English R1A

The Rhetoric of Rants

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
19 Fall 2010 Lankin, Andrea A
Lankin, Andrea
MWF 1-2 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Betty Radice, ed., trans., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise; Richard A. Lanham, A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, 2nd ed.; Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers, Sixth ed.; e-reserves containing Wulfstan, "The Sermon of the Wolf to the English," Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal,” Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own,” George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” and Judy Grahn, “A Woman is Talking to Death,” as well as a variety of newspaper articles, blog posts, and other recent essays.


The art of arguing while furious is actually a very difficult rhetorical task.  This class will read the works of master debaters from medieval Europe to twenty-first century America.  Using their work as primary sources and as inspirations, we’re going to learn how to produce two different kinds of writing, neutral scholarly prose and persuasive argument. Thus the class will consider the mechanics of writing both as part of the Reading and Composition requirements and as a theoretical project surrounding the class readings. We will also learn how to recognize underlying claims, unspoken assumptions, and ways of supporting claims in argumentative prose. By the end of the class, all students should be confident readers and writers of political discourse, able to participate fully in societal debates. Students will write and revise 32 pages of prose over the course of the class.

Back to Semester List