Creative  Nonfiction  RE-­‐Vision  

WRTG  1150:  First-­‐Year  Writing  and  Rhetoric,  D.  Singer  


"This project is a smorgasbord of writing and rhetoric. We will attempt to take a theme
found within our personal narratives, and ask a question about it. We will then use
various forms of research--both demonstrative and testimonial--to develop a
sophisticated answer to our questions as the basis of a new piece of Creative Nonfiction
in which we will attempt to write not about what we know but what we wish to
We will then form our arguments based on our research. We then need to outline our
pieces in a couple different forms: an outline of argument, an outline of narrative, and
an outline of sources. We then need to arrange our narrative, argumentative, and
research materials, and draft our CNF pieces to be persuasive to a specific audience (if
you didn't already, you would need to thoroughly analyze the target audience in the
rhetorical situation you're working in at this point).
We will then workshop the shit out of those drafts with our groups until we have a solid
understanding of our own and other people's opinions of/reactions to/etc. the piece.
Then edit and proofread for small mistakes, diction, grammar, punctuation, and 'sound'
before turning it into the big man. At the end of the assignment, we will all more than
likely have a CNF piece completed to submit it to our audience, a greater agency as
writers, and a great swelling of pride."



• Your  project  makes  a  clear  argument  (even  if  it  doesn’t  use  a  thesis-­‐
statement  as  a  persuasive  device,  it’s  clear  what  you’re  piece  is  intended  to  
persuade  your  audience  of).  
• The  argument  your  project  makes  is  sophisticated  (the  argument  you’re  
making  seems  unlikely  be  obvious  to  someone  with  a  similar  background/set  
of  personal  experiences  and  a  few  minutes  to  think  about  things—such  an  
audience  would  probably  not  immediately  agree  completely  and  confidently  
with  your  argument  without  having  read  your  piece).  

Your  project  is  clearly  based  in  research  and  demonstrates  the  ability  to  
treat  BOTH  personal/experiential  and  information-­‐literate  source  selections  
as  the  basis  of  an  argument  (your  personal/experiential  narrative  AND  
rhetorically  appropriate  sources  you’ve  selected  from  library  and  web-­‐based  
research  clearly  help  develop  and  prove  the  argument  you’re  trying  to  make)  

Your  project  cites  sources  rhetorically/appropriately,  both  in-­‐text  and  at  
the  end  of  the  document  (you’ve  cited  your  research  clearly  throughout,  used  
either  MLA  or  APA  to  format  your  citations  in  text  and  at  the  end  of  the  
document,  and  used  signal  phrases  to  introduce  quotations  from  researched  
sources  so  that  quoted  materials  don’t  seem  to  suddenly  appear  out  of  
nowhere  in  your  text—which,  in  combination,  means  you’ve  used  citation  
practices  to  aid  your  reader  and  bolster  your  own  ethos,  as  well  as  protected  
yourself  from  a  charge  of  plagiarism.    


_______________________________  (Student-­Selected  Learning/Writing  Goal)  20%  
• _________________________________________________________________________________________
(Fill  in  the  above  with  a  VERY  CLEAR  and  CONCRETE  description  of  your  OWN  
personal  learning/writing  goal  that  you  used  this  project  to  achieve—and  tell  
me  what  I  should  LOOK  for  as  PROOF  to  SEE  how  well  you’ve  met  that  goal).  

Scholarly  Essay  

WRTG  1150:  First-­‐Year  Writing  and  Rhetoric,  D.  Singer  


“What  we  are  trying  to  do  with  this  scholarly  article  is  to  demonstrate  to  a  specific  discourse  
community  that  the  arguments  we  have  developed  are  valid  and  are  being  presented  by  
scholar-­authors  with  expertise.    
We  will  do  this  by  using  testimony,  demonstration,  and  linkage  to  other  scholarly  resources  
and  discussions  in  the  discourse  community  we  are  attempting  to  join  as  scholar-­authors.    
To  find  appropriate  scholarly  resources,  we  must  filter  through  numerous  sources  from  the  
discourse  community  and  determine  what  aspects  of  our  research  prove  our  argument.”  


