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Liberal studies 7001:

critical reading and writing

weekly guide

  1. reading assignments

  2. exercise assignments

  3. discussion questions

  4. additional readings

On-Campus Class

Instructor: Dr. Stephen A. Ogden

LIBS 7001, Week 2: Audience, Voice, Genre, PURPOSE
NOTE: for all classes, please complete the reading and consider the discussion questions prior to each class. As stated in Strategies for Successful Writing, "Consider reading as a kind of conversation with the text" (Reinking 21). Give yourself enough time to have a good conversation.
A. rhetorical concepts

  • Strategies Text: Read Chapters 1-3 & 4-5 on essay planning, drafting and reading.

  • "Concepts of Rhetoric:" Read the article by Henry Jankiewicz in the Course Reader for essential background to the course. We'll discuss aspects of this article in class.

B. readings for analysis and discussion

  • From your Course Reader, read Harvey Pekar, "A Hypothetical Quandary". Pekar, the subject of a recent movie, “American Splendor,” has documented his ‘ordinary’ life in Cleveland, USA, in a series of humorous graphic books.

  • Read the following short texts:

  • "Millenials and the World of Work" by Alec Levenson, Course Reader

  •  "Tuition Isn't Putting it Out of Reach" by Ross Finnie and Richard Mueller, Course Reader

  • "Beth's Finest Hour" by Elizabeth Ferguson, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • Edward Tufte's "Power Corrupts; PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely" discusses how the medium shapes the message received by an audience.

Discussion questions:
The purpose of reading these short texts is to understand how every text, every piece of writing, has its own distinct audience, purpose, genre and voice/tone. Answer the following questions and be prepared to discuss your answers in class:

  1. Who is the audience(s) for each text? How can you tell? Remember that texts can have more than one audience.

  2. What's the text's purpose?

  3. How would you describe the voice / tone of each text?

  4. Is any bias evident in the text? How do you know?

In your view, is the particular text effective for its audience?  why or why not?

LIBS 7001, Week 3: ARrangement
A. rhetorical concepts

  • Weekly Guide: please read, for background (and note down any questions you have), the attached notes on arrangement.

  • Read SSW, Ch. 4, pp. 62-75 (organization)

  • Read "Organization and Genre" by M. Elizabeth Sargent and Cornelia C. Paraskevas, in the Course Reader.

  • Before submitting your first essay, review SSW, Chs. 1, 3, 4, 5, (document planning, drafting, revising); Ch. 17, pp. 465-490, emphasizing the ff. sections: "Handling In-Text Citations," 480 ff.; Handling Quotations," 485 ff., and esp. 488-90, "Avoiding Plagiarism." It's assumed that you've already learned this information in pre-requisites for this course.

B. readings for analysis and discussion

  • "The Cult of Busyness" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Course Reader

  • "The Grand Strategy of Humanitarianism" by Michael Barnett and Jack SnyderCourse Reader

  • "Pandora's Click" by Janet Malcolm, Course Reader

  • "Simple Recipes" by Madeleine Thien, Course Reader,

Discussion Questions: Please read these texts, and also be prepared to discuss your response to these questions:

  1. What’s the audience and purpose of each text?

  2. Is there a thesis (central/main idea)? Where is it located?

  3. How is the text arranged or organized? How does it

  • begin?

  • use transitions to guide you from one part to the next?

  • conclude -- with a bang or a whimper?

  1. What is the genre of each text? (try to be more specific than "newspaper article" and use, for example, the criteria of the "rhetorical situation," the communicative model or the criteria of the subject, formal characteristics or purpose (Sergenat & Paraskevas 291-293).

The Importance of Arrangement:

Perspectives from Various Sources 1

[E]very discourse, like a living creature, should be so put together that it has its own body and lacks neither head nor feet, middle nor extremities, all composed in such a way that they suit both each other and the whole. - Socrates (4th c. BC)

Arrangement in Classical Rhetoric

Arrangement is the second of the five traditional “canons” (principles) of rhetoric:

  1. invention: finding & developing a topic

  2. arrangement

  3. style

  4. memory [critical in spoken discourse]

  5. delivery.

