Blog #12

I’ve decided to change it up some for these last two blog posts.  Instead of giving you an analytical prompt (which the last several have been geared towards), I want to give you more of an opportunity to be reflective; that’s an important skill, too!

For this post, I want you to reflect upon the ways in which what you’ve learned (anything) can be applied in another area of you’re life.  It could be that you’ve developed analytical or critical thinking skills that might carry over into your current or future jobs or hobbies; it could be that the more creative piece you did earlier this semester or the research piece awakened you to new interests, knowledge, outlooks, and/or stances in your life.  It could just be that you’ve learned you hate writing with a passion more so than ever before (though I hope that’s not the case).  Be insightful and informative as to the reasoning behind what you’re writing.  Ultimately, this is your time to just write how you feel and take a moment to process things as the semester nears its end.

250 wrds; 2 peer comment (ON YOUR BLOG PAGE AND THEIRS!)

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Blog #11

As we’re nearing the end of the semester (and, thus, everything is getting really busy), I want these last blog prompts to directly contribute to your final papers.

Hence, all I want for this post is for you to write (using 250 wrds) about one or two of the rhetorical techniques you’ve analyzed with the media your looking at for paper 3.  So, tell us what the artifact is (TV show, movie, tech gadget, photo, ect.), and then clearly name the rhetorical techniques you’re going to tell us about and elaborate on them.

So for example, if I were going to write about Katy Perry’s “TGIF,” I might consider how the party setting acts as a rhetorical technique upon the target audience: teens and young adults.  It resonates particularly well with them because they are the demographic that is likely to most often interact socially through parties.  The experience is close to them.  Thus, the video showing drinking, sex appeal, dancing, music, having fun with friends, and NOT getting in trouble or having any real ramifications is a big appeal for this group of people, which in turn sells the product.

Then, I want you to give two of your peers good feedback on why you agree or disagree with what they’ve written.  This is like a virtual workshop, since we’ve got no conferences for this paper.  So, don’t just say “good” or “I disagree” without saying WHY.


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Blog #10

I want you all to get some more practice analyzing media for paper #3.  Instead of posting one for you all to analyze collectively, I want you to find an ad or TV show (or something else media-oriented) that you want to look at; post a link to it so that we can all see it.

Think critically about who the target audience is for your media and how it appeals to them using rhetorical (persuasive, engaging) techniques.  So when you write, you’ll tell us who you believe the intended audience is; what the ad is appealing to (pathos, ethos, logos) with the audience; how SPECIFICALLY it does so; and what, briefly, the values are behind it.  Since this is a blog post, you can just consider one element of the ad that directs a certain audience’s attention.  For instance, does it use humor (like the Katy Perry video we looked at in class) to appeal to pathos and downplay the reality of the situation/message? Does it appeal to logos by showing images of figures, stats, charts?  Does the ad appeal to ethos by using celebrities or others who appear “smart” and trustworthy?  You can also think about the orientation of images to one another and what they suggest (think about the Jose Cuervo ad we looked at), font size, color, diction, ect.

Support your claims for what you see (which you will necessarily have to make for this post).  Again, you don’t have to analyze every element, but your argument should give thorough support.  In other words, don’t merely write “I think this ad is directed at children, appeals to pathos, and uses humor to allure them into desiring the product.”  That tells me next to nothing I couldn’t discern from a quick glance.  The point is to give you practice building an analytical argument like you will in your last paper.

AT LEAST 250 words and two peer comments.

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Blog #9

Since we didn’t have time to do the 2nd version of the research paper that was to be formatted for the specific publication you chose, I want this prompt to be an exercise in visual rhetoric and audience appropriateness.

I want you to create a flyer advertising or soliciting something (appropriate for a college setting).  It can be a birthday party, a movie, a product of some kind, a sporting event, ect.  The rules are: 1) it MUST BE FICTIONAL; or in other words, don’t use real movies, products, ect; 2) you must consider the type of audience you’re flyer is targeting and use images/language that is appropriate; 3) you must use images AND language.

