I. EXPLORING CONCEPTS.
1. Seeing Rhetoric Through Media.
Overview — Key Terms: Rhetoric, Media, Text.
Keeping a Journal.
Media Genres — Observing and Classifying Media Texts.
Media Texts as Myths — Reading Takes Place From Within Belief Systems.
Jennifer Ditri, Cheerleaders are Athletes, Too!
Reading News and Popular Texts — The Practice of Critical Reading.
2. Reading Media.
Overview — Reading Media Interactively.
What's a Medium? — Definition and Background of the Term.
Learning From the Media.
Being a “Consumer.”
Raymond Williams, Keyword: Consumer.
Doing Without Media.
Journal Entries: Marci Nowak, Jennifer Ditri, Mark Maxson, Stacey McAfee, Michael Halstead, Meredith Roedel.
Clutter and Context — Ways to Deal with Media Overload.
Strategies for Reading Media
S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman, and Linda S. Lichter, Who Are the Media Elite?
Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, The Real Media Elite.
Conventions — Noticing What is Taken for Granted.
Conventions in Writing and Writing Classes.
Bill McKibben, 7:00 a.m.
II. MEDIA AND PURPOSES FOR WRITING.
3. Making Use of Observations — From Prewriting to Drafting.
Overview — What Critical Reading of Media Can Add to the Writing Process.
Writing as Your Medium — Genres and Conventions in Speech and Writing.
William Stafford, A Way of Writing.
Writing Essays as a Conventional Act — Crossover Between Conventions in Media Texts and in Writing.
Broadcast News, “Tom Gives Aaron Some Tips on Reading the News.”
Journal Entries: Teri Hurst.
How Writers Write — The Myth of the Born Writer.
George Plimpton, Interview with Ernest Hemingway; Karen Kurt Tiel, Note About “The Loop Writing Process.”
Prewriting — Devices for Exploring What You and Your Readers Know.
Drafting — Pulling it All Together.
Readers' Roles — The Text Invites Us to Play Along.
Cassandra Amesley, How to Watch Star Trek.
Readers' Roles in Essays: Linda Weltner, The Joys of Mediocrity; Kirkpatrick Sale, Fighting the Darkness; Danielle Smith, Publishers' Clearing House.
4. Gathering and Evaluating News and Information.
Overview — Confirming Our Basis for Judgment.
Stories in the News — Narratives Which Guide Our Interpretation.
Midland County Review, “Barcia Joins Conservatives in Fight Against Unfunded Mandates.”
Sabrina Cantu, It's O.K. to Make Fun of Jesus, If He's Black.
How to Search for Information — Search Strategies for News and Information.
Stacey Cole, Negativity in the Media.
What Counts as News? — Problems with Definitions and Reception.
News as Rhetorical.
Forms of News.
News as Commercial.
James Amend, A Spicier, More Racey New Medium.
News and Entertainment.
Reading the News Comparatively — Earthquake in Japan, as Treated in Several News Media.
Problems in News.
Keeping Informed — Health Care Reform.
Bill Moyers and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, The Great Health Care Debate.
Objectivity and Fairness.
Appendix: Transcripts of News Reports on Kobe Earthquake.
CBS Evening News.
All Things Considered.
NPR Morning Edition.
5. Close Attention to Detail: Regarding the Commercial.
Overview — Value in Analyzing Unvalued Texts.
Why Ads? — Effective Rhetoric in the Face of Audience Resistance.
Collecting Ads — Categories as Part of Making Meaning.
How to Read a Commercial — Rhetorical Devices in Print Ads.
Tara L. Prainito, Advertising's Enhancements.
Analyzing a TV Commercial — Technical Events in Television Commercials.
Transcript and Analysis of Midol Commercial.
Aaron Kukla, Analysis of a Chevrolet Camaro Ad.
Ads as Propaganda.
Ads and Effects.
Dirt — Ambiguities in Boundaries Between Texts.
Leslie Savan, “Don't Inhale: The Tobacco Industry's Attitude-Delivery System.”
6. Reading Pictures.
Overview — Connections Between Visual and Verbal.