Arrangement, also called "disposition" or "order of ideas”, is the art of ordering the material in a text in a way that most appropriately and smoothly delivers the intended information. Note that arrangement is one of the most important canons of rhetoric: comes second after invention. Two aspects of arrangement: are the overall text -- the big picture, from Introduction to Conclusion and the parts within a text -- the “middle” sections or paragraphs; beginning, ending, transitions

Arranging the whole text

Specific purposes, genres, and disciplines may have their own specific ways of arranging and presenting information. General principles of arrangement developed by classical rhetoricians are equivalent to points on a continuum, ranging from organic (an arrangement specific to the particular text) to taxonomic (an arrangement considered universal for all texts).

Organic Arrangement

  • idiosyncratic; within and determined by an individual text or topic

  • some common, durable elements (the order of these can vary):

  • capture the audience's attention

  • provide necessary background information

  • state and prove the text's thesis or central idea

  • anticipate and address possible countertheses

  • conclude w/appeal to the audience's emotions

Taxonomic Arrangement

  • from classical/medieval/renaissance rhetoric: asserts that a general organization applies to all topics and arguments; a sequential method of organizing parts of a speech / text

  • Cicero (Roman statesman, 106-43 BCE) identified a seven-part sequence:

1. entrance, or introduction of the subject

2. narration, background to the topic

3. proposition, the central idea or thesis

4. division, or brief list of the points the speaker will demonstrate

5. confirmation: body of proof for the points

6. confutation, or rebuttal

7. conclusion, summation of proofs

Arrangement Within a Text

  • The method of arrangement you choose both for the text as a whole and for sections within the text will be determined by your topic, audience, or both.

  • A paragraph or text (in the “middle”) may combine two or more of methods of arrangement.

Some Arrangement Methods and When to Use Them 2

Arrangement Method

When to Use /


chronological - as events unfold in time

"step-by-step" - describing a process: teaching someone how to parallel park

spatial - details given as the eye sees them

describing a scene, moving from one part of what's seen to the next (films)

from easy to most difficult

describing a progressively complex series of skills: serving a tennis ball

from the least to the most important

building interest and accumulating evidence for a persuasive argument

from the least to the most interesting

building interest slowly towards a climax or revelation

from the general to the specific

from "big picture" to example: e.g., from theory of combustion to details of the process

from the specific to the general

from example of an effect (a plate falling off a table) to a general principle (theory of gravity), or definition

Beginnings, Middles, Transitions, Endings 3

Every speaker, writer, and reader understands and expects a beginning, an organized middle, clear transitions, and an end. Each have specific roles to play within a text. In visual documents (e.g., advertising, or contemporary magazine layout) beginnings, middles, endings are sometimes hard to discern; this task is easier for texts.

Part of the text:

Function in the overall text:


  • captures reader attention

  • builds reader expectations

  • states the purpose of the text

  • indicates the author's point of view

  • briefly suggests how the author will develop his/her ideas

Body / Middle

(longest part)

  • develops ideas

  • sustains the reader's interest


  • connects ideas and details

  • facilitates changes of subject or course of discussion


  • ties up loose ends

  • may (re)state the thesis

  • may refer back to the opening idea, or add an extra idea, based on the discussion

Beginnings and Endings to Avoid in your writing 4

Beginnings to avoid

  • "I think," "I feel," "In my opinion," "In my judgment" as an opening

The audience assumes that the feelings, thoughts, opinions, judgments are yours

  • Mechanically announcing the topic: e.g., "My essay is about…" or "In this essay I am going to discuss…"

The audience is unlikely to want to read further.

  • The opening that merely sums up the topic sentences of the essay.

Avoid being dull and predictable in your essay opening

Endings to avoid

  • An ending that repeats the opening almost word for word

You can refer back to the beginning, but you should do so "with a twist," using different words, and adding something extra.

  • "In conclusion…", "Last but not least…", "Therefore, these are the reasons why I believe…"

This leaves the reader feeling that the writer, "like a surly shop clerk who, having put in a minimum stay behind the counter, has decided to close up shop & go home".

  • "I think", "I feel", "in my opinion…” as a closing

You can use “I” in the essay, judiciously, and express your thoughts & feelings, but avoid the above phrases.

Transitional Words and Phrases 5
Transitions help move the reader smoothly from one section of your text to the next; transitional words and phrases knit together the parts of your text. Many types of transitions can be used, depending upon your purpose.