• Your  project  makes  a  clear  argument  that  is  relevant  to  a  specific  discourse  
community  that  you  clearly  identify  (even  if  it  doesn’t  use  a  thesis-­‐statement  as  a  
persuasive  device,  it’s  clear  what  you’re  piece  is  intended  to  persuade  your  scholarly  
audience  of,  which  scholarly  audience  you  intend  to  persuade,  and  why  that  
argument  should  be  considered  relevant  and  valuable  to  that  audience).  


The  argument  your  project  makes  is  sophisticated  enough  to  call  for  attention  
by  readers  in  your  scholarly  discourse  community  (the  argument  you’re  making  
seems  unlikely  be  obvious  to  someone  with  a  similar  background  in  your  discourse-­‐
community  and  a  few  minutes  to  think  about  things—such  an  audience  would  
probably  not  immediately  agree  completely  and  confidently  with  your  
argument  without  having  read  your  piece).  

• Your  project  is  clearly  based  in  research  and  demonstrates  the  ability  to  carefully  
SELECT  and  USE  a  range  of  sources  as  the  basis  of  an  argument  (your  carefully  
selected  testimony  and  demonstrations  clearly  help  develop  and  prove  the  
argument  you’re  trying  to  make).  


Your  project  introduces,  links,  and  cites  sources  rhetorically/appropriately,  
both  in-­‐text  and  at  the  end  of  the  document  (you’ve  used  signal  phrases  effectively  
throughout,  made  it  clear  how  the  testimony  you  present  helps  your  argument  and  
how  the  demonstrations  you  present  actually  prove  that  argument  to  be  
true/right/logical,  and  you’ve  cited  your  research  clearly  throughout,  using  either  
MLA,  APA,  or  another  discourse-­‐community-­‐specific  styleguide  to  format  your  
citations  in  text  and  at  the  end  of  the  document—which,  in  combination,  means  

you’ve  used  a  complex  set  of  research  and  citation  skills  to  aid  your  reader  and  
bolster  your  own  ethos,  as  well  as  protected  yourself  from  a  charge  of  plagiarism).  

Pick  ONE  of  the  following  as  something  you  really  got  better  at/figured  out  more  
about  in  your  work  on  this  project  (remember,  you  were  specifically  directed  to  focus  
on  one  of  these  three  items  in  this  unit  in  the  written  feedback  you  received  at  the  
end  of  the  CNF  RE-­‐Vision  in  the  grades  section  on  D2L):    

FOCUS:  In  this  piece,  I  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  producing  a  very  clear  sense  
of  FOCUS  in  my  piece—which  we  typically  can  achieve  through  four  basic  
techniques:  a)  Framing  (how  I  frame  or  contextualize  a  thing  I  want  to  talk  about  
as  part  of  my  argument),  b)  Introductory  Forecasting  (how  I  give  my  reader  a  
sense  of  where  I’m  headed  in  my  argument/in  a  section/etc.  so  he  or  she  knows  
what  to  expect),  c)  Transitional  Phrases  that  clearly  CONNECT  different  
PARAGRAPHS  or  PARTS  of  paragraphs  in  an  argument  as  its  progressing  (like  
“Although  some  scholars  disagree  with  the  position  I’ve  just  outlined,”)  or  
Transitional  Sentences/Paragraphs  that  do  so  in  longer  form  in  order  to  make  a  
smooth  transition  between  one  SECTION  of  an  argument  and  another  SECTION  (“Of  
course,  Bitzer’s  argument  provides  only  the  structuralist  sense  of  Rhetorical  
Situation.  If  we  want  to  arrive  at  a  clear  sense  of  the  factors  that  have  led  
Contemporary  Composition  Studies  to  conceive  of  rhetorical  situations  as  we  now  
appear  to  do,  we  have  to  also  consider  the  post-­‐structural  argument.  [Followed  by  
the  next  section  of  the  paper],”)  and  d)  reducing  the  Scope  of  what  I  discuss  in  a  
piece  of  writing  so  that  I  ONLY  discuss  things  that  contribute  to  my  ARGUMENT  and  
conscientiously  OMIT  the  many,  many  things  that  are  TOPICALLY  related  to  what  
I’m  talking  about  but  don’t  actually  help  me  develop  and  prove  the  ARGUMENT  I’m  
trying  to  make  for  the  specific  discourse  community  I’m  trying  to  join  as  a  scholar-­‐

