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In-class Exercise

The Rhetoric of Performance: Teaching Logos through Disney Movies

This assignment uses clips and text from Disney movies to teach students to analyze logos as part of a unit on rhetorical analysis.

Mind mapping paper 3

Students brainstorm and outline an persuasive essay using free online mind mapping tools.

Teaching Close Reading through Short Composition/Revision

A black and white image of WEB Du Bois

This lesson teaches close reading by having students compose, and then analyze, openings to biographical narratives about “great Americans.”

Mapping a Controversy (Literally)

Students create Google maps to contextualize events and locations related to their controversies.

Speed Dating with Thesis Statements

Meet a room full of thesis statements that want to meet YOU!

Identifying Reasons and Evidence with Friends

This lesson uses the popular sitcom Friends and the classic public debate of "Faith Vs. Reason" to create a fun, accessible way of understanding the relationship between claims, reasons, and evidence.

Exercises in Style

Image by Claude Strassart-Springer, from the book "Alphabet" by Raymond Queneau

Teach revisions and the infinite possibilities of rewriting the same paragraph with this exercise, adopted from Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style

Words in Motion: Kairos and Kinetic Typography

Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography is an animation technique that allows writers to mix text and motion. Students will take part of a speech or a piece of dialogue and animate it, carefully considering how they might visually enforce and/or subvert the text's underlying themes.

Bridging Summary and Analysis with Standup Clips

Aziz Ansari Comedy Poster

This assignment uses clips from standup comedy specials to hone student skills of summary and synethesis, for the controversy map essay assignment.

Bridging Summary and Analysis with Standup Clips

Aziz Ansari Comedy Poster

This assignment uses clips from standup comedy specials to hone student skills of summary and synethesis, for the controversy map essay assignment.

Concession, Refutation and Rebuttal Through Amazon Reviews

In this activity, students will use Amazon reviews of the Women's Sexy PhD Halloween costume to identify places where the authors concede, refute and rebut the idea behind the costume. They will then come up with their own Amazon reviews for a product, real or imagined, of their choice.

Teaching Kairos through Allegorical Performances

This lesson teaches the concept of rhetorical kairos by placing allegorical performances in their historical context.

Digital/Physical Library Scavenger Hunt

Library bookshelves

For the first time in my admittedly short teaching career, I created and oversaw a library scavenger hunt for my class this semester. As critics of the activity have argued, the library scavenger hunt is at risk of purposelessness, particularly if it’s not designed with clear pedagogical or research goals in mind.

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.

A Structured Approach to Teaching the OED as a Close Reading Tool

a person in a black shirt holding up a book. On the left-hand side of the book is a yellow page that read "step one" in white font. On the right-hand site is a white page with the word "one" written in large brown font.

Using a structured worksheet, students explore a word of interest from one of the course readings through the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online. The worksheet asks them to consider how the definition(s) of the word can help inform their textual analysis/close reading of a text.

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 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.

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.


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