Transition Type

Words to use:


however, nevertheless, nonetheless

Illustration / explanation

for example, so, thus


similarly, in the same way, by comparison


by contrast, on the one hand, on the other hand


thus, as a result, consequently, therefore


admittedly, nevertheless, however


moreover, furthermore, also, in addition, indeed


to sum up, in conclusion, all in all, finally

LIBS 7001, Week 4: definition and classification

A. Rhetorical concepts:

  • SSW, Ch. 11 (Definition), pp. 226-234; "Critical Edge," pp. 237-238

  • SSW, Ch. 13 (Classification), pp. 276-282; "Critical Edge," pp. 285-86

  • Kent Lewis, "Definition," in the Course Reader

  1. readings for analysis and discussion

  • " The Critical Edge, pages 287 and 240, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • "Loyalty: A Last Virtue; Me-First Attitude Is Stripping Away Our Sense of Community" by Bob Harvey, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • "The Sweet Bird of Youth Is Showing Signs of Age" by Andrew Beyak, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • "Laying out the Bare Bones of Genocide" by Alan Whitehorn, Course Reader

Discussion Questions: After reading the Moore and Whitehorn texts, be prepared to apply rhetorical concepts to these essays by discussing in class your response to these questions:

  1. What are the purpose, audience, and tone of each article?

  2. Where and how is definition used in each article, and what types of definition are used?

  3. What methods (e.g. description, comparison) does each author use to develop his definition?

  4. Did you find each author's use of definition and classification effective? Why or why not?

    • Read "In Praise of the Illiterate" by Hans Magnus Enzenberger, in the Course Reader. Be prepared to discuss in class your answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the purpose, audience, and tone of the Enzenberger's speech?

  2. What point is Enzenberger making about classification and definition?

  3. How are people affected by the way they are defined or classified, and the way they define and classify others?

  4. Did you find Enzenberger’s thesis effective? Why or why not?

LIBS 7001, Week 5: Description and narration

A. Rhetorical Concepts: Read Chapter 7 (Narration and Description) in Strategies. Familiarize yourself with the basic terms and techniques:

Sensory impressions Actor

Dominant impression Conflict

Vantage point Point of view

Selection of details Key events


B. readings for analysis and discussion

  • The Critical Edge, page 147, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • "The Appeal of the Androgynous Man", page 25,Strategies for Successful Writing

  • Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan, Online

  • "Hypothetical Quandary" by Harvey Pekar, Course Reader

  • "My Life with Riley" by Daniel Francis, Strategies for Successful Writing

  • "The Heatherwick Effect" by Paul Goldberg, Course Reader

Below are the discussion questions for these essays.

  • For each essay, answer the following questions:

  1. What is the author's purpose?

  2. Where & how (if at all) does the author use narration techniques such as

  • sensory impressions

  • selection of details

  • key events

  • conflict

  • point of view

  • dialogue?

  • Narration often produces a personal, "gut" reader response. Analyze your own response to these essays critically:

  1. What exactly was your response?

  2. What factors (e.g.: your experiences, knowledge, the author's story, narrative techniques) might have combined to produce your response?

libs 7001, WEek 6: Comparison and contrast

A. Rhetorical Concepts:

  • Read Chapter 12 (Comparison) in Strategies. Be familiar with the basic comparison-contrast process and techniques.

  • Read the parts "Fictional Example"  and "Analogy" in “Logical Proof: Reasoning in Rhetoric,” by Sharon Crowley (pg.176-181)

B. readings for analysis and discussion
Read Game Theories,” by Clive Thompson. "Immigrants, Multiculturalism and Canadian Citizenship" by Will Kymlicka, Strategies for Successful Writing, "Falling in Place" by Eugene McNamara, Course Reader

  • Study the text and visuals of "Songs of Innocence and Experience" by William Blake.