ORGANIZATION—In  this  piece,  I  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  the  ORDER  of  
what  I  discuss  and  do.  For  example,  if  I’m  using  an  ethos  appeal  to  make  my  
audience  more  likely  to  be  persuaded  by  my  argument,  it  matters  WHEN  I  do  that  
(think  of  the  difference  between  being  really  impressed  by  someone’s  credentials  
before  you  hear  that  person  give  his  or  her  opinion  on  a  topic  related  to  his  or  her  
expertise  vs.  afterward).  Likewise,  the  logical  organization  of  my  argument  is  
CRUCIAL  to  its  effect—I  really  worked  on  figuring  out  what  I  needed  to  PROVE  is  
true  FIRST,  what  can  THEN  be  proven  BASED  on  that,  and  so  on  down  the  line  to  the  
end  of  my  argument.  

DEPTH—In  this  piece,  I  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  going  much  DEEPER  into  
my  argument.  I  worked  on  seeing  more  of  the  COMPLEXITY  in  what  I’m  arguing  and  
the  FULL  RANGE  of  issues,  counter-­‐arguments,  and  potential  pitfalls  I  really  needed  
to  address  to  make  my  piece  seem  “in-­‐depth”  and  “comprehensively  thought-­‐
through”  to  a  reader  and  to  more  fully  develop  and  prove  my  argument.  



Here’s  the  one  I  picked,  here’s  how  I  got  better  at  that  item,  and  here’s  what  to  
look  at  as  evidence  that  I  actually  did  get  a  great  deal  better  at  it:  _________________  

Final  Project:  Collaborative  Instructional  Video    

WRTG  1150:  First-­‐Year  Writing  and  Rhetoric,  D.  Singer  

Description  &  Purpose  

By  the  final  exam  period  on  Monday,  May  4,  2015,  please  submit,  through  the  
Discussion  Forum  in  D2L,  a  LINK  to  a  4-­‐8  minute,  collaboratively  developed  
instructional  video  published  online  that  is  designed  to  TEACH  a  targeted  audience  
something  specific  about  writing  and  rhetoric.  
• You’ll  begin  by  forming  group  of  3-­‐5  and  setting  up  the,  TOPIC,  AUDIENCE,  
ARGUMENT  and  PURPOSE  your  group  is  going  to  pursue  in  the  video  you’ll  
develop  and  post  online.    
• Then,  you’ll  do  a  bit  of  RESEARCH  and  ANALYSIS  to  understand  the  
rhetorical  situation  at  hand  (including  the  writer,  reader,  text/genre,  context  
and  purpose)  in  order  to  direct  the  choices  you  make  in  your  process  and  
• Then,  you’ll  USE  the  PROCESSES  you’ve  learned  about  developing,  
researching,  drafting,  workshopping,  and  revising  complex  writing  for  
specific  target  audiences  throughout  the  semester  to  produce  and  publish  a  
highly  effective  instructional  video  online  for  your  target  audience  to  find.    
Our  purpose  is  three-­‐fold.  First,  to  test  your  ability  to  use  the  writing  and  rhetoric  
expertise  you’ve  developed  throughout  the  semester.  Second,  to  help  you  develop  a  
great  final  product  that  you  can  immediately  use  to  teach  others  about  writing  and  
rhetoric.  Third,  to  help  you  transfer  what  you’ve  learned  about  writing  and  rhetoric  
so  far  effectively  produce  and  utilize  a  “collaborative  authorial  self”  (a  “co-­‐
authorial  self”)  in  a  multimodal  composition.    

