using rhetorical grammar in the english 90 classroom l.
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Using Rhetorical Grammar in the English 90 Classroom. RHETORICAL GRAMMAR. Keeping audience, purpose, and topic central to one’s choices about sentence structure, punctuation, vocabulary, etc.

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rhetorical grammar
RHETORICAL GRAMMAR
  • Keeping audience, purpose, and topic central to one’s choices about sentence structure, punctuation, vocabulary, etc.
  • Understanding the grammatical choices available to you and the rhetorical effects your choices may have on your reader.
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Different rhetorical situations demand different language choices.
  • Use your knowledge of sentence structure consciously to affect your reader
  • Make grammatical choices with your reader in mind.
laura r micciche
Laura R. Micciche

“Making a Case for Rhetorical Grammar”

Rhetorical grammar “presents students with a framework and a vocabulary for examining how language affects and infects social reality, as it also provides them with tools for creating effective discourse.”

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In teaching grammar, we also teach critical

thinking

  • “The ability to develop sentences and form paragraphs that serve a particular purpose requires a conceptual ability to envision relationships between ideas.”
  • “The grammatical choices we make – including pronoun use, active or passive verb constructions, and sentence patterns – represent relations between writers and the world they live in.”
how does rhetorical grammar help students
How does rhetorical grammar help students?
  • Rhetorical grammar instruction “encourages students to experiment with language and then to reflect on the interaction between content and grammatical form”
  • Students learn the rules of the grammatical concepts, but through analysis and imitation of written material, students learn how a given grammatical concept creates and/or alters meaning.
how to use this in the classroom
HOW TO USE THIS IN THE CLASSROOM

Micciche’s application:

  • Throughout the semester, students record passages of their own choosing from fiction, but also from any non-fiction source – collection letters, websites, computer manuals, textbooks, etc.

2. For each passage, student analyzes “how grammar and content work together to convey meaning.” Students analyze how the grammar in the passage affects their intellectual and emotional understanding of the piece.

3. Student thinks up other situations in which this type of construction might be used effectively.

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4. Student then creates a new passage, using the copied passage as a syntactical template. The student creates new content, depending on the new situation they’d use it for.

Mimic the writer’s syntax, in order to mimic the writer’s rhetorical impact on the reader.

purpose
PURPOSE
  • Gets students to stick to a text in order to “reveal the technical processes that make it work.”
  • Gets students to “dig around in the writing of others and really think about what makes it tick.”
  • Encourages students to see that “writing is made and that grammar has a role in that production.”
suggested application in english 90
Suggested Application in English 90

1.Initially, the instructor provides passages from fiction and non-fiction. These passages include sentences written using the grammatical construction we are teaching at that time (noun phrase appositives, sentence combining showing comparison).

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In other words, we provide meaningful models of published work that uses the grammar we are asking them to incorporate.
  • The challenge here will be finding interesting writing passages that include grammatical concepts we’re teaching.
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2. For each passage, student analyzes “how grammar and content work together to convey meaning.” Students analyze how the grammar in the passage affects their intellectual and emotional understanding of the piece.

3. Student thinks up other situations in which this type of construction might be used effectively.

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4. Student then creates a new passage, using the copied passage as a syntactical template. The student creates new content, depending on the new situation they’d use it for.

Mimic the writer’s syntax, in order to mimic the writer’s rhetorical impact on the reader.

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5. As an extension of this practice, students THEN find their own passages that use grammatical concepts they are learning (perhaps in an independent journal for the class?), and repeat the same process.