Cloud – E305 F16 – 1
E305: P RINCIPLES OF W RITING AND R HETORIC
Meeting Times: Tue/Thu 9:30AM-10:45AM in Military Sciences 115
Instructor: Dr. Doug Cloud
Office: Eddy 355
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Mon/Wed/Thu 2:00PM-3:00PM and by appointment.
C OURSE D ESCRIPTION
What is rhetoric? How has our understanding of rhetoric and writing changed over time?
What does rhetoric do? Does rhetoric reflect or create reality? What role does rhetoric play
in relations of power? How does rhetoric shape (and get shaped by) identities? Why do the
answers to these questions matter, for your roles as professionals, citizens and humans?
This course, a humanities-based exploration of central principles of writing and other forms
of rhetoric, attempts to address these and other vital questions in the scholarship on
rhetorical theory. Intended as a core course for students in the English department's Writing,
Rhetoric and Literacy Concentration, this class provides an introduction to critical concepts,
theories and moments in writing and rhetoric. The course considers major theorists of
written language, explores competing perspectives on a variety of rhetorical issues (e.g.,
ethos, pathos, power, identity, style, etc.), and discusses various approaches to rhetorical
analysis of cultural artifacts.
R EQUIRED T EXTS
Bizzell, Patricia and Bruce Herzberg, eds. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times
to the Present. 2nd Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's P, 2001.
R EQUIRED ESSAYS AND B OOK C HAPTERS (AVAILABLE IN C ANVAS OR RT)
(LISTED IN ORDER OF SCHEDULE )
Plato, excerpts from Phaedrus.
Aristotle, excerpts from On Rhetoric
Cicero, excerpts from De Oratore
Richard Weaver, “The Phaedrus and the Nature of Rhetoric”
Anonymous, Dissoi Logoi
Isocrates, “Against the Sophists”
John Poulakos, “Toward a Sophistic Definition of Rhetoric”
Lloyd Bitzer, “The Rhetorical Situation”
Richard Vatz, “The Myth of the Rhetorical Situation”
Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense”
Norman Fairclough, excerpts from Language and Power
Pierre Bourdieu, excerpts from Language & Symbolic Power
Gloria Anzaldúa, excerpts from Borderlands/La frontera
Michel Foucault, excerpts from Fearless Speech Cloud – E305 F16 – 2
Ida B. Wells, “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, 1892.”
Jaqueline Jones Royster, “To Call a Thing by Its True Name: The Rhetoric of Ida B. Wells”
Quintilian, excerpts from The Orator’s Education
Ruth Amossy, “Ethos at the Crossroads of Disciplines”
S. Michael Halloran, “Aristotle’s Idea of Ethos, or If Not His, Someone Else’s”
Dana Anderson, excerpts from Identity’s Strategy
Mary Bucholtz & Kira Hall, “Identity and Interaction: A Sociocultural Linguistic Approach”
Hugh Blair, “Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres”
George Lakoff & Mark Johnson, excerpts from Metaphors We Live By
Sonja Foss, excerpts from Doing Rhetorical Criticism
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, “Justifying the War in Iraq…”
Doug Cloud, “Communicating Climate Change…”
Adam Smith, excerpts from The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Mark Garrett Longaker & Jeffrey Walker, excerpts from Rhetorical Analysis
George Loewenstein & Jennifer Lerner, “The Role of Affect in Decision-Making”
Kenneth Burke, excerpts from A Grammar of Motives
J.L. Austin, excerpts from How to Do Things with Words
Walter Ong, “Writing Restructures Consciousness”
Malea Powell, “Rhetorics of Survivance”
There will be other short readings assigned in class.
C OURSE G OALS &O BJECTIVES
Be able to identify, describe and apply critical concepts from theories of writing and rhetoric.
• Objective 1: Students will read and discuss some major theories from the Western rhetorical
tradition over the last 2500 years (class readings, class discussions).
• Objective 2: Students will identify important aspects selected readings and discuss them with
one another (class discussion leadership).
