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Peer-to-Peer Review

red pen and paper

When revising a paper, a second pair of eyes is always useful. But who says those have to be human eyes? By utilizing a range of peer review technologies, your students get to play teacher for each other — and for themselves.

Using and analyzing images: Public transportation

Using and analyzing images

Analyzing Visual Arguments

A doctor's body inside large, bleeding ears with large money bags against a blood-red backdrop seen behind the mirror images of the enlarged close up of a man's ears.

Students practice closely describing and analyzing an image for its argument and rhetorical impact.

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." 

Audience Appeal - Making Commercials with Animoto

blank billboard

Using the extremely user-friendly online video creation tool, Animoto, students create short commercials pitching (potentially) odd combinations of products to target audiences (pianos to businessmen, running shoes to retirees, etc.)

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.

Close Reading Through Interactive Storytelling

students create games based on scenes or passages from a novel

In this assignment, my students used a game-authoring platform called ARIS (Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling) to create augmented reality games based on scenes or passages from novels studied in our course.

Villains versus Villains: Writing Persuasive Dramatic Monologues

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

Color-coding Revision - Visualizing the Process

students use crayons to visually distinguish between elements of their papers

Following a detailed set of instructions, students use crayons (or other multi-colored writing utensils) to visually distinguish between certain elements of their papers. The result is a colorful paper that visually demarcates areas of text that may require revision.

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.

Pre-Writing: Surveying Expectations on the First Day of Class

The Writing Process Diagram with arrows showing the interrelationships between prewriting, writing, and revising.

On the first day of class, students think about the course topic and document their personal definitions of and understandings of the topic.

End of Term Writing Assignments

New Yorker cover

We’re coming up on the midway point of this semester, and as we’re all currently planning the weeks ahead after Spring Break, I thought I’d take a moment here and share what I’m currently doing for my course’s final assignment.

Introducing Analysis with "Texts From Last Night"

Texts from last night offers a short and pithy introduction to analysis

Using samples pulled from the popular website, Texts From Last Night, this exercise introduces students to textual analysis in a fun and (most likely) funny way.

Using Twitter for Class Reading and Participation

twitter image

Instead of required blog posts or reading quizzes, I require my students to interact with each week's reading and each other by "live-tweeting" their reading process.

Teaching Context (Juxtaposition) with Video Mash

Students juxtapose two YouTube videos for a lesson on context

By doubling a class text video with another seemingly unrelated video, students learn about how context (or juxtaposition) can affect a text's meaning. 

Teach Pathos through Politics -- the French Revolution

This assignment connects the rhetorical concepts pathos and logos with the critique of Enlightenment rationalism by classical conservative philosopher Edmund Burke.   

Creating Individual "Infospheres" on the Web

Infospheres are like personal tapestries of information

The infosphere assignment calls on students to identify online sources of information they regularly take in and to create a representative structure for this information. Students must build their own unique infospheres and organize them as they see fit.

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.

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