- Syllabus (PDF)
- Ancient Greek Music
- Gridding and Leading Class Discussion
- Your Grid
- The Rhetorical Tradition
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric
- Grading Criteria (PDF)
- The Big Seven Grammar and Mechanics Guidelines (PDF)
- Punctuation Pattern Sheet (PDF)
- Search CompPile (Technical and Professional Writing Journals and Journals on Rhetoric and Composition)
Unit 1 – Classical Rhetoric
Week 1 :: Project 1 Assignment Sheet
1/14 :: Course intro.; review syllabus and Perseus site; introduction to rhetoric; Project 1
1/16 :: Watch this video, search the Internet and try to answer these question: What is rhetoric? What is kairos? What is areté? What is epistemology? Record the authors of the definitions of the term rhetoric you find. Read the Project 1 assignment sheet and the Greek timeline. Read the following from The Rhetorical Tradition: ”Introduction to Classical Rhetoric” up to “Isocrates and Education in Rhetoric.” Study questions: 1. Who were the sophists? 2. Why were they “scorned” by rhetoricians/philosophers who followed them? 3. What is the difference between rhetoric and philosophy? 4. What is the Greek notion of kairos, and why might it be important to writing?
Make sure to read ahead over weekends when we have a lot to cover
1/21 :: Read EG chapter 1; read the Gridding and Leading a Class Discussion sheet above and download Your Grid above. Try to find out the definitions for nomos and physis. Ancient Greek and Roman speech and music; sign up for leading a class discussion
1/23 :: From RT, read the introduction for Isocrates then read the excerpt from his Antidosis from Isoc. 15 253 “We ought, therefore, to think of the art of discourse…” to Isoc. 15 292 “…in error as to a course of action.” From RT, read “Aspasia and Opportunities for Women,” Aspasia introduction, and Plato’s Menexenus from his Greater Hippias.
Study questions: 1. What are some of the main points Isocrates is trying to make ? 2. How do you think Isocrates defines rhetoric? 3. To Isocrates, is rhetoric (and the study of rhetoric) a good or a bad thing? 4. Who should study and use rhetoric and how should it be used? To win arguments? To work together? 5. What is Aspasia’s message, as told by Plato writing as Socrates, and who is “she” in her speech? 6. How have eulogies changed from ancient times? 7. Why do you think no work from Aspasia survives? 8. How do you feel about her voice be appropriated by a male author, Plato? 9. What do you think about Plato’s opinion of Aspasia? Is it positive? Negative? Both? 10. Though Aspasia is seen as many ways an equal through her rhetorical skill, she still exhibits some ancient Greek values, which today, might be seen as discriminatory. Can you identify some of those values, and why do you think she exhibits them?
1/28 :: Make sure you have material read and questions answered from 1/23 above. Read EG chapter 2 up to page 14, chapter 3 up to page 28, and chapter 4 up to page 50; review Isocrates and Aspasia; begin thinking about what you will do for Project 1. Review MLA, APA, and CMS citation styles from the Purdue OWL
1/30 :: From RT, read the Aristotle introduction then read the excerpt from his On Rhetoric from Aristot. Rh. 1.1 “Rhetoric is a counterpart of Dialectic…” to Aristot. Rh 1.3 “what the three kinds of Rhetoric, deliberative, epideictic, and forensic, are concerned with.” Review the canons of rhetoric, Aristotle’s proofs, induction and deduction, and identifying induction and deduction. Via email, please schedule a meeting during my office hours to discuss your first paper
Study questions: 1. What are some of the main points Aristotle is trying to make? 2. How do you think Aristotle defines rhetoric? 3. To Aristotle, is rhetoric (and the study of rhetoric) a good or a bad thing? 4. Who should study and use rhetoric and how should it be used? To win arguments? To work together? 5. Why do you think Aristotle feels the way he does about rhetoric?
