Lettner-Rust, Heather “Making rhetoric visible: Re-visioning a capstone civic writing seminar.” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society 1.1 (2010).
Lettner-Rust explains the philosophical foundations of an upper-division capstone course on civic writing at her institution, a course that asks students to address, through writing, speaking, and research, a public issue of civic importance. Using Isocrates’ explanation of the goal of education – to create the “active-citizen-orator,” Lettner-Rust argues that the goal of rhetorical education at the university, especially at the upper-division level, is to push students to use their knowledge in cross-disciplinary ways (like the cross-disciplinary public sphere), using open-ended inventive heuristics rather than rules.
A course that emphasizes rhetoric is key at the end of a students’ education.
Notes and Quotes
in line with calls for “rhetoric across the curriculum”
colleagues across campus are confused about the purpose of the course
“instead of the writing curriculum being a service course to the academy, rhetoric should function as an integral part of the knowledge-making paradigm throughout the academy.”
“The product of the course is a rhetorical education, a process that allows students to enact rhetorical principles.”
learn rhetorical principles – kairos is a key one
students are asked to evaluate their purpose, audience, context; choose appropriate rhetorical devices to meet those needs; analyze and evaluate the effectivenss of their rhetoric and of others’