You can either create your flyer in another program and link it to your blog, or you can just make the flyer on your blog page.  We’re all busy; don’t get carried away.  I’m not expecting anything extravagant.  I made the flyer below in 10 mins:

Example Link

No need to make peer comments this time (unless you want to).  We will probably look at these in class).


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Blog #8

For this post, I want you to practice summarizing (a useful skill when engaged in research, as we’ve talked about in class).  This time, I want you to summarize your own research thus far.

So, your post will consist of clearly stating your thesis (argument or main idea), and then laying out for your peers an overview of what different professionals (from the sources you’ve gathered) within your research topic area are saying; what side/stance you’ve taken (or what unique argument you’re making) and how you are making the argument.  Hopefully, this will prompt you to think reflectively and critically about your research papers.  The challenge is to do all this concisely (but not too concisely; you need at least 250 wrds). Just do 1 peer comment for this week, and PLEASE indicate on your post which peer you’ve made a comment to.

Here’s an example from my own work.  The point is not that you try to understand the content but that you have a model for what I want you to explain.  Use specific names of scholars, time periods, institutions, terms, ect.  I ended this a bit shorter than I should (could) have, but, again, this is just to serve as a model for you.

My research is in rhetoric and the fantasy genre, currently.  My question is how can (or if) the fantasy genre act as a source of rhetorical invention for expressing what 17th century Italian philosopher and rhetorician Gimabattista Vico and, subsequently, 20th century rhetorician and philosopher Ernesto Grassi call “first premises,” or those foundational, unquantifiable premises upon which all “rational” knowledge/logic is erected?  First, I must define what I mean by fantasy, which requires me to distinguish the term from “imagination.” To do so, I will look at general areas in history where the term fantasy was acclaimed, often times conflated with the term imagination.  I’ll look at one of the first historical figures (Albertus Magnus) who differentiated fantasy from imagination, in favor of fantasy as the superior of the two terms.  Next, I will look at how fantasy lost favor among philosophers and rhetoricians in the Enlightenment era.  This will lead me into discussing: 1) why fantasy has been largely ignored as a source of “serious” study in the academy in modern times and 2) Vico and Grassi’s understanding of fantasy as an inventive organ that creates new images, derives meaning from the senses, and orders them in meaningful ways that aren’t necessarily reproducible in nature.

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Blog #7

This blog is intended to get you started definitively with your research:

I want you to cite one source (in MLA) that you’ll use in your paper, tell me where/how you retrieved it, and then give me a small annotation (at least 60 words) that summarizes what the source says and why it will be important for your research.  Make sure to specify what keyterms you used if you searched a database or website.  NO PEER COMMENTS ARE NECESSARY FOR THIS BLOG POST.

Here’s an example from my own research:

Lauer, Janice M. Invention in Rhetoric and Composition. West Lafayette, IN:                 (tab here) Parlor Press. 2004. Print.

I found this book by searching on FSU library website using the keyterms “rhetoric” AND “invention.”  I then checked the book out from Strozier library.

Annotation: Lauer’s book is a critical analysis of invention in rhetoric and composition studies, adumbrating its developments from the Classical era up through the 21st century.  Interestingly, she never once mentions fantasy or distinguishes it from the term imagination, even as she is tracing the term imagination through epochs where fantasy would have been recognized as a valid and sometimes superior inventive technique.

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Blog #6

Since paper 2 is a feature article in which you will attempt to mimic the tone and style of a selected publication, I want you to get some practice (on a much smaller scale) doing that kind of thing. Go out and find a movie poster or promo video and write a blurb for it as though you were the professional hired to do so.  A blurb is just a little catchy synopsis of the movie that ends up on the back of the box (or in a magazine, ect.).

It has to be thought out rhetorically: who’s your primary audience and what techniques (language, focus on content, ect.) is going to attract them?  Your purpose is obvious: to get the audience interested in the movie.  So, what you write will be really different depending on what movie and genre you pick (shouldn’t a horror movie blurb be different from a Pixar movie blurb?).  Look at other blurbs written on the same kinds of films as the one you choose to get ideas/help.  This should be fun!

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