Hey Everyone, my apologies for the lateness of this post but I’ve been battling a fountain of nasal allergies for the past week, so without further ado, here we go:
Rhetorical Genre Analysis Project
I’ve done a themed ENG 1101 course in the past around the theme of “History and Memory,” which I like in some ways because it helps the readings feel organized and all talk with one another. So if I were going to import some of that course into this format, for the Rhetorical Analysis assignment, I would add a genre awareness component. Here’s a step-by-step idea for scaffolding it:
- Students each pick a text or cultural artifact in which a speaker is remembering something. Bring it to class and share.
- Analyze the rhetorical moves and situation that produced this genre with an in-class activity
- Each student then finds 3 more examples of this genre – can be about any topic, not just remembering. Bring those examples in and do a low-stakes writing assignment analyzing the features of this genre through this comparison
- Final “High Stakes” assignment involves writing an essay analyzing the features of this genre, and exploring how the original artifact effectively conveys an act of remembering.
Multi-Genre Inquiry Project
I have this memorial assignment that I’m very attached to, in which students propose a “new memorial” for a person, place, thing, or idea that has not be adequately commemorated in a public space or in American public memory. Students get to work in groups, research memorials that they find effective, research topics that they want to memorialize, and consider how to make an effective argument as to the value of their topic and the message that their memorial should convey.
I would expand on this project to have an additional genre component (which I’m feeling might be great if it’s done individually, since the group is doing the research and the proposal), in which they create a multimodal genre that conveys a persuasive argument about why this person/place/idea deserves to be memorialized. The genre should specifically appeal to an audience who would care about this topic, and be in a relevant form or medium for this audience. For example, an appeal to memorialize a hip-hop star might take the form of a song or a music video or video montage, whereas an appeal to memorialize Stephen Hawking (an actual topic from last fall’s ENG 1101 class) could take the form of an editorial to the scientific community, a web cartoon, or a more visual/schematic type of rhetoric….
That’s where the wheels are turning for me right now!