Designing Rhetorical Acts

Alex Sartor

CAT 125 Sartor

In this CAT 125 course you will reflect on your past learning experiences as a means of fostering your development as a writer and communicator. This means that your own writing and communication processes, practices, and products will be among the central objects of study for the course. We will also study examples of public persuasion in a range of genres as well as writing, rhetoric, and communication theory. We will approach our study through rhetorical inquiry, which means we will focus on the effects of texts on audiences. The types of questions guiding this inquiry include: What situations/problems/questions have prompted your past communication experiences? How are your rhetorical acts influenced by a particular time, place, medium, or genre? What effects can your communication have? For what audiences? Because the primary concern of this course is writing and communication, this inquiry will develop over the course of several writing and speaking assignments including an inventory of your past learning experiences, a personal statement, and a public presentation. All the while, you will work on developing your own rhetorical acumen so that you can design the most effective rhetorical acts for particular audiences, times, and places as new communication situations arise for you at the university or in your professional or civic life. For your final project, you will practice this approach by presenting an example of your own academic research for an audience of non-experts.