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Project #1: Rethinking Rhetoric and Ethics

Some critics claim that rhetoric is about producing pleasure. Rather than being concerned with
what is best, it is concerned with deception. While this is true some of the time, it is not true all
of the time. Using Plato, Booth, Duffy, and Larmore, your job is to argue for some ethical ways
of understanding rhetoric (and by extension reading and writing), but you need to do this for a
very specific audience.

Youve been invited to give a talk to undergraduates at the Shine Student Center on ethical ways
of understanding rhetoric. Drawing on the four readings, you need to find a way to bring this
material to life to an audience who tends not to think about this topic. You might do this by
focusing on a current issuelocal or global. Or you might focus on some aspect of student life.
The choice is yours, but most importantly, you paper needs to:

be accessible (and engaging) to undergraduates who may not be familiar with the material
demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of all four of the course readings
effectively use clear and precise language to communicate your ideas
show strong organization

You written talk should be approximately 2,100 words (7 pages). You should include a works
cited page, following MLA, for all references other than the four mentioned above. This project
(25% of your grade) will be based on your submitting a complete draft and a final.

Thursday, September 11: Post a paragraph to Blackboard in which you identify a focus and
some strategies for organizing your talk.

Thursday, September 18: Post a draft to Blackboard and bring a print copy to class. Your
draft should be a minimum of 1,500 words (5 pages). We will workshop papers in class on this
day. If you do not submit a draft, your grade will be reduced by one-letter grade.

Thursday, September 25: Before class, post copy of paper to Blackboard. No hard copy
WRT 413: rhetoric & ethics
Fall 2014, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:20 p.m.,
Marshall Square Mall 205B

Patrick W. Berry, pwberry@syr.edu, office: HBC 235
office phone: 315-443-1912

office hours: Fridays, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
and by appointment