Faculty Course Description
RHW 102: Rhetoric and Writing
Dr. Christopher Diller
Office: Evans 233
Office phone: (706) 238-5877
RHW 102 Syllabus Fall 2013
First Year Seminar in Writing 4-0-4 This course is organized around a common theme chosen by the English faculty, and is designed to engage students in the thinking-into-writing model of writing. To prepare students for the diverse modes of critical research and inquiry prevalent in an academic community, course readings and writing assignments introduce students to writing conventions of various expository forms and genres. The course will also address the rhetorical concepts of persona, ethos, pathos, argument structure, counter-argument, and logical fallacy. Students enrolled in this class are expected to meet with their Instructors outside of class time. This course is required for all first-year and transfer students with fewer than 30 credits, and all transfer students who have not earned transfer credit for a comparable course. Students are expected to enroll in this course by their second term at Berry. A grade of C- or better is required to pass out of this course. Matriculated Berry students may not transfer in credit from another institution for this course.
The purpose of the course is to prepare students to become knowing and productive participants in academic, cultural, or civic discourse. Students will learn to use multiple and sustained modes of critical inquiry to build arguable perspectives within particular cultural contexts and conversations. These modes might include writing to learn, report, review, criticize, clarify, convince, persuade, or negotiate. In addition, students will be coached in the rhetorical concepts of persona, ethos & pathos, argument structure, counterargument and logical fallacy. By the end of the course, students will be able to summarize, evaluate, and synthesize multiple sources in order develop a critical perspective and advance a thesis of their own. Students will also receive guidance in the evaluation and appropriate documentation of print and non-print sources (e.g., online databases, world wide web, film, photography, television, etc.).
Student Learning Outcome
By the conclusion of the term, students will:
1. be able to write accurate and comprehensive summaries of complex readings on a course theme;
2. be able to define, evaluate and synthesize diverse perspectives on a course theme in at least two genres or modes of written inquiry;
3. develop paragraphs written in different modes or styles, which may include description, process analysis, comparison/contrast, synthesis, evaluation, analysis, observation, persuasion;
4. be able to use secondary research as support and counterargument as well as to provide a critical context for their own perspectives (note: this class fulfills the College’s requirement in information literacy);
5. be able to evaluate sources—including web-based and other non-print sources—for degrees of credibility, bias and rhetorical effectiveness;
6. have advanced their capabilities as successful writers of analytical/argumentative essays.
Methods of Instruction
Readings and discussion and application of readings, observation and discovery writing, drafting and revision of formal assignments, peer review, short lecture and individual conferences.