When reading, analyzing, and digesting the article, Rhetoric and Composition, I can honestly say that I was very pleased and satisfied with what the author had to offer. My understanding of the article is that it takes a very strong stance on emphasizing the importance of rhetoric within the discipline of the study of English. For all of my lovely readers who don’t know exactly what rhetoric means, take a gander at this definition provided by https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhetoric.
Rhetoric: the art of speaking or writing effectively: such as. a : the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times. b : the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion. In other words, this is the part of studying English that most people do not connect with.
The author makes a lot of great points throughout the reading, and I would like to target two main passages from his writing that I would like to address upon.
Earlier in the reading, we are introduced to some pretty ‘memory retrieving’ facts! Laure brings up many points in where how we are introduced into the English Discipline on different stages of our education. She first address how in the primary and middle grades, both age groups of students do learn both rhetoric and composition, but within the nature of rhetoric it is only taught on the basis of emphasizing on traditional grammar instructions. I do agree with Laure! Recalling back to my grade school education, my 7th grade ELA experience ties hand and hand within this. We really had two English classes! One that focused on just reading literature, and the other was for writing (emphasizing on traditional grammar instructions). To be quite honest, this is where my childhood trauma of writing began. My writing grammar and writing teacher stressed the idea of perfect heading writing and spelling that I was not able to gain a true writing voice until I reached college. Sad stuff, man.
The passage goes on to address students entering into college, “most students concluded that the field of English studies entails the study of literature and, to a lesser extent, the teaching of composition.” English comes off as this ‘read, read, read!” discipline that the writing portion comes off as the pepper on the right side of your soup that you may or may not when to add it. As an undergrad, in one of my lower level English courses, one of my professor made us literally go through the process of making the traditional essay standard for high school just so that we could rip it up and throw it in the garbage. She then continued to stress the idea of how the English major is separated into the readers and writers, and how in her courses we are going to make it a one big happy English family!
On this page I was introduced into the ‘Holy Trinity of Rhetoric’!
I found this interesting because it gives the reader the kind of back story of the ideas of rhetoric. Makes us call upon three different aspects of approaching writing. For the sake of writing space, here is a link to the breakdown of each component: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/ethos-pathos-logos/
Looking at through another lens!
When looking at a fellow bloggers response, it made me think at The Holy Trinity of Rhetoric different.
Lauer explains that writing should not be taught in a strictly linear, hierarchical way. Ideas breed in a horizontal manner and are affected by the writer’s society, interpersonal and cross-cultural connections. She stresses the importance that the teacher should not be the intended spectator; rather, the student writer should develop his or her own sense of who his or her audience is. This makes writing dynamic, current and important. Imposing borders on students on what type of writing is acceptable serves only to frustrate their learning processes.
“Othering and Belonging”
To be honest this article was quite hard for me to grasp the first five pages. I was expecting the two articles (Janice M. Lauer “Rhetoric and Composition”) to make some groundbreaking connection! When further reading, I came to the conclusion that this article has no ties with the first and that I needed to get over it. This article circles back around to my Race & ID class and how this word othering is just another word us as U.S citizens like to categorize people who are not like ‘us’. Which makes no sense because no of ‘us’ are like ‘us’ (my apologies for the over played word).
I would like to take back the comment for lack of connection between th two articles. I would like to bring something I noticed and highlighted within the reading. As stated in the article, “Aristole and other ancient Greeks warned of “demagogues” – leaders who used rhetoric to incite fear for political gain.” To remind my reader of the definition of rhetoric: the art of speaking or writing effectively: such as. a : the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times. b : the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion. In other words, this is the part of studying English that most people do not connect with. Now who said rhetoric and composition is not that important? If you can not properly articulate yourself as a leader, who would really wanna follow you? The Greeks called it and I am just stating the facts.