FYC Rhetoric and Writing Syllabus


FYC: Rhetoric and Writing introduces and develops understanding of principles of rhetoric; basic research methods; elements, strategies, and conventions of persuasion used in constructing written and multi-modal texts.

At the completion of the course students should be able to achieve the following goals:
— Understand that persuasion—both visual and verbal—is integral to reading and composing.
— Understand how persuasive visual and verbal texts are composed for different audiences and different purposes.
— Develop effective strategies of invention, drafting, and revision for different rhetorical situations and individual composing styles
— Compose texts in various media using solid logic, claims, evidence, creativity, and audience awareness
— Integrate primary and secondary research as appropriate to the rhetorical situation
— Develop strategies for becoming a more critical and careful reader of both own and others’ texts
— Demonstrate a professional attitude toward their writing by focusing on the need for appropriate format, syntax, punctuation, and spelling
— Take responsibility for their own progress
— Develop the ability to work well with others on composing tasks

As an outcome of the course content and format, which enable the accomplishment of the course goals, students are required to complete:
— Four projects, approximately three to four pages each, that address different rhetorical situations
— Reading assignments for discussion, analysis, and response
— Informal writing assignments (such as journals, reading reflections, in-class writings, or smaller pieces that lead to the major assignments)

Rhetoric, Composition, and Expression for a Digital Age (R, C, & E) Author: Paul Ranieri
Youth Subcultures: Exploring Underground America (A Longman Topics Reader). Author: Arielle Greenberg

Writing Project 1 Personal Narrative (100 points):
For this assignment, you will be asked to write about a particular moment or event that illustrates your identity as a member of a particular culture. In your narrative, you will describe particular characteristics of this culture and how they relate to you. You might consider how this culture has shaped you, how you first intersected with it, where you find yourself at tension with it, what your membership looks like, or any other way to frame your story in the context of your identity. (3-4 pages)

Writing Project 2 Argumentative Essay (150):
Most subcultures have influential figures, people who have greatly impacted the growth of the culture, its presence or perception to outsiders, its characteristics and traditions and directions. In this paper, you will select and research one of those people, then write a paper in which you demonstrate through argument how and why this person matters. (4-5 pages).

Writing Project 3 Rhetorical Analysis (150):
For this assignment, you will analyze a “text” (article, print advertisement, television commercial, music video, etc.) put out by or depicting a particular subculture to identify and evaluate its use of rhetorical appeals and the effectiveness of its argument. What specific techniques does it use? How does it engage with cultural themes or ideas? How does it reach its audience—and who is that audience? (4-5 pages)

Writing Project 4 Multimodal Ethnography (200):
For this assignment, you will perform both primary and secondary research on a particular subculture. You will write a paper reporting what you’ve learned in an informative, unbiased style. (3-4 pages) Additionally, in the final weeks of class, you will give a 5-7 minute presentation of your findings to your classmates.

Participation (150):
In-Class Participation (40/45):
Class participation means, primarily, contributing to class discussion; this includes reading for class, asking questions, listening to others, and offering your own insights and analysis.
You will receive two grades for in-class participation: one out of 40 points for the first half of the semester (weeks 1-7) and one out of 45 points for the second half of the semester (weeks 8-16). To achieve a satisfactory (C) grade, I expect you to voluntarily ask and answer questions, make comments, and share experiences that relate to course materials.

Discussion Board Postings (65):
Each week some of you will be assigned a “Posting Responsibility,” which means you will be responsible for creating a thread on the Discussion Board. In any week in which you do not have blog responsibility, you are required to comment on at least two posts. Each week is worth 5 points, and you cannot make up late posts or comments.
Posts (250 words) are due on Sunday before midnight and comments (150 words) on those posts are due by the following Friday before midnight.
Your blog posts and comments should be well-written, timely, and thought-provoking. You may post on anything related to the course material. This includes responding to the course readings, class discussion, something read or discussed in another course, something you noticed outside of class, or current events, as long as you make clear the connection to this course.

Miscellaneous Assignments (250):
Discussion Leaders (50):
Once this semester, in pairs, you will lead the class discussion (15-20 minutes) on the daily assigned reading from Youth Subcultures. You will be required to do some additional research related to the reading’s topic, and come prepared with a handout and at least 7 discussion questions for your peers. You’re in charge of the conversation. If you want to have a debate where we take sides, you can do that. If you want people to share their own experiences, you can ask them to. If you want to challenge us to develop opinions or build on what you give us in the guide, you can ask questions to push us further. This is not a lecture or a presentation; you need to engage with your audience in a meaningful conversation.

Informal Writing (100):
We will have writing assignments on a regular basis. These will typically be in response to a particular reading or generative, and will often be shared with the class. These can be used as the basis of your weekly Discussion Board postings.

Reading Quizzes (100):
Quizzes, when given, will be based on the readings from both Rhetoric, Composition, and Expression for a Digital Age and Youth Subcultures.

This course is primarily discussion-based, and I expect you to come to class each day and participate in an active and engaged manner by responding to the readings, commenting on other students’ work, and sharing your own work and experiences as they relate to the classroom materials. With that said, please keep the following in mind:
Respect for others in our classroom is non-negotiable. We will be discussing ideas and concepts that may challenge your current thinking, and I expect you to participate in these discussions in a respectful manner, even if you are expressing disagreement. Disparaging or disrespectful comments or behavior directed at another’s gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, class, etc. are unacceptable.
Part of participation is being an active listener. Please keep your laptops closed and do not engage in side conversations during discussion. Phones are never okay.