Writing II: Rhetorical Composing

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Course Date: 15 September 2014 to 24 November 2014 (10 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Rhetorical Composing engages you in a series of interactive reading, research, and composing activities along with assignments designed to help you become more effective consumers and producers of alphabetic, visual and multimodal texts. Join us to become more effective writers... and better citizens.

Estimated Workload: 6-10 hours/week

Course Instructors

Susan Delagrange

Susan's research and teaching take place at the intersection of digital media studies with visual and feminist rhetorics. Her digital book project on embodied rhetoric and the visual canon of arrangement, Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World, was recently published by Computers & Composition Digital Press, an imprint of Utah State University Press. Her current project focuses on developing a “pedagogy of place” that involves primarily first-generation college students as researchers in and of their urban environment.

Scott DeWitt

Scott Lloyd DeWitt, Associate Professor of English and Vice Chair of Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy, teaches and conducts research on digital media and writing studies and is an award wining teacher and author.   His book, Writing Inventions: Identites, Technologies, Pedagogies (SUNY 2002), offers instructional stories, histories, and classroom applications and connects the theoretical aspirations of the field with the craft of innovative technology-enhanced composition instruction.  His most recently published project is Stories That Speak To Us:  Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (with H. Louis Ulman and Cynthia Selfe).  He is also writing a new book, The Optimistic Turn: Authentic Contexts for Peer Review in the Composition Instruction.

Kay Halasek

Kay Halasek is an associate professor of English at the Ohio State University, where she also directs the second-year writing program. A composition specialist, Kay undergraduate courses in writing, persuasion, and the rhetoric of social movements and graduate courses in composition studies.

 Author of A Brief Guide to Basic Writing, Writing Lives, and A Pedagogy of Possibility: Bakhtinian Perspectives on Composition Studies, Kay has also published articles in such venues as College English, Written Communication, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, The Journal of General Education, and Computers and Composition.

Ben McCorkle

Ben McCorkle is an associate professor of English at the Ohio State University at Marion, where he teaches courses on composition, the history and theory of rhetoric, and digital media production. He is the author of the book Rhetorical Delivery as Technological Discourse: A Cross-Historical Study, published by Southern Illinois University Press. He has also published essays in various journals and edited collections, including Computers and Composition Online, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Composition Studies.

Cynthia Selfe

Cynthia Selfe is a Humanities Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU), where she coordinates the Visiting Scholars in Digital Media and Composition program at OSU. Selfe is the first woman and the first English teacher ever to receive the EDUCOM Medal for innovative computer use in higher education. She has authored or edited a number of works on digital technology, both alone and in collaboration with colleagues. Along with Scott DeWitt, she is the Director of OSU's annual Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) summer institute.

Course Description

Rhetorical Composing is a course where writers exchange words, ideas, talents, and support. You will be introduced to a variety of rhetorical concepts—that is, ideas and techniques to inform and persuade audiences—that will help you become a more effective consumer and producer of written, visual, and multimodal texts. The class includes short videos, demonstrations, and activities.

We envision Rhetorical Composing as a learning community that includes both those enrolled in this course and the instructors. We bring our expertise in writing, rhetoric and course design, and we have designed the assignments and course infrastructure to help you share your experiences as writers, students, and professionals with each other and with us. These collaborations are facilitated through WEx, The Writers Exchange, a place where you will exchange your work and feedback


Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
Yes, individuals who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate of accomplishment signed by the instructors. You may earn a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Achievement. 

Other than an Internet connection, what resources will I need for this class?

No additional resources are required for Rhetorical Composing. A free textbook will be provided!

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?
The “coolest thing” is not what you’ll learn in this course; it’s what you’ll do with what you’ll learn. You’ll learn how to use rhetoric to your advantage as a writer and to recognize how rhetoric is used by others. 


Thinking Rhetorically: Introducing Ourselves, Introducing Rhetoric
Responding Rhetorically: The Writers Exchange (WEx) and Peer Review
Arguing Rhetorically: Analyzing as a Means of Framing Argument
Seeing Rhetorically: Analyzing and Composing (with) Images
Researching Rhetorically: Composing with Sources in Evidence-based Texts
Reflecting Rhetorically: Reflecting on, Reviewing, and Publishing Your Work 


Rhetorical Composing emphasizes active participation in the composing, editing, and assessment activities in WEx, The Writers’ Exchange.  

After online training, you’ll participate in a peer review process in which you create substantive feedback about other’s writing using sets of defined criteria.

We have created and collected a range of rich resources to support this class: short videos, demonstrations, readings, and activities.

You will have many opportunities to interact with each other through discussion boards, WEx, and social networking technologies.

Suggested Reading

No advanced reading is required for Rhetorical Composing.

Course Workload

6-10 hours/week

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