Class Description

In this course, we will focus our efforts on examining the various components that go into persuading a particular group of people at a particular time to do a particular thing. We will explore how the concept of “persuading particular people to do particular things” is extremely broad—ranging from persuading people what products to purchase to persuading people to hold or reject certain values. We will read, look at, and listen to many texts: articles from newspapers and magazines, junk mail, websites, film, advertisements, television programs, political blogs, photographs, and so on. We will learn several strategies for rhetorical analysis and apply these strategies to a variety of texts. We will also learn ways of employing effective rhetorical strategies in the texts we produce.

Course Objectives

Reading Materials



Students with Disabilities: I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an appointment with a disability counselor.

Academic Honesty: All students are expected to act in accordance with the WSU policies on Academic Honesty found in the Student Handbook. These policies include falsification of information, fabrication of information, plagiarism, multiple submissions, and various others. Information about these policies can be found in the Handbook. These policies will be discussed in class and students will be asked to acknowledge that discussion and a basic understanding of the policies. For additional information on the plagiarism, WSU has a great new site at http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/plagiarism/main.html

Attendance: Because we will be working collaboratively on many assignments, and because learning is a communal effort, your regular attendance is important. Attendance is mandatory during the first 2 weeks of class, after which there is no attendance policy, but participation is 10% of your grade. This grade includes in-class assignments, reading responses, engagement in class discussions, keeping up with readings, turning in assignments on time, participation in group work, and general respect for your peers (paying attention during class presentations, listening when your peers speak, etc.). It will be hard to get any of these points if you are never there. Attendance WILL BE MANDATORY DURING PRESENTATIONS.

Late work: Acceptance of late work is unusual and must be discussed in conference with the teacher. Late work will receive a lowered grade if turned in within one week of the original due date. Work turned in later than one week past the original due date will be given an automatic grade of F.

Technology: It hurts my soul that I even have to say this, but here goes--if you bring a laptop to class please only use it for note taking purposes. IM-ing, checking email, web surfing, etc, are incredibly disrespectful of our time together. Also, no cell phones (thus no texting). If you need to keep it on for any reason, please let me know. I consider college training ground for the workplace, so consider: would you text during a business meeting?

Grading: Final grades will be based on the major assignments as well as participation. The breakdown is as follows: 1) Issue Papers (25%), 2) Rhetorical Criticism Paper (25%), 3) Rhetorical Performance (15%), 4) Final Project (25%), 5) Participation (10%). Participation is based on your level of attentiveness in and preparedness for class, your participation in class discussion, attendance, and your respect for others (do not be a discussion hog--let others talk too!).

A: 94-100 ||| A-: 90-93 ||| B+: 88-89 ||| B: 84-87 ||| B-: 80-83 ||| C+: 78-79 ||| C: 74-77 ||| C-: 70-73 ||| D+: 68-69 ||| D: 60-67 ||| F: 59 and below.


Finding Me

Instructor: Professor Kristin L. Arola
Office Hours: MW 2-3 or by appt
Office: Avery 309
Phone: 335-8742
Email: arola (at) wsu (dot) edu