William Blake (1757 - 1827) was an English Romantic poet who rebelled against the materialism of English society. Blake was not only a poet but also a visual artist and craftsperson (painter, printmaker, publisher). While some people know the texts of a few Blake poems, fewer have encountered Blake's works as he conceived them -- as a fusion of text and image. The selections in your Course Reader come from Songs of Innocence and Experience, a series of paired poems in which Blake intended to present "the contrary states of the human soul." Songs of Innocence was written/etched in 1789, and in 1794 was combined with other poems/etchings to produce Songs of Innocence and Experience. Blake handcrafted each copy of the Songs, which exist in vibrant colour; fewer than 30 copies of the Songs remain today. Refer to the Blake Archive online to see the colour plates:



  • For the Blake, King and Thompson texts, be prepared to discuss your answers to the following questions:

  1. What is being compared? contrasted? (note: there can be many points of comparison in one "text")

  2. What are the main ideas conveyed by the texts/visuals?

  3. How does the authors’ use of comparison/contrast convey the main idea(s)?

  4. Find examples of Analogy and Fable and explain how they work referring to the distinction between analogy and fable as defined by Crowley (pg. 176-181)

  5. Are the comparisons balanced, fair, and clear? Give evidence for your view.

  6. How do your own background and experience contribute to your assessment of the articles?

LIBS 7001, Week 7: Cause and effect

A. Rhetorical Concepts:

  • Review the attached handout (next page), "Types of Causes"

  • Read Chapter 10 (Cause and Effect) in Strategies.

B. readings for analysis and discussion:

  • Read the following texts:

"Sweet Nothings" (p. 516, Strategies) by Allen Abel.

The Critical Edge, pages 216-217, Strategies for Successful Writing

"The Men We Carry in Our Minds" by Scott Russell Sanders, Strategies for Successful Writing

"On Nation and Race" by Adolf Hitler, Course Reader

  • For each essay, be prepared to discuss your answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the purpose and main idea of each text?

  2. What pattern(s) of causal analysis are used in each text?

  3. Can you find examples of some of the different types of causes explained on the next page?

  4. Are there any reasoning errors in the causal analyses in these texts?

  5. Which text did you enjoy most/least and why? Which use of cause and effect did you find most successful and why?

types of Causes
Causes can be classified by

  1. their power to produce an effect or event

  2. their temporal relationship to the effect or event.

  3. use of Aristotelian categories.

This third classification of causes developed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle is discussed on p. 2 of these notes. For the purposes of textual analysis in LIBS 7001, focus on (1) and (2) only.

(1) Causes classified according to power to produce an effect

  • Necessary Causes are causes that are absolutely essential for the effect to occur. For instance, certain diseases cannot occur without the presence/cause of certain bacteria. For a cause to be necessary, there is no way the effect can occur without the presence of that cause. However, the mere presence of that cause does not "predict" or assure the effect. For example, the presence of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neill playing as members of the LA Lakers NBA basketball team is a necessary cause of the Lakers' winning the league championship series. These players need to be present for the team to win -- but their presence does not assure that the team will always win every game.

  • Sufficient Causes are causes that could produce the effect, but there may be other causes involved. Most occurrences have several sufficient causes, rather than a single necessary cause. Furthermore, sufficient causes can help out necessary causes. For instance, a specific virus may be the necessary cause of a disease, but other health factors (poor nutrition, stress, etc.) act as sufficient causes because they allow that virus to take hold in the body. Whenever an effect or event could have been caused by any one of several factors, those factors are sufficient causes.

  • Contributory Causes: a contributing cause is one which help bring about, but cannot by itself produce, an event; a particular combination of causes might be necessary.

2. Causes classified according to their temporal relationship to the effect or event:

  • Immediate Causes are the causes that directly produced the outcome/effect. An example is the cause of death listed on death certificates (e.g. heart failure, brain failure, asphyxiation, etc.). This is the immediate cause of death, even though many other factors may have contributed.

  • Remote Causes are those more distant factors that eventually produce an effect. To continue with the (rather grim) death certificate example, the immediate cause of death may be heart failure, but remote causes could be smoking, stress, poor eating habits, etc.

  • Causal Chain: each event is the effect of the preceding one and the cause of the following one: e.g., lifelong smoking contributing to lung cancer leading to death.

Remember that a cause can be analyzed using both classifications: For example, you can say that smoking is both a contributory and a remote cause of death for the smoker with lung cancer.

