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Major Assignments

Project One: Visual Rhetorical Analysis

This assignment requires students develop proficiency in rhetorical analysis and argument by writing a paper that examines a visual text. The aim of your argument is to support a thesis—using the rhetorical tools of persuasion—concerning how your chosen visual text offers a persuasive argument. Using the assigned readings in Envision in Depth and the models available on Envision Online (the Companion Website), make an argument that persuades readers of your thesis. The form of this assignment is an integrated textual and visual essay that utilizes visual images and the rhetorical elements of composition, presentation, intended audience, and argument. This assignment should include a Works Cited page, formatted according to MLA standards, and be a minimum of 1500 words.


Project Two: Research Proposal

This assignment requires you to shift from rhetorical analysis of one text and author to broader cultural, social, or political issues and multiple modes of authoring. Before doing any research, you should provide justification for why the research is important. Write a detailed proposal that discusses your topic, planned method, and purpose in depth for your Researched Argument (Project Four). Be sure to cover your topic, your hypothesis, your potential sources and problems, and the significance of the proposed project. This assignment should include a preliminary Works Cited page, formatted according to MLA standards, and be a minimum of 250-500 words (determined by instructor).


Project Three: Annotated Bibliography

After identifying potential sources for your Research Argument (Project Four), compile a list of 5 sources into an Annotated Bibliography. List your sources in alphabetical order, provide complete identifying information for each source, and compose a concise annotation for each source. These annotations should include summaries, quotations from your source, and/or supplementary information about the source (how helpful is it, what is the authors ethos and stance, does it provide background information, etc.). Format according to MLA standards.


Project Four: The Researched Argument

This assignment requires students to practice your rhetorical knowledge and develop an extended researched argument using multimodal composition strategies. Write an argumentative essay on a topic that really matters to you. Remember you are writing an argument to a general and diverse audience, so in order to be persuasive and effective it is necessary to support your claims with evidence from a variety of sources. Remember to incorporate possible objections to your argument (i.e., rebuttals to those objections) with a goal of helping to mediate opposing sides of an issue (rather than offer mere opinions). The goal is not to achieve consensus, but to put forth a well-reasoned and well-supported argument that helps your audience move toward understanding, rather than conflict. Your essay should be at least 2000 words and have a Works Cited of at least 10 sources (formatted using MLA guidelines). This project will have a First Draft and a Final Draft.


Project Five: Arguing in Multimedia

This assignment requires students to develop an extended argument using multimodal composition strategies (visual, textual, audio, tactile). Examples of the form your multimodal argument can take are: op-ads, photo-essay, website, remix, collage/montage, video, podcast, mp3 file(s), blog, or other multi-media combinations. It will be important to decide on your topic, create a plan, then organize, and structure your project according to effective argumentative writing and design principles you are learning in this course. The project also requires a Works Cited, or video credits, etc., that documents all sources used. Projects will be evaluated on the overall quality of the argument, the design quality, as well as the creativity and effort needed to produce a final product comparable to a 2000-word traditional essay. [NOTE: This does NOT mean your project needs to include 2000 words, but it should represent an equal amount of work (research, designing, writing). Projects will be presented in class the final week of class (see schedule for due dates) as well as turned in to instructor.


Participation & Weekly Response Writing

Your participation grade involves contributing to our discussions in class, reading quizzes, showing up prepared for class and teacher conferences, and so on. In other words, participation is measurable and represents your commitment to this course. We will keep regular blogs (or frequent response writings) of more informal writing than the five main projects. These posts encourage students to make both the process of writing and the act of critical reflection a habit. You should write a minimum of 300 words for each of the blog posts. Blog posts are due when assigned, not in a cluster of posts at the end of the semester. The point is to write frequently, thoughtfully, and informally about the readings and discussions in this class.