Reviewing Tutorial

In-Class Writing Prompt

Discussion of Williams

In-Class Re-Design Project

Week 4:

Analyzing brochures and flyers

Color discussion

Creating Logos...the easy way

More fun with Photoshop

Project groups formed, first contact made with clients

Client Project Description

Before the end of class, you and your partner will email the organization you have chosen, explaining our course assignment and asking if they would be interested in your services. Make sure you have identified one other organization in the even that you do not hear back from your first choice. Please CC me on your email.

Homework: Read pages 46-63 in the Not Dirty Guide and pages 49-62 in the Non-Designers Design Book

Week 5

This week you will write a letter of request. As a class we will write this press release and you will then write this press release on your own.

Our Burger Hut Press Releases

Dealing with your new clients: what information do you need, what questions to ask, what materials to collect, what to do first.

The importance of repetition.

Usage Guide

Fun with Publisher (because that's all we have in this lab). Using Templates in Publisher to create your own newsletters.

Homework: Try to meet with (in person, through email, over chat) a representative of your chosen organization to discuss who they are, how they view their organization, what you can do to help them. Read pages 17-19 in the Quick and Not Dirty Guide; and read about designing newsletters here. Bring in a newsletter and/or flyer for the class to analyze.

Weeks 6-9

Thus far you have written and designed correspondence for business associates and the press. During weeks 6-9, you will learn to design informative and persuasive brochures for the public and newsletters aimed at your client’s membership.

Short Class...because of snow...go through the following & email me with your re-write of Press Release by midnight Sunday.

Review of Press Releases

Re-write of Press Release

Designing a Newsletter

Workshop time: use class time to begin to sketch out a newsletter design for your organization. Consider color choices, images, and basic content issues before you begin playing around with Publisher. You might also want to think about designing a logo for your group as an entry into making decisions about how their materials should look.

Homework: Your homework is to gather together the information you have about your client and begin thinking about what to include in their newsletter. Once you have a list of items you could include in that newsletter, email your client to ask what they think of your list, what to add, what to take out.

Also, read in the Non-Designers Design Book, pages 101-104 (designing newsletters), and pages 63-78 (contrast).

Weeks 10-12

Over the course of these three weeks, you will continue to work with your group to create a visual identity for your client by designing a Web site. You will need to arrange for a preliminary meeting with the organization’s leadership and a follow-up meeting to get your client’s feedback on your work before you submit it for my final review. In class I will introduce you to Web design software and we will discuss how to make your Web site ADA compliant and how to conduct usability tests.

Homework & Class Next Week (Tuesday, March 20)

I will be at a conference in New York next week, so our class will meet online. I will post a number of assignments in Moodle, so if you’ve never been to Moodle before, don’t leave class tonight without checking it out. You will also want to finish up your group's newsletter and flyer/brochure work to turn in on Tuesday, March 27th.

In-Class work for March 27th

Homework: In the Not Dirty Guide, read pages 146-152 (Appendix A). Read the Usage and Style Guidelines.

I am having open lab hours on Thursday from 3-4:00. If you'd like to work on your client's website or on your own website, feel free to drop by.

Weeks 13-15

At the end of the semester you will revise and polish the documents you designed this semester for inclusion in a professional portfolio. The audience for this portfolio will be future employers. Your introduction to, and organization of, this portfolio will highlight your work in the context of the issues we discussed this semester: rhetoric, voice, design, usability, and ethics.

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These course materials
are licensed by Lori Ostergaard under a
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