GWRTC 103—Critical Reading and Writing
The remaining weeks of the course are devoted to your final project, one that you can develop based on your own purposes and interests. Throughout the semester, we’ve responded to several assignments, participated in many class discussions, and conducted creative/critical thinking that should have helped you ask important questions about and explore other areas of writing, rhetoric, and discourse.
Think about the project through Lloyd Bitzer’s eyes:
The Rhetorical Situation
Exigence. What purpose do you have? Will writing and rhetoric become important in your major? In your profession? In your civic life? What real need do you have to explore some aspect of writing, rhetoric, and discourse? Just curiosity? Something else?
Audience. I am an audience, of course, but I might not be the only audience you have. Is there someone or some entity who might benefit from the knowledge you gain from your exploration (besides you)? Considering your purpose above, will you write your project for other students, academics, administrators, coworkers, or Uncle Bob, who needs to increase his small-engine repair business?
Constraints. Considering your purpose and audience, then, what will be the best way to get your message across? What do you know about your audience, about their values, their ideologies, their needs? How much time do you have to devote to developing your message? Further, what ideas from the class will help you explore your project?
Whatever you choose to do, you will propose the idea to me to determine how feasible the project will be for you. Time, resources, and skills are major factors in determining what you can do. All in all, consider your own purpose. I will not tell you what to write, on what topic to explore, but I will certainly guide you through the process.
To help you narrow down ideas into topics, consider these questions: What do certain texts do? What do writers do through these texts? What can I do with writing? How does writing identify me? How does it constrain me? How does it liberate me? You’ve discussed several genres of texts: essays, graffiti, tattoos, chalking, billboards, highway signs, magazine ads. Consider others—like in your textlogs—that we haven’t spoken about: maps, food labels, greeting cards, blogs, menus, board games, technical instructions . . . . These can become your objects of study. What questions can you develop about these or any text? We’ll discover some ways of looking at them during our first week of the project.
In your final paper, you’ll—among other things—
Following are the criteria by which I will assess your paper:
Discovering Topics and Issues
Here are some methods to help you determine a topic to write about.
Now, think about the ways you hear about certain issues, ways and genres that can inspire you to write about something:
GWRTC 103—Final Project Proposal
What research/reading do I need to do?
What issues do I need to deal with or ask about?