• Your  group’s  project  makes  a  clear  TEACHING  argument  that  is  relevant  to  a  
SPECIFIC  target  audience  that  you  clearly  identify  (even  if  it  doesn’t  use  a  thesis-­‐
statement  as  a  persuasive  device,  it’s  clear  what  your  video  is  intended  to  persuade  
and  teach  your  target  audience,  which  exact  audience  you  intend  to  persuade  and  
teach,  and  why  that  argument  and  what  you’re  teaching  should  be  considered  
relevant  and  valuable  to  that  audience).  


The  argument  and  the  “lesson”  your  group’s  project  offers  is  sophisticated  
enough  to  call  for  attention  by  viewers  in  the  discourse  community  of  your  target  

audience  (the  argument  and  “lesson”  you’re  offering  seems  unlikely  seem  obvious  to  
someone  with  a  the  kind  of  background  your  audience  likely  has  and  a  few  minutes  
to  think  about  things  on  his  or  her  own—and  such  an  audience  would  probably  
not  immediately  agree  completely  and  confidently  with  your  argument  and/or  know  
exactly  how  to  do  what  you’re  trying  to  teach  without  having  watched  your  video).  

• Your  group’s  project  is  clearly  based  in  research  and  demonstrates  the  ability  to  
carefully  SELECT  and  USE  a  range  of  sources  as  the  basis  of  an  argument  and  your  
“lesson”  (you’ve  carefully  selected  testimony  and  demonstrations  that  clearly  help  
develop  and  prove  the  argument  you’re  trying  to  make  and  that  effectively  help  
teach  the  audience  what  you’re  trying  to  teach  them).  


Your  group’s  project  introduces,  links,  and  cites  sources  rhetorically/  
appropriately,  both  in  the  body  of  the  video  and  at  the  end  of  the  video  in  the  
“credits”  (you’ve  used  signal  phrases  effectively  throughout,  made  it  clear  how  the  
testimony  you  present  helps  your  argument/lesson  and  how  the  demonstrations  
you  present  actually  prove  that  argument  to  be  true/right/logical  and  show  the  
audience  what  you’re  talking  about,  and  you’ve  cited  your  research  clearly  
throughout  (whether  you’re  using  MLA,  APA,  or  another  discourse-­‐community-­‐
specific  styleguide  to  format  your  citations  in  text  and  at  the  end  of  the  video—
which,  in  combination,  means  you’ve  used  a  complex  set  of  research  and  citation  
skills  to  aid  your  reader  and  bolster  your  own  ethos,  as  well  as  protected  yourself  
from  a  charge  of  plagiarism).  

With  your  group,  pick  ONE  of  the  following  as  something  you  really  got  better  
at/figured  out  more  about  in  your  work  on  this  project:    
1. FOCUS:  In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  producing  a  very  clear  
sense  of  FOCUS  in  our  piece—which  we  typically  can  achieve  through  four  basic  
techniques:  a)  Framing  (how  we  frame  or  contextualize  a  thing  we  want  to  talk  
about  as  part  of  my  argument),  b)  Introductory  Forecasting  (how  we  give  our  
reader  a  sense  of  where  we’re  headed  in  the  piece/in  a  section/etc.  so  he  or  she  
knows  what  to  expect),  c)  Transitional  Phrases  that  clearly  CONNECT  different  
PARTS  or  SEGMENTS  of  an  argument  or  lesson  as  its  progressing  (like  “Although  
some  scholars  disagree  with  the  position  we’ve  just  outlined,”)  or  Transitional  
Sentences/Paragraphs  that  do  so  in  longer  form  in  order  to  make  a  smooth  
transition  between  one  SECTION  of  an  argument  or  lesson  and  another  SECTION  
(“Of  course,  Bitzer’s  argument  provides  only  the  structuralist  sense  of  Rhetorical  
Situation.  If  we  want  to  arrive  at  a  clear  sense  of  the  factors  that  have  led  
Contemporary  Composition  Studies  to  conceive  of  rhetorical  situations  as  we  now  
appear  to  do,  we  have  to  also  consider  the  post-­‐structural  argument.  [Followed  by  
the  next  section  of  the  paper],”)  and  d)  reducing  the  Scope  of  what  we  discuss  in  a  
piece  so  that  we  ONLY  discuss  things  that  contribute  to  the  ARGUMENT  or  LESSON  
and  conscientiously  OMIT  the  many,  many  things  that  are  TOPICALLY  related  to  
what  we’re  talking  about  but  don’t  actually  help  us  develop  and  prove  the  
ARGUMENT  or  teach  the  LESSON  we’re  trying  to  make  for  the  specific  audience  
we’re  trying  to  serve  as  co-­authors.    

