Rhetoric, Rhetorical Sensitivity, and Teaching for Transfer

By Lisa Ede

I want to say how pleased I am to be here with you today, and I have to say that from my perspective you have a huge amount to celebrate.

— Not that you didn’t before.

— Your writing program has always been unusually strong, as evidenced by the program’s recognition with a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence, the highest form of recognition that CCCC offers.

But as you know better than I do, in the past few years you’ve negotiated the rocky bureaucratic shoals of academic restructuring. Fortunately, the movement of the writing program out of the English department into its own freestanding Department of Writing Studies was something that you wanted to do. And now here you are with your own departmental identity, a new chair, a lively and responsive curriculum, and strong faculty development opportunities. In preparing for this workshop today, I read a number of articles in your blog “Deep Down in the Classroom,” and I was impressed.

So kudos to all of you! And I want to be sure to tell you that I, the other coauthors of Everyone’s An Author, and Marilyn (whose vision for EAA sustained and inspired us) are honored that you chose to include our textbook as a primary text for your course. Thank you for including EAA in your curriculum.

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I Let My Students Grade Me!

By Jennifer Daly


My first semester teaching was an incredible learning experience, as every semester is. It was also the first semester we required the multimodal project as the final project. Having taken Digital Rhetoric as a grad student, I felt super prepared and excited for the students to experience composing an argument in this way. I felt comfortable with this type of composition—but it was only after the whole uncomfortable process of stepping outside the comfort of alphabetic text in Digital Rhetoric. Because many of the students seemed extremely uncomfortable with the assignment, I decided that, in true democratic fashion, we would take a vote. Would they like me to work alongside them? I would even allow them to grade me! So, the tables had turned…

After they almost unanimously voted yes, I had to set up parameters. I would offer extra credit in the form of 2 points added to the final project of their choice if they followed the instructions presented for each of my drafts and graded each one (totaling 3 graded assignments in all). The assignment is as follows:

“I will work alongside you throughout the entire project’s process. Your due dates are my due dates. I will post my project in the discussion board, and you must grade it before the next draft is due. You must include the following criteria:

  • 1 piece of positive criticism: what is working and why? 2 sentences minimum.
  • 1 piece of constructive criticism: where do I need to clarify or what do I need to work on? 2 sentences minimum.
  • Give me a grade: utilize the grading rubric we created together and grade my project. 1 sentence minimum explanation.

If you grade each draft in time, totaling 3 grades, email me with the project you want your extra points added to by the due date of the final portfolio.” Continue reading