Rhetorical Theory and Criticism – COMS 612

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An examination of the major contributions to rhetorical theory and their critical application in the assessment of symbols in human communication.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

This course is designed to introduce the student to a deeper understanding of the nature of rhetoric and persuasion in the marketplace and everyday life through three overarching metaphors: Communicative context: what is the nature of the historical moment in question? Communicative content: how is rhetoric defined, understood, and engaged? Communicative contribution: why is this significant for that historical moment? What is the significance of this for today’s historical moment?

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Apply historical and modern critical theories of rhetoric.
  2. Use historical and modern critical theories of rhetoric as models to assess the effectiveness of rhetorical artifacts.
  3. Apply and test theories and tools of criticism learned in the course by writing a scholarly criticism and presenting it orally to a peer group of scholars.
  4. Identify historical and contemporary rhetoricians and their contributions to rhetorical criticism and research within the communication discipline.
  5. Define rhetoric, understand relevant historical and modern rhetorical theory, and apply these theories in the practice of rhetorical criticism.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 350 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Worldview Survey

The student is required to read the provided article and address the 7 questions asked.

Common Thread Essays (3)

Essays 1 and 2

The student must write a 1,000-word essay in current APA format. The paper must include at least 5 references, which may include course readings, the Bible and pertinent outside scholarly sources.

Common Thread Essay 3 Draft

For this draft, the student will explain the key components and points that will be made in the final essay. Definitions, applications, and examples that might be used in the final must be included. An example of what the student is aiming for in the final paper must be given. The building blocks of the last essay will be explained. The essay draft must be at least 500 words.

Common Thread Essay 3

The student must write a 1,500-word essay in current APA format. The paper must include at least 8 references, which may include course readings, the Bible and pertinent outside sources.

Peer Review Discussion

The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread. The reply must be at least 100 words.