21W.747 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate


Calendar and Readings

1 Introduction to the course. Discussion of the syllabus.  

Rhetoric and Argument

Rhetoric Tool Chest (PDF)



Roberts–Miller, Trish. “Understanding Misunderstandings: How to do a Rhetorical Analysis.” (PDF) 2008.

Framing Example: Roberts–Miller, Trish. “Understanding Misunderstandings.” (PDF)

4 Selzer, Jack. “Rhetorical Analysis: Understanding How Texts Persuade Readers.” Chapter 10 in What Writing Does and How It Does It: An Introduction to Analyzing Texts and Textual Practices. Edited by Charles Bazerman and Paul Prior. Routledge, 2003. ISBN: 9780805838060.  

Richard Nixon Foundation. “The Great Silent Majority (Full Version).” July 29, 2010. YouTube. 31:58.

Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs. “An Exercise in the Rhetoric of Mythical America.” In Critiques of Contemporary Rhetoric. Wadsworth Publishing, 1972, pp. 50–58. ISBN: 9780534001353.


Workshop: Essay 1

No readings.

RRR version of Essay 1 due.

Hill, Forbes. “Miscellany The Forum.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 58, no. 4 (1972): 451–64.

Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs. “‘Conventional Wisdom—Traditional Form’—The Presidents Message of November 3, 1969.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 58, no. 4 (1972): 373–86.

Mandatory revision of Essay 1 due.

Devitt, Amy J. “Generalizing about Genre: New Conceptions of an Old Concept.” College Composition and Communication 44, no. 4 (1993): 573–86.

Foss, Sonja K. “Generic Criticism.” In Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. Waveland Press Incorporated, 2008. ISBN: 9781577665861.


Campbell, and Jamison. “Inaugural Addresses.” In Presidents Creating the Presidency: Deeds Done in Words. University Of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780226092218.

Ware, B. Lee, and Wil A. Linkugel. “They Spoke in Defense of Themselves: On the Generic Criticism of Apologia.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 59, no. 3 (1973): 273–83.


Commencement Speeches

Jobs, Steve. “Commencement Speech to Stanford.” June 12, 2005.

Uslan, Michael. “Commencement Speech at Indiana University.” 2006.

Berlin, Isaiah. “A Message to the 21st Century.” The New York Review of Books, October 2014.

Stewart, Jon. “Commencement Speech to William & Mary,” News and Media, May 20, 2004.

Wallace, David Foster. “Commencement Speech to Kenyon College.” (PDF) May 21, 2005.


Workshop: Essay 2

No readings.

RRR version of Essay 2 due.

Ethics Tool Chest (PDF)

Mandatory revision of Essay 2 due.

Wieman, Henry Nelson, and Otis M. Walter. “Toward an Analysis of Ethics for Rhetoric.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 43, no. 3 (1957): 266–70.

McCroskey, James C. “Ethics and Rhetorical Communication.” In An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication. Routledge, 2005. ISBN: 9780205453511.

14 Zarefsky, David. “Plenary Address: Reclaiming Rhetoric’s Responsibilities.” In The Responsibilities of Rhetoric. Waveland Press Incorporation, 2009, pp. 13–24. ISBN: 9781577666233.  
15 Burkey, Kenneth. “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s ‘Battle’.” In Readings in Rhetorical Criticism. Edited by Carl R. Burgchardt. Strata Publishing Company, 1955. ISBN: 9780963448927.  

Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. “Concepts We Live By.” In Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780226468013.

Hahn, Dan F. “Myths and Metaphors.” In Political Communication: Rhetoric, Government, and Citizens. 2nd ed. Strata Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN: 9781891136085.


St. Amant, Kirk., and Timothy D. Giles. “Review of Motives for Metaphor in Scientific and Technical Communication.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 24, no. 4 (2010): 540–3.

Engels, Jeremy, and William O. Saas. “On Acquiescence and Ends–less War: An Inquiry into the New War Rhetoric.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 99, no. 2 (2013): 225–32.


Singer, Peter. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 1, no. 3 (1972): 229–43.

Hardin, Garrett. “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor,” Psychology Today, September 1974.


Workshop: Essay 2

No readings.

RRR version of Essay 3 due.
20 No readings. Mandatory revision of Essay 3 due.

Allen, Woody. “My Speech to the Graduates,” The New York Times, August 10, 1979.

Swift, Jonathan. “A Modest Proposal.” 1729.

Green, Rayna. “The Museum of the Plains White Person.” (PDF)

Twain, Mark. “Was the World Made for Man?” In Writing Exploratory Essays. Edited by Steven Strang. McGraw–Hill Humanities, 1995, pp. 394–7. ISBN: 9781559342629.

Frazier, Ian. “Coyote vs. Acme.” The New Yorker, February 1990.

22 Fish, Stanley. “Introduction: ‘That’s Not Fair.’” In There’s No Such Thing As Free Speech: And It’s a Good Thing, Too. Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780195080186. [Preview with Google Books]  

Schwenk, Kurt. “Aristotle’s Ghost,” Creative Nonfiction No. 19, March 2002.

Strang, Steven, ed. “Walker, Alice. Am I Blue?” In Writing Exploratory Essays. McGraw–Hill Humanities, 1995. ISBN: 9781559342629.


Oral Presentations: Persuasive Speech

No readings.

Written version of the Persuasive Speech due.

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas. Creative Education, 1977, pp. 531–5. ISBN: 9780886825010.

Valenzuela, Luisa. “The Censors.” In Writing Exploratory Essays. Edited by Steven Strang. McGraw–Hill Humanities, 1995, pp. 549–51. ISBN: 9781559342629.


Course Info

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Spring 2015
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