Test your understanding of the differences among these types of causes by taking a short self-scoring online quiz, courtesy of Prof. Lee Archie, History and Philosophy Dept., Lander University, Greenwood, S. Carolina, USA. Use the link provided in this citation:
Lander, A. (October 9, 2001). Philosophy 302: ethics quiz on necessary and sufficient conditions. Retrieved August 22, 2008 from http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/necessary_quiz.html

(3) Aristotle's classification of causes:
For your reference (not for testing or analysis in LIBS 7001), you can be aware of the philosopher Aristotle's classification of types of causes, in the following excerpt from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
The development of potentiality to actuality is one of the most important aspects of Aristotle's philosophy. It was intended to solve the difficulties which earlier thinkers had raised with reference to the beginnings of existence and the relations of the one and many. The actual vs. potential state of things is explained in terms of the causes which act on things. There are four causes:
1. Material cause, or the elements out of which an object is created;

2. Efficient cause, or the means by which it is created;

3. Formal cause, or the expression of what it is;

4. Final cause, or the end for which it is.

Take, for example, a bronze statue. Its material cause is the bronze itself. Its efficient cause is the sculptor, insofar has he forces the bronze into shape. The formal cause is the idea of the completed statue. The final cause is the idea of the statue as it prompts the sculptor to act on the bronze. The final cause tends to be the same as the formal cause, and both of these can be subsumed by the efficient cause. Of the four, it is the formal and final which is the most important, and which most truly gives the explanation of an object. The final end (purpose, or teleology) of a thing is realized in the full perfection of the object itself, not in our conception of it. Final cause is thus internal to the nature of the object itself, and not something we subjectively impose on it. (Feiser & Dowden, 2006, n.p.)

Reference - for (#3) only

Feiser, J. & Dowden, B., (Eds.). (2006). Aristotle (384-322 B.CE): general introduction. In The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved August 22, 2008 from http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/a/aristotl.htm#H4

LIBS 7001, WEEK 8: midterm exam

A. Rhetorical / Research Concepts:


Review the research paper assignment handout. Decide on your proposed, specific research paper topic and, using the form provided, write a few sentences telling me what it is. Include

  • a specific topic

  • your tentative thesis on the topic, which gives your position on the issue you’re discussing (this thesis may change as you research)

  • some sources you will use in researching your topic.

  • Read Chapters 15 and 17 (on research and documentation) in Strategies; Ch. 16 should be read only if you are using interviews, observations or questionnaires as part of your research. Please complete the following two research exercises below (#1 and 2) for submission (word-processed, please) in class this week; this exercise counts as part of your participation mark. The exercises will give you essential practice in correct citation, paraphrasing, and quotation methods, and help you distinguish plagiarism, as well as correct citation of sources in your bibliography. Remember to use Chapters 15 and 17 as your vital reference guide in preparing your persuasive research paper over the next few weeks.

  1. Do the exercises on p. 483, a. through h. You may use either MLA or APA.

  1. Imagine you are writing a research paper on a topic related to the article “Purloined Letters” in your Course Reader. Choose one short passage (3-5 sentences) from "Purloined Letters", and practice using this article in the following three ways. After copying/writing out the short passage you’ve chosen, then do

  • Paraphrase / Acceptable use and Acknowledgement of sources:

Write one sentence that paraphrases/summarizes the passage, completely in your own words, and uses the correct method of in-text citation (choose either MLA or APA) to show where the passage is from.

  • Quotation / Acceptable use and Acknowledgement of sources:

Write one sentence that quotes correctly and exactly from the passage (remember to use quote marks at the start and end of your quote) and uses the correct method of citation to show where the passage is from.

  • Plagiarism / Unacceptable use of sources:

Write a brief paragraph that includes one or two sentences plagiarizing from "Purloined Letters". You can plagiarize by using either an unreferenced quote or an unreferenced paraphrase.
We'll discuss similar examples in class to help clarify the distinction between correct paraphrasing, quotation and citation on the one hand -- and plagiarism on the other.

  • Read Annette T. Rottenberg and Donna Hasty Winchell, "Researching an Argumentative Paper," in the Course Reader.

Use Chapters SSW 15-17 & Rottenberg & Winchell as your vital reference guides in preparing your persuasive research paper over the next few weeks.

  • Read “The Charms of Wikipedia,” by Nicholas Baker, in the Course Reader.

  • "Researching an Argumentative Paper" by Annette T. Rottenberg and Donna Haisty Winchell, Course Reader

  • "The Truth Wears Off" by Jonah Lehrer, Course Reader

LIBS 7001, Week 10: persuasion – developing credibility: ethos

A. Rhetorical / research concepts

  • Read Chapter 14 (Argument and Persuasion) in Strategies pp. 302-329; 334-337.

  • From the Course Reader, read Edward Corbett and Robert Connors, "Discovery of Arguments: The Three Modes of Persuasion: The Ethical Appeal,” pg. 71-77.