• Objective 3: Students will trace critical concepts across different authors and time periods
(class discussions, primary source précis, manifestos)
• Objective 4: Students will complete an end-of-semester assessment to measure their overall
understanding of critical concepts in theories of writing and rhetoric (comprehensive final
Be able to use rhetorical theory to understand the socio-cultural context surrounding the
language practices in your own lives (i.e. become “professional observers of things”).
• Objective 5: Students will use the theories covered in this class to undertake an analysis of a
cultural artifact that 1) circulates widely, 2) has influence on their daily lives or the life of
someone they care about and 3) they identify as important (analysis of a cultural artifact). Cloud – E305 F16 – 3
C OURSE P OLICIES
Academic Integrity and Coursework Expectations
The course will adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University General
Catalog and the Student Conduct Code. I take academic misconduct—and especially plagiarism—
very seriously. A general definition of plagiarism at CSU can be found at writing.colostate.edu/guides
under “Documenting Sources.” Confirmed incidences of plagiarism or any other form of academic
misconduct will result in a failing grade on the assignment and, depending on severity, may result in
automatic failure of the course. If you are confused about whether something constitutes academic
misconduct, remember that you can always ask me. Remember also that the Writing Center at CSU is
an invaluable resource for avoiding plagiarism, and addressing the panic that sometimes drives good
students to engage in academic misconduct. The value of your education at CSU depends on the
integrity of our academic culture. Note that students should expect to do around two hours of
outside work for each contact hour.
Since this course depends on your participation in class, attendance is required. Absences will be
excused for university-sanctioned events only, and appropriate documentation must be provided in
advance. You are also allowed three unexcused absences without penalty. You do not need to
provide documentation or an excuse, though I do encourage you to plan ahead whenever possible.
Do not use your allotted absences in a cavalier manner. Once they are gone, they are gone. Any
absences beyond your third will lower your participation grade by five points per absence. Excessive
tardiness will also impact your participation grade (see below).
If you miss a class meeting, you are responsible for contacting your peers for materials
and information you’ve missed.
A note on tardiness:
Everyone is late from time to time, but arriving even one minute after the start of class can be
disruptive to your classmates and may cause you to miss important information. I reserve the right to
count late arrivals (after the start of class but within the first ten minutes) as ½ absences. If you arrive
more than ten minutes after the start of class, you will be counted as absent for the day.
Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due at the beginning of class. My policy is not to accept
late work unless accommodations have been made more than 24 hours in advance. If you come up
to me in class and tell me that your printer exploded or that some sort of animal consumed your
assignment, I might decide to bend my policy and accept your work. However, there will be a penalty,
and it will be arbitrary and capricious. I urge you to always print your work the night before.
Remember that if you are having any sort of difficulty—and you contact me in advance of a due
date—I will do my very best to help you succeed.
Electronic Submission of Assignments
I do not accept emailed assignments. Do not email me your assignment unless I have given you
permission to do so. Sending me an assignment via email is not the same as turning it in. When
electronic submission is required, a submission portal will be available on Canvas. Cloud – E305 F16 – 4
Cellphones, Tablets, Laptops, and Other Related Technologies
How students interact with portable technology devices can very much affect the dynamics of the
classroom. Therefore, I expect you to silence your cell phone before coming to class. There is to be
no text messaging during class. All laptops and tablets should be closed unless you have made prior
arrangements with me. Please bring hard copies of class readings on the day they are due.
Using Recording Equipment in Class
If you need to record classroom activities, see me first. You may be able to do so for personal use.
However, you may not further copy, distribute, publish or otherwise use for any other purpose
without my express written consent.
If you have a conflict between a religious observance and a class meeting or graded assignment,
please contact me well in advance so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
If you have learning needs or other conditions that require accommodations for you to succeed in
the course, contact the Office of Resources for Disabled Students. We can arrange to accommodate
your needs based on their recommendations. Please notify me at the semester’s beginning of your
learning needs—I cannot help you if you wait until the end of the semester to seek out support.