The Appeal of Seeing — “Natural” Reliance on Sight.
Pictures and Narratives.
How to Read a Picture.
Signs, Codes, and Conventions.
Visual Images and Descriptive Writing.
Problem: The Gaze.
7. Entertainment as Information.
Overview — What Entertainment Texts Tell Us.
What's Entertainment? — Business or Cultural Context.
Entertainment as Play — Reactions to Popular Culture.
More Dirt — Transgressions in Entertainment Texts.
Why Do They Want You To Play? — Entertainment and Hegemony.
Arthur Asa Berger, Genre Migration.
The Audience's View — Dominant, Resisting, and Negotiating Positions.
The Roches, Mr. Sellack.
Carl M. Cannon, Honey, I Warped the Kids.
John Leonard, Why Blame TV?
Todd Gitlin, Imagebusters: The Hollow Crusade Against TV Violence.
David Foster, Sexist? Racist? Violent?
Terrence Rafferty, No Pussycat.
Race and Entertainment Media.
Todd Gitlin, From Inside Prime Time.
8. Discovering Contexts and Deeper Purposes.
Overview — Critical Thinking About Writing.
Representation and the Natural — Denaturing “Natural.”
Labeling — Cues for Interpretation.
Appellation and Ideology.
Ideology: Definitions and Illustrations — Three Paradigms: “False Consciousness,” Any Set of Values and Assumptions, and Specifically Political Values and Assumptions.
Reading Die Hard — Ideology as Reflected in a Popular Text; Dominant Ideologies.
Reading Media Texts for Ideology.
Lisa Straney, Analysis: Nike Ad.
Ideology and Metaphor.
The Example of “PC” — Who Gets to Complain About “Political Correctness”?
Brian E. Albrecht, Team Names Still Stir Controversy.
Candy Hamilton, Where a Tomahawk Chop Feels Like a Slur.
John K. Wilson, The Myth of Political Correctness.
Bob Garfield, Pizza Hut Has the Crust to Roll Out “Incorrect” Celebs.
9. Revision: Bringing Drafts to Completion.
Why Revise? — Raising Your Game.
Writing as Conversation.
Strategies and Tactics for Revising.
Computers and Revision.
A Few Tactics for Revision — Leave It Alone; Nutshelling; Bombing: Impersonation.
Shannon Peacock, From Dais-ed and Confused.
Eric Nelson, From “Words Mean Things and Integrity Matters.”
Sample Revision: “Media in the Courts.”
Collections of Writing.
Portfolios — Draft and Exhibition.
10. Developing Style and Audience Awareness.
Overview — Style as Product of Interaction Between Persona, Subject, and Audience.
Some Bad Advice About Style.
Style as Ornament.
Style as Clarity — E.B. White's Disappearing Author.
Reducing Unnecessary Difficulty — Some Practical Advice.
Style as Constitutive; Or Would You Rather Be a Dog? — Audience as Appellated by the Text.
Hegemony and Style.
Daniel Zwerdling, Interview with Leslie Savan.
Ira Teinowitz, From “The Marketing 100”: Rich Lalley, Red Dog.
Style and Audience.
Words, Words, Words.
Beverly Gross, What a Bitch!
Bad Rhetoric — Some Deceptive or Sloppy Devices.
Rush Limbaugh and Rhetoric.
Recognizing and Correcting Bad Rhetoric.
William Lutz, Doublespeak.
11. Expanding Media Resources.
Overview — Dynamic Media.
Collections as a Basis for Your Own System — Adding Other Media.
What to Expect — Electronic Media: Hopeful and Pessimistic Assessments.
Electronic Media — Rhetorical Implications.
Hypertext — Implications of a New Form.
Internet as Source of Information: A Test Case — Reactions to Oklahoma City Bombing on the Internet.
Cyberporn — Circulation Through Media of Sloppy Research.
Library Material — Searching for More.
Some Reservations about the Internet.
Herbert J. Gans, The Electronic Shut Ins: Some Social Flaws of the Information Superhighway.
M. Kadi, Q: How Tall is the Internet? A: Four Inches Tall.