Problems in the Descriptive Mode

Four-item list entitled Mental Work Cited

Although teaching a descriptive unit is an essential foundation for good writing, many instructors find summary tedious to teach, and especially difficult to present to students in interesting, innovative ways.  In my class, we learn how to adopt the descriptive mode as historiography, giving students a chance to both practice good summary and question the processes by which summary is produced and presented in a common rhetorical context.   Nonetheless, students are usually anxious to move on to analysis as we wrap up the first unit.

Inventing with Images

Photo of car exhaust pipe with text STOP BLOWING SMOKE.

I’ve often had students work with images in past semesters, but in those activities I’ve used them as texts for analysis or tools for organization, as when students constructed visual-verbal-aural outlines in Animoto to help them prepare for their formal essays. This semester I decided to have my RHE 306 class focus on using images to aid in invention and construction of a succinct argument.


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