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Spring 2010

WRRH205:  Rhetorical Bytes

Digital Rhetorics & Writing With New Technologies

For your required blog responses, you should consider the purpose of your post.  Is it to respond to what the initial blog post has argued or is it to add to the conversation?  Either purpose would make a substantial response.  You should aim for clarity and critical thinking in your post, something beyond “I agree or I disagree.”  Make a valid argument and consider answering the “so what?” question:  So what does this post mean?  Remember that rhetoric isn’t just about what is said but also how it is said.


Below are two examples of what I would consider strong blog responses:

I have never watched a full episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, but I have seen many clips and blogs about the show. I find the concept of child beauty pageants to be very disturbing and creepy. The idea of subjecting a girl who is as young as 4 years old to things like spray tanning, makeup, and overly mature clothing to be wrong and even cruel. Parents who are willing to do this must have something wrong with them because usually the mindset for a parent is to not want their kids to grow up too fast. Promoting a 4 year old to resemble a sexed-up adult is very shocking to see. I can remember the first time I wore eyeliner and lipstick in the 8th grade and had my parents make me take it off before leaving the house because they thought it made me not look my age. I know the same type of experiences have happened to a bunch of my friends as well. Most of my friends would even bring spare outfits to change into after leaving the house because they knew their parents wouldn’t let them leave the house wearing anything too “sexy” or “mature”. I find these behaviors to be much more understandable because usually a parent wants to shelter their children from “predators” and not to be scrutinized based on their appearances. That is why I find this show to be so horrible- because it is the parents who are willingly subjecting their young children to be publicly scrutinized. There is a huge difference between small children entering beauty pageants and young women. Children of this age cannot fully understand what they are doing- yet a person of an older age is more aware of what exactly it means to be publicly judged and is more mature to deal with it. Also, has society learned nothing from the death of JonBenét Ramsey? Celebrities often attract stalkers and especially attractive actresses and models receive unwanted male attention- so why would you allow your 4 year old to the same type of dangerous attention? Overall, I think that there should be some type of age cut off for beauty pageants and it definitely shouldn’t include 4 year olds.


   —from Introduction to Women’s Studies, Fall 2009

Wow there is so much that can be said for this movie what a great find! After simply reading the description that was given a million thoughts rushed to my head. Then after watching the preview clip for it I just kept thinking how rhetorically well done this was. There was so many symbols and powerful images shown. First of all the music in the back round sounded like one that would be playing in a little girls room, showing the youth and innocence of being pure and what abstince only education is trying to keep our young girls as. Also the last statement every rose has its thorns just cracked me up, girls are so many times seen as “gentle as a rose.” I also very much agree with Connie’s statement and argument about the throwing of the purity ring showing her guilt and how many times this is how rape victims feel because young girls aren’t taught enough about sex, it is kept this hidden dangerous secret, one that if you cross you are looked as dirty and un-pure. And since we lecture and preach and strongly instill this idea of abstience only, once a young girl decided or is forced to have sex, they then have no one to turn to which creates even a bigger problem. I also agree with Jordan obviously the girl is not to blame but you can’t feel like you should be, society tells us that if we are acting promiscuous we are asking for it, which is entirely untrue. I hope to rent the movie it seems like a real catch.


   —from Introduction to Women’s Studies, Fall 2009

Notice that the second post has a few spelling and grammatical errors; given the tone and voice of writing for the blogosphere, I am less concerned about the mechanics of your writing as I am about what you might say and what your writing might do.  While not all your blog posts need to be this focused—you will notice that sometimes my posts on our course blog are just silly, informative posts rife with no purpose other than to entertain—you will need to have some focus in the posts in which you intend to use to fulfill the Online Blog Response requirement for this course.  I will keep you informed throughout the semester on where you stand by way of acceptable blog responses.  Should you have any questions at any time during the semester concerning your effort toward fulfilling this writing requirement, do not hesitate to come see me and we will sit down together and discuss the status of this portion of your grade.