How I teach rhetorical analysis in first-year writing

After the jump you’ll find several links to materials I use for teaching rhetorical analysis as well as explanations of how we go through these different steps. I’m not going to argue that the way I do it is perfect, and I’d be glad to get your feedback if you have some suggestions for improvement.

It takes about 3 or 4 weeks to get from start (introducing the concepts) to finish (gathering up all of the completed essays). Roughly speaking, this is how things happened this semester, when I’m teaching a TTh schedule; if I were to do this in a MWF schedule, I would break things down differently.

If any of the links don’t work, please let me know. You’re free to use any or all of this material, if you choose to.

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Request for feedback: Development of the Graphic Novel


This semester, I’m working on a proposal for a new course: “Development of the Graphic Novel.” It’s a variation of one of our existing genre courses called “Development of the Novel,” which I’ve taught once here and twice at another school. If it’s approved, I probably won’t be teaching this new course for at least another year, which gives me a good chunk of time to prepare.


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composition / pedagogy / disability

A somewhat general request: I need pointers to extant scholarship on composition pedagogy for vision- and hearing-impaired students. And if that scholarship takes a historical view as far back as the nineteenth or eighteenth century, I would be especially interested.

Some (hopefully not confusing) background to my question:

  1. The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) is quite literally right down the road from my house. Spartanburg, SC is a small enough town that I happen to be friends with the former director of that school, Sheila Breitweiser, and have had an informal conversation with her over coffee about writing and disability, which fueled my curiosity and enthusiasm.
  2. The archives of the SCSDB go back to the mid nineteenth century, and I’d like to embark on a scholarly project using those archives.
  3. The results of that project could be some combination of the following:
    1. a historically-grounded article on the development of composition pedagogy for such students;
    2. a digital archive of the materials currently housed in that analog archive (and perhaps contributed to the state-wide project);
    3. a “best-practices” framework for creating digital archives with the needs of vision-impaired users in mind.
  4. My initial interest in these issues was sparked while in graduate school, when I worked with Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (and several others, while she was a fellow at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities) on developing “DISC: A Disability Studies Academic Community”
  5. I’m fairly new to the fields of composition and disability studies.
  6. My background is in orality/literacy studies and eighteenth-century studies, and I see this as a logical extension of that background as well as my digital humanities training.

Any advice or feedback would be much appreciated!