An Additional Note on Title IX Compliance
Recently the English Department recommended that faculty increase the visibility of our policies on
Title IX reporting and student resources. I am happy to share them here and encourage you to talk
with me about any experiences that I might be able to help you find resources for. Here is the official
language that CSU has adopted:
CSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence,
Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation policy designates faculty and employees of the University
as “Responsible Employees.” This designation is consistent with federal law and guidance, and
requires faculty to report information regarding students who may have experienced any form of
sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or retaliation. This includes
information shared with faculty in person, electronic communications or in class assignments. As
“Responsible Employees,” faculty may refer students to campus resources (see below), together with
informing the Office of Support and Safety Assessment to help ensure student safety and welfare.
Information regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and
retaliation is treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible while also ensuring student
and campus safety.
Any student who may be the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence,
stalking or retaliation is encouraged to report to CSU through one or more of the following
• Emergency Response 911
• Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Office of Support and Safety Assessment (970) 491-1350
• Colorado State University Police Department (non-emergency) (970) 491-6425
For counseling support and assistance, please see the CSU Health Network, which includes a variety
of counseling services that can be accessed at: http://www.health.colostate.edu/. The Sexual Assault
Victim Assistance Team is a confidential student resource that does not have a reporting requirement
and that can be of great help to students who have experienced sexual assault:
http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/need-help-support. Cloud – E305 F16 – 5
M AJOR A SSIGNMENTS
(Please note that ALL major assignments must be completed to earn a passing grade in this
Assignments #1 and #2: Primary Source Précis
For each précis, you will choose a primary reading (a list will be provided in the detailed
assignment description) and write a critical summary about a concept, term or problem
addressed in the reading. Many of our class encounters with primary texts (e.g. Aristotle’s On
Rhetoric or Plato’s Phaedrus) will be in truncated form. However, the précis assignments asks
you to go back, read the full text (or a large portion of it) and carefully pull out a concept,
term or problem. Your job in the précis assignments is not to summarize but rather to
critically summarize—to explain the author(s)’ treatment of the concept term or problem
AND point out difficulties or inconsistencies in the text and explore possible interpretations
that may address them. For example, you might show that Aristotle defines ethos in slightly
different ways in On Rhetoric, or that he blends ethos and pathos together. You could then
explore why such multiple ways of understanding ethos are important, or why is it
problematic to conflate ethos/pathos (or why we should understand them as intertwined). We
will discuss this assignment in depth as it approaches.
Assignment #3: Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact
You will analyze a cultural artifact of your choosing in a 7-8 page research paper that uses
some of the terms and concepts we have explored this semester. Your artifact could be a
text, transcript, film or almost anything that circulates widely and can be described
linguistically. However, your focus will be on describing how the artifact argues something, a
criterion we will discuss in class.
Assignment #4: Final Exam
A take-home essay exam, composed of three to four essay questions, which you will have 48
hours to complete. This exam will be due in hard copy at the beginning of finals week.
At two points during the semester, I will ask you to write a short manifesto in response to a
question or series of questions (see day-by-day schedule for the topics). This assignment asks
you to “weigh in” in an informed way to our ongoing discussions about issues such as the
relationship between rhetoric and identity. Your manifestos will be posted to Canvas and
you will also be asked to respond to at least two of your classmates’ manifestos. Cloud – E305 F16 – 6
Participation Work (class discussion work and short assignments)
In almost every class discussion, we will undertake some kind of analysis or activity designed
to help us use what we have read for the day. Many of these activities will be small group
work, some will be individual work, and a few will require out-of-class work (e.g. finding
examples of certain kinds of rhetoric). These will be collected and will form the bulk of your
participation grade. Note that excessive absences or tardiness can override your
participation grade (see attendance and lateness policies above, grade breakdown below).
Final Reflection and Discovery Memo
During the last week of the semester, you’ll write a short (2-3 pages) memo reflecting on
your experience this semester. The memo will comment on the most significant things you
have learned, thought about, or see as changes in your thinking. Please hand in your memo
at the beginning of our final class period.
G RADE B REAKDOWN :
Possible Points Your Score
A1: Primary Source Précis 10
A2: Primary Source Précis 10
A3: Rhetorical Analysis of a Cultural Artifact 25
A4: Comprehensive Final Exam