  • Read “An Invisible Woman” by Bharti Mukherjee in the Course Reader. As you read, consider the racial ethos that the writer is working to create in light of her class status, and see if any tension exists in the text between the two.
  • Read Jay Conger's “The Necessary Art of Persuasion,” in your Course Reader. For background on Conger, see http://academic.claremontmckenna.edu/faculty/profile.asp?Fac=482. Be prepared to discuss in class your answers to the following questions:

  1. What's the difference between persuasion and "selling"?

  2. What are the essential steps of persuasion as identified by Conger? Give examples of each step, from Conger's discussion, or your own experience

  3. What are the four ways people can fail at persuading?

  4. How does Conger establish credibility in this article? (give two or three techniques he uses)
  5. What aspect of this article surprised or interested you?

B. readingS for analysis and discussion

  • Read “Should Human Cloning Be Permitted?” (Strategies, p 339), “Yes, Human Cloning Should Be Permitted” (Strategies, p 345). Be prepared to discuss in class your answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the purpose and audience for each essay?

  2. How do the authors establish credibility as speakers?  Give examples of the  techniques the authors  use by referring to Corbett's article, where he defines the specific techniques of establishing ethos. Is appeal to ethos lacking in any of the pieces?

  3. Identify the strongest and weakest arguments put forward in the essays.

  4. Were you persuaded by the authors’ arguments? Why or why not?

LIBS 7001, Wk. 11 - Persuasion: Logical Appeals & Fallacies

a. Rhetorical concepts

  • Persuasive Research Paper draft: bring a full draft of your paper to class (not a set of notes or an outline) for peer review – we will exchange drafts to receive input from other classmates. The draft must be complete enough so that classmates, reading your draft, can understand your basic argument: your specific topic and position, organization of ideas, evidence, and acknowledgement/refutation of opposing arguments.

  • From the Course Reader, read

Sharon Crowley, "Logical Proof: Reasoning in Rhetoric"

  • Winifred Horner's "Avoiding Fallacies," paying special attention to the varieties of logical fallacies she describes.

  • The Melian Debate" by Thucydides, Course Reader

  • "Avoiding Fallacies" by Winfred Bryan Horner, Course Reader

  • Selections from The Prince, by Machiavelli, Course Reader

  • Before you begin reading, see background on Machiavelli and The Prince

  • "First Oration Against Catiline" by Cicero, Course Reader

  • Your persuasive research paper will benefit over the next couple of weeks from a review of Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in the Strategies text, as well as Chapter 14, pp. 322-29.

B. readingS for analysis and discussion

  • Read the following texts from the Course Reader.

  • "The things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamed," a selection from Niccolo Machiavelli's famous work, The Prince, which was written in 1514.

As you read, imagine how Machiavelli's principles can be applied to a contemporary setting. For background on Machiavelli, see biography from Bill Uzgalis, Oregon State University's Philosophy 302, History of Western Philosophy: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/machaivelli.html

  • The Melian Debate,” by Thucydides, an Athenian historian famous for his work, the History of the Peloponnesian War. He was probably born in or about 460 B.C. To see more go to

After you determine the audience, purpose and thesis of each text, answer the following questions:

  1. What is each text attempting to persuade its audience to do or think?

  2. What kind(s) of evidence does the author provide? Provide instances of arguing based on Rhetorical and Historical examples as defined by Crowley (pg.171-175).

  3. Where do the authors use logical appeals?  Give examples of deductive and inductive arguments as defined by Crowley (pg.162-171).

  4. What counter-arguments are presented? How does the author refute them?

  5. Does the text contain fallacies? If, so, identify and explain them.

  6. Are you convinced by the arguments? Why or why not?

  7. How can you relate the author's ideas to your own life or to a contemporary context?


A. Rhetorical concepts

  • Finish reading Chapter 14 in Strategies. From your Course Reader, read the chapter from Kane's Oxford Guide to Writing: "Persuasion: Nonrational Modes."

  • Discovery of Arguments: The Three Modes of Persuasion, The Emotional Appeal,” by Edward Corbett, pg. 77-85

  • "An Invisible Woman" by Bharati Mukherjee, Course Reader

  • "An Insatiable Emptiness" by Evelyn Lau, Strategies for Successful Writing

B. readings for analysis and discussion

Be prepared to participate in discussions about the questions listed below.

