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Sample Syllabi, Assignment Sequence, Schedule & Course Reader


Main Texts Used in Assignments 


Overviews and Descriptions of Teaching Activities


First Weeks: Introducing the Course & Applying Concepts to Short texts


Unit 1: Analyzing & Evaluating Hari


Teaching Materials for Hari


Evaluating Hari

Evaluation exercise: play Elbow's "doubting and believing" game, where you interpret Hari's article generously vs. playing devil's advocate. Groups can do this using a short text that A) extends, clarifies and supports Hari, as for example this interview with Hari, Gabor (an expert Hari draws) and Amy Goodman. Or, we could play devil's advocate drawing on  this challenge to Hari. In both cases, we will evaluate the quality of the support or critique.


There is some useful material in the reader on evaluation on page 37-47.  As a rule of thumb, you may want to consider the following areas:

  • Reasoning - how are claims organized and constructed? (chains of reasoning; GASCAP) 
  • Support - how are claims supported? 
  • Source selection, representation and fact-checking 
  • How are strategies used?  (For example, how effectively and fairly are opposing views represented? How well are appeals - ethos, pathos, logos - established given the rhetorical situation?)
  • Frames - how are definitions, categories, narratives and metaphors used to establish a frame
  • Assumptions and implications
  • Vulnerability to counterexamples, counterarguments and objections
  • What is left out of the argument? 

These criteria (and others) should always be analyzed in relation to the author's audience, context and purpose. 



Unit 2: The Rhetoric of Demagoguery (Lens Assignment)


Demagoguery - some possible examples from social media 



Unit 3: "Fake" News & Critical Digital Literacy



End of Semester Resources & the WPA



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