Types of Scripts from Jan. 28 In-class Lecture

While we’ve seen from the classification schemas John DeFrancis includes in his book Visible Speech that there are debates over how to classify different writing systems (or even if those systems count as writing), in the most general terms we can talk about three types of writing systems: logographies, syllabaries, and alphabets. The following is […]

Discoveries of Writing from Jan. 28 In-class Lecture

Writing, as we’ve discussed, is a technology: it is something that was invented or “discovered.” Depending upon who you ask, writing was independently discovered between 2 – 7 times. Note here that I am using — stressing — the word “independently.” What we mean when we say “independently discovered” is that a culture seems to […]

Writing Classification Schemas from Jan. 28 In-class Lecture

Following up on our Jan. 24 in-class discussion of the boundaries of what is and isn’t writing, I posted a Communication Classification Scheme from John DeFrancis’s Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems 1) DeFrancis, John. Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989. that places writing within the larger […]

Jan. 28 Daily Agenda

General questions. Announcements: Schedule change due to weather. On-campus office hours: Tuesdays, 12:15-1:15 PM, Robinson Hall A 408. Short lecture on writing. Classification schemas contextualizing writing within communication. Discoveries of writing. Three types of scripts: logographies, syllabaries, alphabets. Group work: Break out into groups, one group for each of the four readings and identify key ideas […]

Schedule Changes and Office Hours

To reflect the revised semester schedule, I have updated the online course schedule, including when our final project is due. (Note: we will no longer be meeting during finals week.) Individual daily schedules are still forthcoming. As part of the schedule change, I’ve made some changes to the topics we’ll be covering this semester, which […]

Communication Classification Scheme

During Thursday’s class (Jan. 24), one question we ran up against as we discussed the boundaries of what is and isn’t writing was the distinction between writing and communication. While there are other ways of drawing distinctions between the two, this diagram offers one way defining different types of communication and their relationships. 1) Source: DeFrancis, John. […]

Jan. 21 Daily Agenda

General questions. In-class write: List the kinds of writing that you have generated in the past week. List the tools that you have used to write within the past month. Group work: Break into groups, share lists, and create a group list. What kinds of writing and writing tools were listed by more than one […]

Tour of Course Website and Slack

A video overview of the course website and course Slack sites.

Jan. 19 Daily Agenda

Welcome to the course. Overview of the syllabus. In-class write: What do you know about writing? What do you know about rhetoric? Quick review of course website, Slack site, and Blackboard.

Welcome to ENGH 380

Welcome to the course site for ENGH 380: Introduction to Writing and Rhetoric (Spring 2016) at George Mason University. As you get started, I suggest you read the introduction to get a sense of what we’ll be about this semester. After that, I’d suggest looking at the requirements and the policies for the course. After that, you […]