  1. Identify the audience and context of both texts.

  2. Is there one topic or theme, or more than one theme, in Spencer’s speech?

  3. How do Spencer and Ignatieff establish their credibility? How is Diana’s credibility established?

  4. Can you find evidence of logical arguments?

  5. Give examples of the techniques for arousing an emotional response, such as "by contemplating the object that stirs emotions," "by describing a scene," or by using "emotion-laden words" (Corbett 78-83).

  6. In Spenser's eulogy, define the elements of a typical "encomium" such as "prologue," "announcement of the class of person, "consideration of the person's origins, achievement," etc., as defined by Crowley (pg.186-189). (This reading was assigned for Week 11.)

  7. How effective are these pieces? Did you respond emotionally to them? Why or why not?

LIBS 7001, Wk. 13: Style, Tone, and Figurative Language

A. rhetorical concepts

  • Read Chapter 6 (Diction, Tone and Style) in Strategies.

B. readings for discussion and analysis

  • Read the following essays from your Course Reader:

  • "Phillip's Letter to the Athenians, & the Oration on the Letter", Course Reader

  • "In Praise of Illiteracy" by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Course Reader

  • Selection from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Hebrew Old Testament, Course Reader

  • "To My Old Master" by Jourdan Anderson, Course Reader

  • Answer the following questions about each article and be prepared to discuss your answers in class.

  1. What are the purpose and audience of each text?

  2. What is the purpose of each article? Is the humor effective in achieving that purpose?

  3. Irony is a writing technique in which the writer means the opposite of what his/her actual words say. This technique usually adds humor and emphasis to the writer’s point. Can you find any instances of irony in wither of these articles?

  4. Satire is a writing technique in which the writer makes fun of something, often using exaggeration, in order to teach a lesson or make a point. Can you find any instances of satire in either of these articles?

  5. Can you find any examples of figurative language techniques in either article (see Strategies page 119-122)?

  6. What were your reactions to these articles and the issues they present?

  7. Both articles aim to be funny, but do they have the same tone? What are the differences in tone? Are there changes in tone within any of these articles?

Also, read the brief excerpt from Ecclesiastes in The Bible (Course Reader). The Bible is not only an extremely influential source in reading and writing, it also contains many very rich examples of figurative language. We will look at some examples of metaphor and other figurative language in The Bible.

LIBS 7001, Week 14: combined Persuasive appeals
A. readings for discussion and analysis

  • From the Course Reader, read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," by Martin Luther King, Jr. Please also read the brief biography of King there. Our class discussion of this text will illustrate how persuasive appeals can be effectively combined, and will provide an opportunity for a summary and review of the various techniques of exposition and persuasion we've discussed this term.

Consider the following questions for class discussion:

  1. Who is the audience for the essay? What's the purpose? What's the context in which the letter was written?

  2. How does the author establish credibility?

  3. Identify at least THREE arguments King uses to support his case.

  4. Identify at least THREE techniques of exposition and persuasion used in the letter.

  5. Discuss how King provides evidence (and what kind) to prove his assertions.

  6. Identify emotional appeals used in the text.

  7. Are there any fallacies in the text?

  8. Give your assessment of the overall effectiveness of King's arguments: are you convinced? Why or why not?

  9. How can you relate King's ideas to a contemporary setting or to your own life?

Read the text of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, in Strategies, p 538. Consider how this speech uses writing techniques such as metaphors we've discussed in LIBS 7001. We'll view a video of this speech in class.



Introductory information adapted from: T. Byrd, Georgia Institute of Technology, "Arrangement".

URL: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/gallery/rhetoric/terms/arrangement.html

and J.Sosnoski, University of Illinois, "Terms for Cultural Rhetorics”.

URL: http://www.engl.uic.edu/~sosnoski/cr/TERMS/arrangement.htm. Accessed Oct. 1999.

2 Information in this section is adapted from material by G.Levin, et. al., Prose Models (Toronto: Harcourt Brace Canada, 1997), p. 29.

3 Information in this table is adapted from material in Prose Models, pp. 75-77.

4 Anthony C. Winkler and Jo Ray McKuen: Rhetoric Made Plain, 5th ed. (NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1988), pp. 116-120.

5 Information in this table is adapted from material in Prose Models, p. 77.

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