This project shifts the rhetorical situation from analyzing a message from the position of an audience
member (trying to build a deep understanding of the meaning of the text, the context in which the
sender created it, and the audiences to which it speaks) to one in which you yourself are a creator,
producing a text that is relevant to the rhetoric of freedom and slavery.
This project imitates what you’ll be asked to do often in both your college career and afterwards—discern
what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and how best to do so. The Rhetoric-in-Practice
assignment is intended to give you a deeper appreciation of what it means to make specific rhetorical
choices to serve your message and an opportunity to reflect on how those choices affect the message
you are sending and the audience that you reach with it.
In this way, the RIP is a culmination of the work you’ve done in this class with respect to your understanding
of both genre and rhetoric.
The RIP assignment has two parts: Project and Essay.
Project: You will craft a text having selected a purpose and audience that addresses the class theme
—the rhetoric of freedom and slavery—(or responds to The Underground Railroad). You will then select
an appropriate genre for this project, and demonstrate your rhetorical know-how by selecting appropriate
rhetorical choices for this situation. In other words, your created text will operate within a clear
rhetorical framework—with a clear context, belonging to an identifiable genre, and with a clear purpose
and audience. The only limitation on genre is that it is text-based and it cannot be a short story.
Message and Purpose: First, what’s your message going to be? What do you want to portray about
either your class text or class theme? Think about this specifically and complexly—what are the new
insights you can bring to the table? What are arguments that you can make?
Audience: Once you decide your message, whom do you want to target? Why? And what are going to
be the expectations of this audience? What might be difficult in addressing them? Think specifically
about who they are and what their expectations will be. How will that affect your appeals to them?
Genre: After you think through all of these possibilities, now you can start to decide on a genre for
your project. The RIP project should involve a text-based genre, but is only limited by your imagination.
Part of this project’s goal is for you to explore a genre that you’re not familiar with, so you should
pick something that can challenge you in terms of making a complex argument in a different format.
There can be multi-modal components to the project, but there should be a significant amount of text
should be the primary component. Research various genres online for what might be most compelling
to you—for instance, perhaps you’re interested in a short video, but instead can write a film treatment
or pitch document for it. Consider your past RIP exercises as a starting point for your final genre
NOTE: These are not requirements for this project, only suggestions that may be useful …Potential
genres: Podcast transcript; fictional TED talk; News/Media imitation(s); Radio/TV Interview transcript;
Blog/Tumblr; Organizational website (e.g. website for a fictional non-for profit)
Context: What’s the historical and cultural context of this project? Is this taking place right now?
Where and when? How does that influence the project? See the AGWR 39B chapter for more details
about exploring context.
Essay: You will also write a rhetorical analysis of your own work that analyzes the rhetorical choices
you made. The essay should build on your work in the RA essay and indicate how you’re applying
your rhetorical know-how. You’ll include secondary sources that demonstrate, among other things,
your understanding of your chosen genre and your understanding of the texts/ideas you’ve studied
throughout the quarter.
Multiple drafts, peer review and revision are required elements of the assignment. The RIP project’s
length depends on the purpose, audience and genre, but it should be equal to your Rhetorical Analysis
• The RIP essay should be between 500-800 words long.
• A minimum of three (3) sources must be cited in the essay, though the working bibliography
with 3-5 annotations may have 10 or more sources that you read in the process.
through Canvas final portfolio
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