Rhetorical Precis – What even are weeks anymore?

George, Diana. “From analysis to design: Visual communication in the teaching of writing.” College composition and communication (2002): 11-39.

In the academic journal article “From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing” Diana George argues that the history of visual literacy in English composition classrooms has both altered the perception and changed the implementation of visual literacy in classrooms. George develops her argument by analyzing the history of literacy through foundational texts and explaining in her words how these have impacted visual literacy throughout the decades. George argues for visual literacy in order to implement the practice as a core tenant in classrooms alongside the written word. The intended audience is instructors of English composition, but I think it goes beyond that, since visual rhetoric is a part of our every day lives.  I think this is a very important article both for the argument and the foundational texts George cites.  We are, as George says, an “aggressively visual culture,” and so keeping this element from classrooms as it relates to rhetoric is a mistake for multiple reasons, first among them it is the first way many of us learn how to communicate language.

 

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Made not only in words: Composition in a new key.” College Composition and Communication 56.2 (2004): 297-328.

In the academic journal article (and speech transcript?) “Made Not only in Words: Composition in a New Key,” Kathleen Blake Yancey  explores the modern history of Composition, analyzing what she believes are key moments in the history of composition. Yancey develops her argument by contextualizing and explaining these key moments, the history, and the impact in the classrooms.  Yancey does this in order to strengthen her argument of a need to focus on three key changes for a new curriculum and to develop a new major: composition and rhetoric. This is intended for colleges and instructors, or anybody else in control of developing and implementing a major shift in ideology and curriculum change. This is a great text to read to give some context to the shift that English programs have been, and are going through, in this historical moment.  From enrollment patterns to shifts in ideology and program changes, Yancey provides a thorough explanation that gives credence to her argument for a new major.

 

Johnson, Lamar L. “Where do we go from here? Toward a critical race English education.” Research in the Teaching of English 53.2 (2018): 102-124.

In the academic journal article “Where do we go from here? Toward a critical race English Education,” argues that traditional English curriculum does not value, and indeed can cause harm to, African American students and the causes need to be addressed.  Lamar develops his argument through definition of terms and a brief history and explanation of other academic scholars whose work precedes this article using CREE as the lens to analyze these works. Lamar writes this in order to integrate a more welcoming and wholesome curriculum for black students. The audience is teachers and anybody else with a desire to understand how Eurocentric syllabi can impact students from other histories and cultures. This article was very personal to me, and also showed me how  personal narrative and research can weave together and make a more compelling paper.  This is an especially relevant paper now, considering the current political climate we’re going through, but also a good exploration of the historical precedent leading to where we find ourselves today.

 

Hendrickson, Brian, and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller. “Inviting students to determine for themselves what it means to write across the disciplines.” (2016).

In the academic journal article “Inviting Students to determine for themselves what it means to write across the disciplines” Brian Hendrickson and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller analyze what it means to teach across and through disciplines for students from backgrounds of low socioeconomic income or underrepresented communities.  They develop their argument through exploration of other programs and the deficits they believe they saw there when accounting for the aforementioned groups.  Their purpose is to acknowledge the differences in background these students bring in order to allow them to feel more involved and welcome in an academic environment, as well as lending authenticity to the lived experience of students who might think they do not belong in the classroom. This article is intended for educators of all kinds and invites them to look at their courses, curriculums, and students through a different lens.  Their desire is to avoid treating students as “a generalized construct” and focus on “specific histories, experiences, and ‘vernacular literacies’” (76). I appreciated this article as a primer for resources on other scholars are writing that give arguments and credence to treating students as individuals, as well as focusing on those from lower socioeconomic incomes or backgrounds. Academia should be welcoming of all students, and this gives details on the arguments about how to begin and work toward this goal.

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