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Rhetoric -- the use of language to persuade. One of the three most important of the "liberal arts" (those skills that free citizens were expected to have). Classical rhetoric recognizes three main ways to persuade. When persuading, we can rouse the readers' emotions (pathos), appeal to their sense of justice (ethos), or rely upon logic (logos).
This course asks you to read a small number of literary works, and a large number of critical essays. We will keep returning to the same set literary works time and time again, always with a new critical focus. Keeping up with the readings is crucial. Studies have shown that regular weekly quizzes are very effective for keeping students on track, but I hate spending class time on quizzes, and I hate marking them. I'm sure you don't enjoy taking them, either. For that reason, we will use agenda items.
A four-step process that helps you prepare for a productive class discussion using the SHU weblog system.
We will start out slowly at first, only completing a part of the RRRR process, so that the whole class has the chance to adjust to it. Once we start the full process, for each item or group of items marked as "Text" on the course outline, Read the assignment, react by posting an "Agenda Item" (see FAQ entry) on Monday, respond to 2-4 items posted by your peers (sometime before class) and reflect on the readings via your Critical Exercise (a 2-3 page essay, due Wednesday). You are encouraged, but not required, to post your Critical Exercises online.