Introducing Rhetorical Analysis with the 1491s

The 1491s Logo

This lesson plan uses the 1491s' youtube videos "I'm an Indian Too" and "Lincoln Was a Douche" to introduce students to rhetorical analysis.

Contextualizing Web Research

US Map of Shootings by Police

Research in composition courses is often taught in a vacuum—a set of skills that can be used to write a college paper, but irrelevant to the “real world” outside.

Kairos and Ideology Analysis: American Values and Contexts

Lego Captain America Stands In Front of American Flag

This assignment asks students to fill out a worksheet for analyzing the ideological presuppositions of two arguments that rely on a popular superhero, Captain America, to make their respective arguments. This assignment can be used to solidify student understanding of kairos and presuppositions.

Enthy/memes: Making Memes to Teach Logos

To pratice creating and breaking down enthymemes, I had students create memes (about anything), break down the stated and unstated premises and ultimately, come to a conclusion as to the meme's argument.

Building Word Clouds to Generate Search Terms

Voyant Word Cloud for Marijuana Legalization Corpus

Help your students get an overview of their topic and a leg up on their research by creating word cloud visualizations of their topics.

Introducing Rhetorical Analysis with Contemporary Advertisements

The aim of this lesson is to provide students with an accessible and engaging introduction to rhetorical analysis. Students will view four brief texts—three thirty-second videos and one print advertisement—and try to identify the audience, the speaker, and the argument contained in each.

Fostering a Feminist Classroom Climate

Whiteboard with brainstormed text about what makes a class successful

In this icebreaking activity, students think-pair-share on the question "What makes a class a success?" This gives them the opportunity to meet a new classmate and contribute to setting the classroom tone for the semester ahead.

Advertising Agency

Agency

Help your students realize when they're being advertised to by helping them turn the tables on the Don Drapers of the Internet.

Annotated Bibliographies with Canvas Discussion Board

Discussion Thread

This assignment introduces annotated bibliographies to the students as preparation for a longer homework assignment, and their first paper. In using a public forum, students will see that even annotated bibliographies containing the same sources are flexible products influenced by individual projects.

Introducing Ideology with HSBC Advertisements

Image of an HSBC advertisement with the same image repeated three times with three different labels

This in-class activity uses the popular HSBC ad campaign (a tryptich of the same image with different value labels) to introduce students to visual rhetoric and ideology. After discussing the ads, students create their own version.

Using Google Maps with Alternative Learners

This lesson plan will help students visualize unfamiliar geographic settings. For whatever reason (there’s probably an anthropological explanation), humans around the world are often ignorant of locales 3,000 miles away.

Using Comment Walls to Practice Rebuttal

A computer mouse superimposed over a globe

This assignment asks students to think through the rhetorical practice of contributing to a discussion on a website's comment wall.

Villains versus Villains: Writing Persuasive Dramatic Monologues

Students work in groups to compose persuasive, dramatic monologues from the perspectives of famous, fictional villains.

Figuring Out Rhetorical Figures

Aeolus

This assignment uses online resources (Wiktionary or Silva Rhetoricae) to introduce students first hand to different rhetorical figures.

Using Flag Burning to Teach Icons, Symbols, and Speech Acts

Using Flag Burning to Teach Icons, Symbols, and Speech Acts

Students come to class having read read an analysis focused upon the importance of the seemingly minor distinctions between "icons" and "symbols" in the context of Texas v Johnson, the definitive Supreme Court case regarding the extent to which an American flag and/or the burning thereof is “speech,” and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

Video Remixing with Jon Stewart

Official Portrait of Mitch McConnell

The assignment introduces students to some very basic video editing techniques (cutting clips, detaching audio, inserting new audio) and gets them thinking about how the visual and sound channel in a video composition play together to create rhetorical effect. It's also fun as hell.

Facilitating Multimedia Composition

YouTube Video page for the Disability POP Culture channel; it shows the images and lengths of eight videos. We also see the titles for the four videos in the first row; they are titled "Obesity in America," "Voices in Me" by Jamie Smith, "Changing Lives Through the Power of Sports," "Rethinking Personality Disorder and Labels," 3:26; an image of Sarah Palin sitting on a couch gesturing for a video 2:37 minutes long, an image of a blind character on "Pretty Little Liars" for a video 6:02 minutes long; more

This lesson helped students begin composing their final rhetoric assignment: a Multimedia Argument Project (MAP). I encouraged students to work with each other during the planning process and to collaborate with one another as they developed their digital literacy skills.

TX Political Stars are Big and Bright: Identifying Audiences

Rick Perry Meme

Getting students to think in more specific terms about audience, without generalizing, is challenging. Using political ads, work with students to identify audiences and think of themselves critically as audience members. 

Ethos and Online Dating 2.0 - Incorporating Visuals

Dating show from Mallrats movie

A remix of a previous lesson plan, this exercise asks students to analyze the ethos of an online dating profile and then pair it with an appropriate image - drawing on the relationship between written and visual rhetoric.

Rhetorical Analysis of "Sugar Dating" Ads and Audience(s)

Sugar Dating Sites Unabashedly Target Cash-Strapped Female Students

Students work on argumentation techniques, rhetorical fallacies, and other concepts via reading a heavily-biased article from the New York Post discussing the relatively new but quickly growing phenomenon known as "sugar dating," which consists of web sites that pair older men (sugar daddies) who are willi

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