2. ORGANIZATION—In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  the  ORDER  of  
what  we  discuss  and  do.  For  example,  if  we’re  using  an  ethos  appeal  to  make  our  
audience  more  likely  to  be  persuaded  by  our  argument  and  to  take  seriously  what  
we’re  trying  to  teach  them,  it  matters  WHEN  we  do  that  (think  of  the  difference  
between  being  really  impressed  by  someone’s  credentials  before  you  hear  that  
person  give  his  or  her  opinion  on  a  topic  related  to  his  or  her  expertise  vs.  
afterward).  Likewise,  the  logical  organization  of  our  argument  and  “lesson”  is  
CRUCIAL  to  its  effect—we  really  worked  on  figuring  out  what  we  needed  to  PROVE  
is  true  and  SHOW  how  to  do  FIRST,  what  can  THEN  be  proven  and  shown  BASED  on  
that,  and  so  on  down  the  line  to  the  end  of  our  argument/lesson.  
3. DEPTH—In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  going  much  DEEPER  into  
our  argument/lesson.  We  worked  on  seeing  more  of  the  COMPLEXITY  in  what  we’re  
arguing  and  trying  to  teach  and  the  FULL  RANGE  of  issues,  counter-­‐arguments,  and  
potential  pitfalls  we  really  needed  to  address  to  make  our  piece  seem  “in-­‐depth”  and  
“comprehensively  thought-­‐through”  to  a  viewer  and  to  more  fully  develop  and  
prove  our  argument/more  fully  develop  and  teach  our  lesson.  

With  your  group,  pick  ONE  of  the  following  as  something  you  really  got  better  
at/figured  out  more  about  in  your  work  on  this  project:    

4. VISUAL  RHETORIC—In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  making  sure  
that  the  video  looks  professionally  produced  and  edited  in  terms  of  the  visual  
transitions,  camera  angles,  multiple  cuts  of  film  [i.e.,  it’s  not  just  one  shot  that  
continues  for  the  whole  video],  lighting,  composites/overlays,  and  making  sure  that  
the  general  look  of  the  video  is  clean  and  professional.  
5. BODILY  RHETORIC—In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  making  sure  
the  people  featured  in  the  video  are  wearing  rhetorically/persuasively  deliberate  
and  appropriate  attire,  make  effective  eye  contact  with  audience/camera  [where  
appropriate],  and  use  rhetorically  effective  body  language  and  facial  expressions  
6. AUDITORY  RHETORIC—In  this  piece,  we  tried  to  REALLY  concentrate  on  making  
sure  the  voices  heard  in  the  video  sound  natural  and  animated—not  just  ‘read  from  
a  script’—and  are  loud  enough  to  hear  easily  and  clearly  but  not  so  loud  that  the  
volume  itself  is  noticeable  or  distracting,  effectively  using  background  or  transitional  
music  and/or  other  sound  effects,  and  including  no  distracting  extraneous  noises  
like  microphone  feedback  or  other  seemingly  random  noises.  


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