2/4 :: Bring in possible ideas for Project 1; read EG chapter 5; review Aristotle and read the Purdue OWL’s fallacies page, Identifying Fallacies 1, and Identifying Fallacies 2. The Big Seven Grammar and Mechanics guidelines
2/6 :: From RT, read the introduction for Plato and an excerpt from Plato’s Gorgias “To join in a fight or a fray…” Plat. Gorg. 447a to “And I think you are quite right in doing so…” Plat. Gorg. 454c.
Study questions: 1. What is Plato’s definition of rhetoric, and how does he feel about it? 2. What is Plato up to here when he leads his Gorgias (Gorgias was a sophist, and Plato has appropriated his persona) through this dialectic exercise? 3. Why do you think Plato feels this way about rhetoric? 4. Does Plato consider rhetoric to be a good or a bad thing, and why? 5. How does Plato think we should arrive at the truth?
2/11 :: Read EG chapter 6; review Plato
2/13 :: From RT, read the Cicero introduction and the excerpt from his The Orator (select “generated HTML”) from “Which, my Brutus, would be the most difficult talk…” to “…a faulty or a distasteful expression”; review for Reading Test 1. Here are some important ideas from classical rhetoric. Use this handout to help you compare and contrast theories and philosophers.
Study questions: 1. What are Cicero’s main points here? 2. How does he define rhetoric vs. eloquence? 3. Cicero seems to differentiate between rhetoric, eloquence, and philosophy. What are those differences, and why do you think he does this? 4. What are Cicero’s three levels of speaking, and why do you think he separates speech into these categories? 5. How does Cicero say we should adjust our invention to match our audience, and why does he make this suggestion?
Unit Two – Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary Rhetoric
2/18 :: Bring in your Project 1 outline; read the remaining chapter material from EG and chapter 7 and the St. Augustine introduction from RT; review Cicero
2/20 :: Project 1 draft due; read the excerpt from St. Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine, book IV from “This work of mine…” to “But this undoubtedly would not be possible…”
Study questions: 1. How does St. Augustine define rhetoric? 2. How does he define eloquence and is it the same as rhetoric? 3. St. Augustine inherited a rich rhetorical tradition from the Greek and Roman theorists. What elements do you see as the same and where does he differ from earlier theories? 4. What role does St. Augustine intend for eloquence and oratory in our lives? 5. What role does his Christian beliefs play in his approach to rhetoric and eloquence?
Week 7 :: Project 2 Assignment Sheet
2/25 :: Project 1 due; read the Project 2 assignment sheet and Richard Whately introduction from RT; review St. Augustine and review for reading test 1 on 2/27
2/27 :: Reading test 1 on classical rhetoric; read excerpt from Whately’s Elements of Rhetoric pages 15-43
Study questions: 1. How does Whately define rhetoric? 2. Whately’s work followed the Enlightenment and was influenced by the scientific method. How do you think these intellectual and cultural movements affected his work on rhetoric? 4. Why do you think he considers rhetoric an “offshoot of logic”? 3. What did you think of his overview of the history of rhetoric? Anyone missing? Why? 4. How does Whately handle the canons of rhetoric? 5. What do you think Whately would think of Isocrates’s approaches to rhetoric?
Mid-term grades due by 2/28 (S = satisfactory work; U = unsatisfactory work)
3/4 :: Spring break, no class
3/6 :: Spring break, no class
Study questions: 1. Nietzsche really doesn’t address rhetoric per say, but he does deal with language. According to Nietzsche, what is the role of language? 2. What are some main points he is arguing? 3. He resists some foundational “truths” in western thought. What are they? 4. Why do you think he is resisting these ideas? 5. Why do you think he’s come to these conclusions? 6. What are Burke’s main points? How does he handle language? 7. How do you think writers might use his theory of dramatism? 8. What is scene-agent ratio? 9. Some of the earliest works and lessons in rhetoric were poetic (The Iliad, The Odyssey). Why do you think we’ve come full circle with Burke and begun to use dramatism, or a more narrative, approach to language and analysis? 10. Do you think Burke is no to something here, or is he off his rocker? Why?
