So I’m not there. I’m here. And that’s not what I was planning, but sometimes things happen. I will be in the building later so that means 1) if you want to see my comments on your speech analysis group project work, you should stop by and 2) if you have a desperate question about your rhetorical analysis paper you should stop by and ask, otherwise know that tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll meet with 12 or 13 students instead of 10 and we’ll get through everybody. No big deal.

NO BIG DEAL? I’M FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS PAPER AND YOU THINK IT’S NO BIG DEAL? AAAHHH!!!!!!!! …am I right? Thought so. Okay, settle down.

Whoever your sub is should hopefully point you to the Writing Tools book on the bookshelves along the wall. Read some variety of tools 1-10. Over the next few days, you should read them all (1-10, that is) and apply the sound advice to your work on this paper.

Also pick up the reading “How to Get Power Through Voice” (it’s a printed packet somewhere near my desk…) and again, apply it to what you’re working on now. Don’t bother with the questions at the back.

Snoop the new additions to my website. They’re there to help you. Zinsser “On Writing Well” is great stuff and Language of Analysis, Transitions, and Different Ways are more reference handouts. Click on them. Read them. Print them. LAMINATE them. Also, if you need to work on punctuation or how to use “however” check those out. They’ve been there forever though.

Today ended up being a free day to get peer feedback and work on your papers. I hope you chose yo use it rather than squander it. Tomorrow, you will have certain groups with whom you’ll work through a couple tasks and then you’ll be turned loose. Same for Wednesday.

Remember what I said about show it to your mom, your friends, your dog? For real. Do it. Getting feedback form as many people as you can is helpful. Someone who doesn’t necessarily know everything we’ve been working on could help you by offering feedback about organization, transition, and clarity. So they haven’t studied rhetoric, so what? You should be explaining it clearly enough that anyone could pick it up, read it, and learn something about the text you chose: namely, how the author uses rhetoric to do stuff.

Ultimately it’s your work, though, and you need to be able to stand back from it, and look at it as objectively as you can, and ask yourself: “Self? Did I explain HOW the author uses syntax to support his argument?” Because just saying the author “uses syntax” makes no sense. If he’s using language, he’s using syntax because syntax is how words are put together; it’s grammatical structure. The same goes for diction. Authors can use diction to do certain things or they can use diction in new and different ways, but just saying “so and so uses diction” is baloney. He used words right? Diction. So watch out for those traps students fall into sometimes.