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Writing Images as a Means to Writing with Images

Students work in the visual medium to explore dimensions of associative image logic they can use in their persuasive written compositions. Ideally, the outcome will be a guiding image which helps arrange and focus their composition.

Special Topics Blog Post and Presentation

Students present blog post to the class

Once students in my literature class achieve a basic skill set in textual analysis, I require them to take the reins of the course by providing the class with a blog post on the upcoming reading and presenting their findings to the class.

Using FreeMind to Draft Controversy Maps

In this week-long assignment, students draw on stasis theory to generate a visualization of available arguments in a controversy.

Procedural Rhetoric: Analyzing Video Games

Screen shot of September 12 Video Game Instructions

This activity asks students to practice rhetorical analysis with reference to Ian Bogost's understanding of "procedural rhetoric." This mode of rhetoric focuses on the ways that procedures, processes, logics, and rules can be expressive and persuasive.

The (Selling) Powers of a Good Cry

Students will look at a series of popular, “sad” advertisements and discuss the ways in which certain commercials have successfully tapped into elements of rhetoric specific to viral videos.

Mapping Memorials: Research and Public Advocacy on Campus

Chavez statue on UT Austin campus

Through this assignment, students learn to close-read (critique) monuments on campus and consider the rhetorical nature of memory.

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.

Using Mind-Maps to Make Modular Arguments, MASS EFFECT Style

Nova Mind Map with Many Arms

This lesson is best used in conjunction with “Using Mass Effect 1 to teach critical situations," which can be found under that title on this site.

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

Banned Books Virtual Read-Out

Students videotape themselves reading 2-minute-long passages from a banned book of their choice. They then upload their readings to the Virtual Read-Out Youtube channel, sharing them nationally.

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.

Video Conferencing in the Classroom

Hardcover edition of Lehrer, Proust Was a Neuroscientist

In this classroom activity, a scholar/expert whose work is on your syllabus visits the classroom via Skype or another conferencing tool.

Shifting Focus from Content to Medium

an illustration of a tv with "the message" written on the screen.

Using various records of the Hindenburg disaster, this assignment encourages students to engage with medium over content, especially in terms of literary studies.  

In-Class Writing / Digital Midterm

Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, book cover

Give an essay exam as a midterm — using classroom computers — so students can synthesize course content, advocate a position, and revise as they write.

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 willin

Jump-Start Your Rhetoric Class with Text Visualization Software

A word-cloud on education

This user-friendly activity has students do some informal free-writing in response to an educational film, then reflect on their writing using "word cloud" freeware.

Teaching Credibility with Twitter

Introducing the concept of credibility by analyzing tweets.

Using Photoshop to Create Persona-Avatars for Class Blog

a student's avatar on a course blog

This lesson uses Photoshop to manipulate creative commons images found on the Internet into an avatar which represents the persona or ethos from which the student will write on a course blog.

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