Unit Three

As the culmination of our course, we introduce our students to rhetoric by posting our final question: “How do the texts we produce function in the world outside the classroom?” The two of us had to debate this unit’s placement within the chronology of the course; in our program, rhetoric is usually the guiding frame for FYC.  In our opinion, rhetoric is equally important to this course as all the other concepts, but were it placed first, it would provide students a gateway to understanding persuasion. While that’s a worthy goal, our overarching goal is to show students a conception of writing as a whole, and our presentation of rhetoric shows one important function of writing that is of primary concern, both to the field and students in their everyday lives. With a broad understanding of assemblage, modes, and genre as the “composition of composition,” we finally turn our focus to persuasive composition outside of the classroom in an attempt to push for student transfer of writing knowledge and practice. Utilizing the material they learn early in the course as a lens, students analyze rhetors’ uses of modes, media, and genre—the available means of persuasion—to answer exigencies targeted at particular audiences.