Rhetoric, Composition, and Expression for a Digital Age

Rhetoric, Composition, and Expression for a Digital Age

Introduces and develops understanding, for first year students, of composing and critiquing written and multimodal texts.

Subject Matter Expert: Paul Ranieri, Ph.D.

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Lesson 1: Composing, Play and Expression
Learning as Play – Joyful and Compelling Learning – Intellectual Play – Composing and Learning – Composing as Living

Lesson 2: The Basics of Rhetoric
Defining Rhetoric – A Matrix of Discourse Types – Ethos – Pathos – Logos – Kairos – The Role of Persuasion in Life

Lesson 3: Responding to Multimodal Texts
Multimodal Expression – Applying Rubrics to Single Mode and Multimodal Texts – Planning and Purpose – Assessing and Revising

Lesson 4: Ideas and Voice
Expressing Voice – Ideas and Invention – Purpose and Structure – The Demands of an Audience – Voice and Character

Lesson 5:  From Personal Ideas to Public Expression
A Diagnostic Tool – Composing as Choices – The Evolution of a Text from the Personal to the Public

Lesson 6:  Performance Development
Composing as Performance – Composing/Performing Processes – Goals, Directions, and Plans – Reflection and Revising – Chunking – Metacognition and Procedural Knowledge

Lesson 7:  Style and Editing
Five Guidelines for Clear, Direct, Concise Style – Agent + Action – Improving Flow – Shape and Elegance – Style and Democracy


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Paul Ranieri, PhD


Dr. Paul Ranieri has taught rhetoric and English Composition to students in higher education for more than 35 years. He describes his interests as centering on the role of thinking and language (the classic concept of logos) in teaching, learning and society. He says: "I have continued my interest in English education but have evolved, as well, special emphases on classical rhetoric, the teaching of liberal education, composition/honors pedagogy, and the scholarship of teaching and learning." Dr. Ranieri received his PhD from the University of Texas – Austin and currently teaches at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. See his curriculum vitae here.