Final Exam Prompt

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Final Exam: Take Home

Please read through the following six prompts and answer three. Each answer should be a response paper length, or approximately one to one and a half pages; some answers may require more justification than others. You should not consult outside sources for an answer unless otherwise directed; however, any use of sources, notes, or the textbook should incorporate citations in proper MLA style. You are allowed to use your notes and the textbook to help guide your answers.

  1. What is your definition of rhetoric for our 21st century digital world? Is your definition unique? Why? Is rhetoric more persuasion or argument? What is the most important part of rhetoric and why? (You might use different models like Toulmin, Rogerian, civic literacy, and so on to help answer this question.) How is it different in digital spaces like the Internet?
  2. Read a CC essay on “Civic Engagement” handed out in class. Who is the target audience? Write a full, in-depth audience analysis for this essay retroactively. If the author were going to deliver his speech for a 21st century Tidewater Community College symposium, in what ways might he/she change the essay? Try to demonstrate you’ve read the essay with examples to back up your audience analysis.
  3. Develop a dissoi logoi response to the “Civic Engagement” argument. Use the Toulmin model to structure your response. You may use one or two outside sources as evidence for your dissoi logoi argument, but try to rely mostly on the essay. Use a They Say, I Say approach.
  4. Conduct a rhetorical analysis of Mitt Romney’s presidential concession speech on Nov. 6, 2012. Demonstrate your understanding of key rhetorical concepts in class but focus your attention on one or two concepts (i.e. diction) rather than spreading yourself too thin. Is this a “good speech”? (I’ve read the online comments and other analyses, so develop an original perspective.)
  5. Conduct a visual rhetorical analysis of either slide 1 or slide 2 posted as a PowerPoint under Blackboard Assignments. What argument is slide 1 making? How do these four images speak to one another or give an overall impression about an issue? What argument is slide 2 making about UVA logos/branding? Remember to analyze for traditional rhetorical terminology (ethos, logos, pathos, stasis theory, audience, context, fallacies) in addition to a deeper analysis of intentionality and visual contrast, balance, color, and juxtaposition.
  6. Read three newspaper editorials and identify three logical fallacies in them (NOTE: Do not generally find fallacies used in newspapers but specific examples/instances). Why are these fallacies? Are they harmful to the argument?