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Essentials of College Rhetoric

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Week 8: Ms. Lowery. Essentials of College Rhetoric. Class Overview. Large-scale revision and examining higher-order concerns Revision techniques for content, structure, and adherence to the assignment.  Effective introductions for RA. What are Higher Order Concerns?. Thesis

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class overview
Class Overview
  • Large-scale revision and examining higher-order concerns
  • Revision techniques for content, structure, and adherence to the assignment. 
  • Effective introductions for RA
what are higher order concerns
What are Higher Order Concerns?
  • Thesis
  • Rhetorical Choices
  • Quotes
  • Organization
    • Do the main points clearly relate to the thesis and to one another? Are any of them irrelevant? Should any sections or paragraphs be moved to another part of the draft?
    • Can you identify any confusing leaps from point to point? Do you need to provide additional or stronger transitions?
    • Do you leave out any important points?
  • help the writer think of ways to expand on the ideas.
  • Pose questions and offer examples that will help the writer think of new ways to approach the topic. Try to help the writer imagine what the final draft might be like.
how to approach commenting on and marking up an early draft
How to Approach Commenting on and Marking Up an Early Draft

Approach commenting on and marking up an early draft with three types of questions in mind:

  • Fit. How does this draft fit the assignment? In what areas might the writer struggle to meet the criteria? How does this draft fit the audience? What else does the writer need to remember about the audience’s expectations and needs?
  • Potential. What ideas in this draft are worth developing more? What other ideas or details could inform the argument? Are there other viewpoints on this topic that the writer should explore?
  • Order. Considering only the parts that are worth keeping, what sequence do you recommend? What new sections do you think need to be added?
responding to late stage drafts
Responding to late-stage drafts
  • Writers of late-stage drafts need help with:
    • Higher order concerns,
    • first and last impressions,
    • sentence construction,
    • word choice, tone, and format
  • Their next step is proofreading
questions to ask whenever you review
Questions to Ask Whenever You Review
  • What parts need more revision?
  • What is the writer doing well?
  • Which parts of the draft are on the right track?
  • What are the main points the draft is making?
  • Compliment the good and provide constructive criticism for the weak.
  • Your suggestions should be helpful, not harsh.
  • Suggest specific steps to make the next draft stronger.
beginning your review
Beginning Your Review
  • To begin your review, read straight through the essay or project and think how you would describe the writer’s purpose, audience, stance, thesis, and support.
  • You want to show the writer what does and doesn’t work about particular aspects of the draft. Visually marking the draft can help the writer know at a glance what revisions the reviewer suggests.
con t
  • In addition, remember that your job in marking up the text is to point out the problems, not to solve them (though you should certainly offer suggestions).
what not to do when giving feedback
What not to do when giving feedback
  • Do not obsess about fixing the article.
  • Do not obsess about judging the work.
a specific directive comment
A Specific, Directive Comment
  • Comments that not only point out a specific problem area of the paper, but also offer the writer a reason why the change is needed and a specific direction for revision.
  • EX: I do not think the introduction fully describes the topic of public writing in a way all readers will understand, which is necessary if you are going to fully analyze the topic in the next few paragraphs . Maybe you could use a quote that really defines public writing from a source, or you could expand on your first two sentences.
student sample ra s
Student Sample RA’s
  • What was Willis’s thesis?
  • What were his rhetorical choices?
  • How is the organization of his RA?
  • Does his RA focus on rhetoric?
  • What was Barnes’s thesis?
  • What were his rhetorical choices?
  • How is the organization of his RA?
  • Does his RA focus on rhetoric?
writing an introduction
Writing an Introduction


  • A good introduction accomplishes two important tasks:
    • first, it attracts readers’ interest, and,
    • second, it presents the topic and makes some comment on it. It contains, in other words, a strong lead, or hook, and often an explicit thesis as well.
  • You can begin with a hook
BA 6
  • Description: To complete this assignment, read the initial draft provided and then write an initial paragraph in which you discuss the problems that you see in the current draft. Next, read the revised draft and write another paragraph in which you discuss 1) whether the problems that you saw in the first draft were addressed, 2) whether the revisions fixed other issues that you hadn’t noticed in the draft, and 3) why the revisions are or are not an improvement over the first draft. If you believe other revisions should be made to the draft, conclude your assignment with an explanation of what those are and how the revisions should be made. Your discussion should be 500 - 650 words in length.
  • The drafts are available on RaiderWriter.
  • NOTE: You have two options to choose from for your BA 6. One set of drafts analyzes the Malcolm X excerpt, and the other examines Diamond’s “The Ethnobiologist’s Dilemma.”Choose either the drafts from the Malcolm X excerpt, or choose the drafts from Diamond's excerpt. Do not do your BA 6 on both Malcolm X and Diamond.
  • Focus on higher order concerns when reviewing the texts.
  • What goes into effective introductions?
  • In-Class Assignment for Week 9: Bring a rough draft of your RA over the article you chose from the assigned Ch. 12 readings. We will practice workshopping over these in class. Read the assignment description for the 1.1 draft to get an understanding of what’s expected from your RA.
  • Be sure to type these. You can double-space your rough draft of your RA. Your draft must be 1200 words in length. Include in-text citations where needed and a works cited.