CA504 SpecTps in CommArts/Leadership:

for U1P 2008

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CA 504 SpecTps in CommArts/Leadership:


U1P 2008 DL


McDonald, Michael




Masters Univerity of Missouri Kansas City
PhD Uniiveristy of Kansas

Office Location


Office Hours

2pm Moday-Friday

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Rhetoricial Crticism Foss 3rd ed.
APA Style manual

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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Course Description:
The course is designed to allow for the introduction of special areas of interest in communication and leadership. It may be repeated with a different topic.

Educational Philosophy:

Educational Philosophy

My philosophy is that I believe in an interactive learning environment. I think that students should become critical thinkers and master the area they are learning about. I also feel that students need to take responsibility for their learning. I try to enhance my student’s learning experience by being clear, concrete and well versed in my areas of study to aid in student comprehension.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. 1. explain the characteristics of rhetoric
  2. 2. define rhetorical criticism and demonstrate the four kinds of critical thinking used in doing rhetorical criticism.
  3. 3. analyze the aspects of the rhetorical situation
  4. 4. explain the process involved in using each method
  5. 5. evualate the meaning appropriateness of messages.
  6. 6. formulate a research a question.
  7. 7. select the appropriate method of.analysis for the chosen arrtifact
  8. 8. sythesize information from a variety of sources
  9. 9. write a critical essay.
Class Assessment:
Your grade will be based on papers, discussions and analysis of artifactts.


500 points roughly divided into the following areas:





Grading Scale



Discussion questions


40 pts.

2@20 pts. Each method papers


100 pts.

Article review paper


50 pts.

Topic selection paper


50 pts.

Methods section paper

less than 300=F

50 pts.

Analysis section paper

150 pts.

Core assessment final paper



  1. For eight weeks students are asked to respond to discussion questions in the threaded discussion posted. Please respond to each question. Also look at the questions that others post. Be as precise as possible in your discussions. Use the text or lecture notes for suggestions for how to respond to the questions and discussion statements posted.
  2. There will be two group methods projects. In groups students will analyze and write a brief methods paper for a speech. The purpose of this assignment is to understand how to use a rhetorical method for analysis. The students will critically examine the speech and then apply the method that is suggested for it. Again, this is a group project therefore you will receive a te for the research paper you will write that should be worthy of publication. These papers should be a minimum of five pages.
  3. The most significant assignment this semester is the writing of the research paper. As stated this paper should be written as if were suitable for publication. It is will written and evaluated in four sections. Please write each in APA style. Along with your notations and bibliography. This first section will be the topic selection paper. It will comprise what the unit of analysis is and why is worthy of being selected. The paper should be at least 5 pages in length. The paper should cover the following items:

·         Background on when, where, and to whom the text was delivered

·         A description of the rhetor

·         A description of the artifact

·         A review of relevant literature on the text

·         An explanation of why the text is rhetorically interesting

·         A preview paragraph that outlines your research question or thesis

   The second paper is the method section. Here you will describe how you will analyze your rhetorical artifact. This paper will begin the second half of the final paper. The paper should have an introduction to preview your topic and ideas as well as a conclusion to review the main ideas.   Talk with me if you are having a hard time find a method to fit the artifact. The paper should have an introduction to preview your topic and ideas as well as a conclusion to review the main ideas. The paper should be at least 6 pages in length. This paper should focus on the method you will use in the analysis of the artifact. Discuss the following:

·         The method you will use

·         Summaries of at least 5 studies don’t using this type of criticism

·         The fundamental goals of this type of criticism

·         The strengths and limitations of this perspective

 The third section is the survey analysis paper. In this section you will focus on what the artifact mean and how it influences an audience. This paper should be at least 6 pages in length. This paper is a substantial portion of your grade. Therefore, do a good job. The guidelines for this section include:

·         Include a thesis statement in the introduction that clearly states your general argument

·         Include at least three ideas which support the thesis/research question you identified in the introduction

·         Include at least three examples to support each of the three sub-points you identified in part two-please note that is important to use direct quotes as well as explanations of scenes, characters, etc

·         How can we see you artifact after the analysis?

