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505.1 Glossary (15%, 15 points)

Our semester begins with a broad-based introduction to several rhetorical concepts. Drawing from the readings assigned in the first few weeks of the term and other resources you consult on your own, develop a glossary of ten terms related to the rhetoric of science and technology. Many of these will be terms you encounter in the reading for this class, but you are welcome to work with other terms you think are due for more definitional precision. Each word or phrase in your glossary will include a one- or two-paragraph account (approximately 50-200 words) that lends depth and substance to the term, succintly expressing its meaning(s) and significance in your emerging rhetorical vocabulary.

The glossary should develop through two distinct but overlapping ways of working: solo and collaborative. That is, you may come up with a list of ten terms on your own, and you are individually responsible for researching and writing a gloss of all ten terms. For the terms you have in common with others, however, you will merge your glosses into a single entry, which means you will work collaboratively in certain cases. This also means that unique terms call for individual work and shared terms will require collaborative work. We will devote time in class to establishing lists of terms and to coordinating efforts where collaboration is due.

Consider this scenario: Student One selects the following ten terms: rhetoric, science, act, manner, fact, argument, ethos, audience, stasis, and context. Student Two selects these: logos, art, aesthetics, audience, rhetorical situation, techne, ethos, craft, scene, identification.
Each student would develop glosses on all ten terms, but they would negotiate and eventually merge their entries on audience and ethos, the pair of terms they have in common. You can work with ten unique terms if you choose, which means you would not be obligated to collaborate. Or, you can work with up to five shared terms, which means you would collaborate on the glosses for up to half of the records in your glossary. The project is highly configurable and should fit flexibly with your emerging interests.

The project will culminate with two documents: 1) an individual glossary of ten terms and 2) a class-wide glossary hosted in Hihiwiki. I recommend using the wiki to negotiate and merge glosses when terms are shared. Include with the individual glossary a brief statement (no more than 500 words) explaining decisions you made, rationale for the terms you selected, and, if appropriate, setbacks and successes you encountered as you worked.

Settle on the terms you will work with by our fourth class meeting, Wednesday, September 26. The glossary is due before the start of class on Wednesday, October 17. Upload individual glossaries to the Dropbox in EMU Online and make sure your entries appear in Hihiwiki.

What does an exemplary glossary reflect?
1. Evidence of rigor (e.g., timeliness, inquisitive thinking reflecting a grasp of course readings and glosses written by colleagues, as well as the use of self-selected resources when necessary or appropriate)
2. Evidence of development (e.g., glosses are adequately developed and revised; individual gloss includes a thoughtful statement of rationale)
3. Evidence of connective thinking (e.g., hyperlinks, citations, and cross-references to other glossary entries)
4. Evidence of correctness (e.g., the writing is polished, carefully proofread)

Each criterion will be mapped onto the following scale:


EX: Exceptional. The writer has applied the criterion with distinction.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. The writer has applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
NI: Needs improvement. The writer has minimally applied the criterion in the project.
NA: Not applied. The writer has not applied the criterion in the project.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2020 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"Rhetoric of science is simply, then, the study of how scientists persuade and dissuade each other and the rest of us about nature, —the study of how scientists argue in the making of knowledge" (xii). Randy Harris, "Introduction," Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies

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