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Revised Final Assignment due in final form by Noon Fri. Dec. 8

Final Assignment
WRD 320: Rhetoric Between Athens and Jerusalem
Fall 2017

To build and develop scholarly reading comprehension as well as scholarly summarization skills.
To enable students to engage in scholarly research.
To strengthen students’ writing and clarity in written prose.

Worth 20% of your grade.


  • 10/19 Assignment Introduced/Research Session in W.T. Young Library 1-57
  • 10/31 Revised Critical Precis Due
  • 11/16 First Submission Due/Peer Review in Class (bring laptops)
  • 11/30 In class work/writing/study day
  • 12/8  Final Submission Due in hard copy and electronically by Noon (and to Canvas)

Option 1: Annotated Bibliography that Explores a Thematic Issue/Research Question
For this option, you will need to write an annotated bibliography of no less than five scholarly essays/articles or works. The goal is for you to articulate a research question you’re interested in learning more about; i.e., Charney mentions the concept of self-persuasion—I’m interested to know where this concept comes from and how it works rhetorically?  You then identify, read, and critically summarize five essays that explore the question as if you were going to write a research essay to answer the question, only you don’t actually write the research essay. Instead, you write annotations for each of the essays summarizing the articles/essays and explaining how they help you learn about and answer the research question.

Of those five, two may be articles we’ve already read for class; for example since we’ll be spending time working on revisions for the precis to the Charney article, it would be wise (although not required) to include an annotation for her essay as one of your five.

One should be an essay that is cited in one of the essays we read for class. For example, since we spent time analyzing Holdstein’s piece about the “Ironies of Ethos,” you might want to locate and include the original essay by Michael Bernard-Donals to which she was responding.

One should be an essay/article that shows how a concept we’ve been studying (audience, ethos, pathos, logos, Kairos, etc.) is connected to your home discipline.

Each annotation should include a full citation for the essay/scholarly article you’re summarizing in MLA format. It should be 250-300 words long (or about a double-spaced page). So you’ll be turning in a about 1250-1500 words in annotations.

In addition to writing the annotated bibliography, you will write a 3-4 page (750-1000 word) reflective essay that details what you learned from this exercise about how you read scholarly material, how you learn, how you write/revise, and about rhetorical history/theory/practice.


Option 2: Research-based Rhetorical Criticism
Several of you opted to rhetorically analyze the Steve Israel op-ed for your mid-term. This final assignment builds off the momentum you began for that essay, and asks you to follow it up first with some research and then with some analysis.

For this option, you will need to dig deeper to offer your own research-based rhetorical criticism.  You may continue working on the issue of mass shootings and gun control raised by Israel’s piece, you may follow up on the discussions about the #takeaknee controversies we’ve been discussing in class, or explore another contemporary issue that intrigues you (if you go this route, you must get your topic/question pre-approved).  Your goal is to write a research-based rhetorical analysis of a specific element of the controversy.  To successfully complete this assignment, you’ll need to do some research (follow the guideline above for the annotated bibliography, though you won’t be required to submit the annotations and your research question will be defined by the controversy and the stasis at which you’re most interested in exploring (existence, definition, value, cause/consequence, proposal). Your goal is to write a 5-7 page (1250-1750 word) research-based rhetorical analysis, arguing for a specific interpretation of the event.

In addition to writing the analysis, you will write a 3-4 page (750-1000 word) reflective essay that details what you learned from this exercise about how you read scholarly material, how you learn, how you write/revise, and about rhetorical history/theory/practice.