·         What have we learned about this artifact, rhetor, these strategies, the consequences

·         What this study has contributed to the study of rhetoric/language/symbol use

The forth section is the final paper. For this paper you may use any type of criticism that was covered in the course. This paper should be a complete example of rhetorical criticism. You should develop an effective argument about the implications of a rhetorical act. You will not succeed in the assignment by analyzing an artifact and showing us that it conforms to what we already know. Make your criticism worth reading. Show the read reader something important they did not already know.                            

This paper should be at least 15 pages long. As a paper, it should have an introduction which sets up the paper and a conclusion that reviews your main ideals. Once you have found your artifact you can discuss potential theoretical approaches to use with me. Also remember that the papers you have written prior to this one should help you write this final paper so do not for get to go back to other paper and integrate that material. The guidelines for t he papers are as follows:


1.    Attention getter

2.    Identify artifact

3.    Justify your study

4.    Preview the sections of the paper

Historical-Contextual Analysis

1.    Give background on when, where, and to whom the artifact was delivered

2.    Describe the artifact

3.    Discuss the exigence for the rhetoric

4.    Explain the circumstances surrounding the act

5.    Explain the barriers/expectations the piece faces.

6.    Describe the rhetor

7.    Summarize at least five articles about the artifact/rhetor

8.    Explain briefly why the text is rhetorically interesting

9.    State your thesis


1.    Explain your theoretical perspective

2.    Summarize at least 4 other studies done with your method

3.    Discuss the fundamental goals of this type of criticism

4.    Explain what can we learn about rhetoric/communication/society from this type of criticism

5.    Explain the strengths and limitations of this perspective

6.    Explain what standards are used for emulation, effects, truth,, ethics, artistry


1.    Identify your thesis

2.    Develop at least three arguments which support the thesis/research question

3.    Give at least three examples (often quotes from the artifact) to support each of the three sub-point

4.    Using criteria established in your theory section, what can we lean abbot this artifact, rhetor, strategies, consequences of these strategies

5.    What conclusion or assumptions about the rhetor or artifact can be made


1.    What is the general argument of the study?

2.    What has the study contributed to the stud of rhetoric/language/symbol use?

3.    What are some possible areas for future study?

4.    What would the reader take away form this work?

This paper will be done in two stages. The rough draft will be peer edited and you will have time to revise before turning in the final paper.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late Work: I expect all course work to be done on time. If you know you will be absent a particular class period, come talk to. Illness, sudden or otherwise, is no excuse for missing a due date. You must contact me and make arrangements before the due date.  All late work will be penalized 10%. All late work must be completed within two weeks of the original assignment unless special permission is granted. Work is considered late if it is not in my possession by12:00am on the date due. Plan ahead and start early. It has been my experience that the night before an assignment is due, all the books in the library on the topic have been checked out and the computer systems will be down.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
All documents must be word processed and submitted in Word format. Post initlal discussion questions by Wednesday at 12 am. Please be polite in your discussion.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

 June 2                                                    


Intro to course                                           

Foss Chapters 1-2

June 9                                                        


Neo-Aristotelian criticism                      

Foss Chapter 3

Article paper due    

June 16                                                         

Fantasy-Theme criticism                        

Foss Chapter 5                                                                                                                                                         First Group Method Paper due    


June 23                                                         


Metaphor and Cluster criticism           

Foss Chapters 9, 4                                                                                                                                          Text Section Paper due


June 30                                                         


Narrative criticism                                    

Foss Chapter 10                                                                                                                                                         Second Group Method Paper due

July 7                                                                           

Burkian criticism                                          

Foss Chapter 11                                                                                                                                                            

Method section paper due

July 14                                                             


Feminist criticism                                       

Foss Chapter 6

Survey/Analysis paper due 


July 21                                                              


Why is rhetorical criticism important?                 


Rough Draft of core assessment due                 


July 25                                                                                                                                 

Read and discuss class papers

Final Draft of core assessment paper due  



This syllabus does not indicate a contract. I reserve the right to make changes throughout the semester.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 28

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:5/19/2008 3:46:06 PM