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First Day Introduction to Rhetoric Prezi

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Introduction to Rhetoric Prezi Image
Image Credit: 

Casey Sloan

Brief Assignment Overview: 

First Day Introduction to Rhetoric Prezi

This Prezi presentation is designed to introduce students to basic rhetorical concepts on the first day of class. I used this Prezi in an RHE 309k course The Rhetoric of Superheroes, but it can be adapted to work for any introduction to rhetoric class. By analyzing two character speeches in Christopher Nolan's 2008 movie The Dark Knight, students will learn about audience, style, and evidence while developing a working definitin of rhetoric. The presentation includes several writing and group discussion prompts along with the basic lecture content. 

Type of Assignment: 
Assignment Length: 
Pedagogical Goals - Rhetoric: 
Pedagogical Goals - Literature: 
Pedagogical Goals - Digital Literacy: 
Media Requirements: 
Required Materials: 

Media console/ projector, Prezi

Timeline for Optimal Use: 
Full Assignment Description: 

Walking through this presentation with students should take up a full class session. I have included some relevant notes/ writing prompts for each slide below

First Day Introduction to Rhetoric Prezi

Slide 1: Before showing the video, make sure all of your students know the basic plot of Nolan's movie. Summarize and give context if necessary. (A thorough understanding of the film is not required for a reading of the speeches). Play Alfred's speech for students through once. Ask them to take detailed notes during a second playthrough, paying close attention to Alfred's argument. What is Alfred trying to get Bruce to do/feel/believe/think? How is he making his argument? What are his argumentative tactics? Play the video a second time and give students a few minutes to write a paragraph defining Alfred's argument and detailing how his argument is made.

Slide 2: This slide includes a few important points about Alfred's rhetorical strategies. Use this moment to discuss the importance of audience (Alfred's relatinship with Bruce impacts the way the two communicate). You can also talk about Alfred's use of the anecdote as evidence and his appeal to Bruce's (and the viewing audience's) emotions.

Slide 3: Alfred's argumentative strategies can lead into a discussion about the definition of rhetoric. Before showing this slide, ask students to write down their current definition of rhetoric. Have volunteers share their ideas and discuss. This slide shows my current understanding of rhetoric and presents two discussion questions on crucial aspects of the concept (communication as an "art" with intentional stylistic choices and the ethical dimensions of communication/ argumentation).

Slide 4: I used this slide to spell out the major goals of my course. If you download the Prezi, you can insert your own class objectives.

Slide 5: Another speech from Nolan's movie. Repeat writing prompts from Slide 1

Slide 6: Student introductions

Suggestions for Instructor Preparation: 

Download the Prezi and insert your own course goals on slide 4. View the videos and take your own notes on how each rhetor constructs his argument.

Instructions For Students: 

Before the presentation, ask students to take out pen and paper for the writing prompts throughout the Prezi.

Course Description: 

RHE 309K is a rhetoric course at the University of Texas at Austin that focuses on reserach and writing skills, rhetorical analysis and the study of persuasion. My particular course teaches rhetorical concepts through superhero fictions and culture. 

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