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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.

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.

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.

Using Debates to Teach Rhetorical Analysis

Two debaters at podiums smile at one another

This assignment asks students to watch a debate and evaluate the participants' use of ethos, pathos and logos given their goals and their audience.

Concession, Refutation, and Rebuttal in "Bart's Comet"

Ned Flanders invites the town into his bomb shelter.

Use the acclaimed Simpson's episode "Bart's Comet" to teach refutation, rebuttal, and concession in a fun, group dynamic. Class groups are asked to don the role of familiar Simpson's characters and justify why their character, rather than others, deserves to continue living in the "world of the future." 

Evaluating & Complicating Audience on the Web

Empty seats to indicate the vast possibilities of potential audiences online

This lesson plan is designed to get students thinking about the real and intended audiences of web texts by analyzing publication venues and comment replies. It also highlights that a text's audiences are not (always) simply people who agree with the author(s) or people who disagree and need persuading.

Remediating and Reviewing Peer Arguments

Designed to facilitate a deeper level of peer review and collaborative learning, this assignment asks students to deliver oral presentations of each others' work and offer constructive commentary on their peer's paper.

Agonistic Debate on a Course Blog

Students break up into two groups to engage in agonistic debate regarding an issue in an assigned reading in the course.

Rebuttal Sparring

image of two people fencing

Students pair up to practice rebuttal. Partners present their position on their chosen controversy and have to fend off arguments for other positions that their partner comes up with. Partners change frequently and in quick succession.

End of Semester Reflection on Political Rhetoric

Students consider an ostentacious example of political rhetoric, then consider the other side's analysis of said rhetoric.

Introductory Rhetoric Course - Final Multimedia Presentation

Cartoon image by Ben Sargent titled "Academic Assembly"

A five-minute multimedia presentation showcasing skills developed over the entire semester: summary, analysis, and refutation/rebuttal of a position in a student's chosen controversy.

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