3/18 :: Bring in your outline for Project 2 and workshop; review Nietzsche and Burke; read Having Your Say chapter 1
3/20 :: Bring in your introductory paragraph for Project 2 and workshop; read the Introduction to Literary Criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, Postmodern criticism, and Feminist criticism, and Gender/Queer studies resources from the Purdue OWL
Study questions: 1. We read in the Sappho introduction that Sappho’s work was marginalized and was “not copied into codex manuscripts in the early Middle Ages perhaps because of Christian distaste for homosexual love.” Yet much of Plato’s work survives and is celebrated by the Western tradition; I’m thinking specifically of Phaedrus here, where Socrates discusses the art of rhetoric and erotic love with a young man. So given this seemingly contradictory reason for why much of Sappho’s work does not survive, why do you think the Western tradition has honored Plato’s work while it stifled Sappho’s? 2. We read overviews of Feminist and Gender/Queer theories last week. In that context, how might Sappho’s “Hymn to Aphrodite” be re-seen as a poem of female love and power? 3. Given Nietzsche’s theories on language (that language is untenable and slippery) and given Burke’s theories on dramatism (analyzing motivations and building knowledge through the pentad in a discursive reality), what role might poetry now play in rhetoric and rhetorical theory?
3/27 :: Read the Hélène Cixous introduction from RT and “A Woman Mistress”
Study questions: 1. What are Cixous and Clément’s main points, and what are they arguing? 2. Why do you think they write this piece as a dialogue? 3. How is it different from the dialogues we read from Plato? 4. Why does Cixous argue for “thousands of different kinds of feminine words… with a great number of subversive discourses in addition that are somewhere else entirely”? 5. Cixous and Clément deal a lot with power and language and mastery, and even wrap that discussion into issues of education and economy. What do you think they are talking about when they discuss mastery, and what does that have to do with women’s issues?
Week 12 :: Project 3 Assignment Sheet
4/1 :: Read the Project 3 assignment sheet, these handouts: Stasis Worksheet, Stasis Theory, and Stasis Methodology. Read chapter 3 from Having Your Say; we’ll discuss chapters 1 and 3 from Having Your Say; review Cixous
Study questions: 1. Much of rhetoric deals with what the ancients called eristic approaches, the zero-sum mentality of rhetoric, but Carl Rogers and Stephen Toulmin offer us alternatives to this approach. What are their alternatives? 2. What advantages and disadvantages do you notice in these two approaches? 3. How do you see stasis theory working with these two methods? 4. Of the rhetoricians we’ve read this term, which theorists work with collaborative ideas? 5. What are some similarities and differences you perceive between Rogers and Toulmin’s approaches and Cixous’ ideas of mastery and power?
Unit Three – Rhetoric in Action
4/8 :: Bring in your rough draft for Project 2; read the negotiation theory handout and search the Internet for other approaches to finding common ground and collaborative knowledge building; review stasis theory, Rogers, and Toulmin
4/10 :: Project 2 due; read Having Your Say chapters 2 and 12
4/15 :: Read Katz’s “The Ethic of Expediency“; bring your synthesis tree, outline, and other draft material for Project 3
4/17 :: Easter break, no class
4/22 :: Reading Test 2; read Having Your Say chapter 9; bring your Project 3 rough draft for workshop 1
4/24 :: Make substantive revisions to your first draft and bring your Project 3 rough draft for workshop 2
5/1 :: Exam Day – Project 3 due on exam day. You will read excerpts of your paper during our exam time. Meet at 9:00 AM in Knott Hall 005. Attendance at your scheduled final exam time is required to pass this class. Please obtain university permission and let me know in advance if you need to reschedule your exam due to exam scheduling conflict.