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Students had the freedom to present their information in a manner of their own choosing. Many wel- comed the opportunity to vent, to express their opinions, and to reflect, revealing a fluidity and intensity in their writing that some lacked in their initial documented sections. The alternative forms of writing encouraged in the second section of the research project allowed some students to become more expressive and more re- flective about their subjects than the traditional research paper had allowed or encouraged. Mastering formalistic concerns in a lengthy paper became secondary to expressing perspectives and learned understandings about research topics. The flexible na- ture of the assignment encouraged students to discuss their sub- jects in ways not always accessible in traditional research papers. WRITING ASSIGNMENTS Elbow, Peter, and Pat Belanoff. Urbana, IL: National Council of essay editing tips Teachers of English.
First published in College Composition and Communication 33 (1982): 148-56.
From this location, Wright State offers higher educa- tion to approximately seventeen thousand students from prima- rily rural history essay writing service and suburban areas in the surrounding four counties of southwestern Ohio. Until recently, these students were almost entirely from white, working-class backgrounds, and most of them worked more than part-time hours to pay for their education. But with the academic and research successes of the university over the past five to ten years, this population has shifted, and now between 30 and 40 percent of students live on or near cam- pus. So while the majority of our students still work outside of school, we cannot so easily assume they share common patterns of experience with regard to social class and family background. Even with these recent demographic changes, our students hold a practical worldview of their education and future work. Among our English majors, the students concentrating on sec- ondary education in particular maintain this perspective toward their classes. My department and I will you write my paper for me did not intend this quarter-length course to be 159 - 129 - WRITING ASSIGNMENTS a watered-down version of a graduate course, a class on argu- mentation, or a historical survey, which was already available in the communications department. Nor could I develop the course around rhetorical issues of the corporate workplace, as some undergraduate rhetoric courses have done. So with audience and pur- pose in mind, I designed Rhetoric: Language, Power, and Persua- sion, a course whose main goal is to develop critical rhetorical awareness. Through their projects and analyses of readings, stu- dents ask how different forms of oral and written language inter- sect with power relations and acts of persuading others in specific social contexts that will be common in their future lives, particu- larly in the setting of the public classroom. Over the term, the projects focus on three key areas of rhetorical study: discourse, metaphor, and persuasion.
The Ethnographic Project: Studying Rhetoric in Action Despite the practical nature of our students, many have a hard time imagining a rhetorical study of the everyday world. If they have considered rhetoric at all, they have associated its practice with big-time politics and mass media communications, as most Americans do. Through ethnographic methods of partici- pant observation and interviewing, students examine which strat- egies, appeals, and assumptions might be persuasive for a particular social group from the perspectives of various insiders.
For the English education majors in particular, this research can give them new ways to examine complicated interactions they encounter in their teaching observations and practicums. This ethnographic perspective toward rhetoric, for instance, offered Charity another way to make sense of the strong, confus- ing teen personalities she encountered in her student teaching observations at a nearby inner-city school (Harris 1999).
In the course of her observations in this ninth-grade class, several groups of girls, both white and black, confronted Charity, a white, middle- class student originally from the rural West, with talk and behav- iors she would not expect if she were their teacher. Some of the girls tended to confide intimate secrets Charity did not think she was entitled to hear, while a few others publicly tested her in- - 131 - WRITING ASSIGNMENTS between role of student teacher with a barrage of sexual street essay writer reddit talk. Based on this difficult situation, Charity came to ask: What are these particular girls trying to convince others about them- selves through their very public performances? Although Char- ity encountered problems focusing and organizing her study, as all ethnographers do, she eventually framed her work around common issues of female adolescent identity. You can almost identify where a person is coming from or going with their thoughts.
Then I overheard a conversation she had with her friend Sam in the hallway last week.
Beth is trying to live up to the rumors that are spread about her. The dominant practice of teaching rhetoric and communication in first-year composition classes tends to privilege the speaker over the audience. In the Aristotelian model (1991), the rhetor seeks to shape his ethos to the values, beliefs, and motivations of his intended audience. This is the common structure of the enthymeme, in which the rhetor leaves the auditor to fill in the missing premise of informal logic with his or her own under- standing. Of course, femi- nist rhetoricians (such as Ratcliffe 1999) also emphasize this view, and their tenets hold much in common with ethnographic meth- odology. From this rhetorical perspective, when ethnographers set out to understand situated insider perspectives, they are consent- ing to be persuaded by the people they talk to, participate with, and observe.
They need to rethink their worlds and perceptions 164 - 134 - Rhetoric in Action: An Ethnographic View of their reality based on a dialectic with the approximated per- spective of others.