Lecture: Scientific Discourse as Effective Expression

The readings for Week 3 — Campbell’s “The Polemical Mr. Darwin,”1)1. Campbell, John Angus. “The Polemical Mr. Darwin.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech 61.4 (1975): 375-390. Gross’ “On the Shoulders of Giants: Seventeenth-Century Optics as an Argument Field,”2)1. Gross, Alan G. “On the Shoulder’s of Giants: Seventeenth-Century Optics as an Argument Field.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech 74.1 (1988): 1-17.  and […]

Lecture: Prelli’s “The Nature of Rhetoric”

Lawrence Prelli’s “The Nature of Rhetoric” is the second chapter of his book A Rhetoric of Science: Inventing Scientific Discourse, a book I recommend if you’re finding these readings on the rhetoric of science interesting. 1)1. Prelli, Lawrence J. A Rhetoric of Science: Inventing Scientific Discourse. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 1989. While there’s more recent […]

Lecture: The MIT Guide, Ch. 3 & 4

Note: Unless I hear otherwise I will assume you understand the readings from The MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication. Therefore, lectures on readings from the book will tend to be short, focusing on specifics I want to highlight. If you have any questions whatsoever about the readings, including material not covered in the lectures, please ask. […]

Lecture: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Ethos, pathos, and logos can seem like fairly simple concepts — ethos is about the credibility of the rhetor (the speaker or writer), pathos is about emotion and empathy, and logos is about logical reasoning and structure, and we often talk about them as something that is either there (or present in a rhetorical act) or not […]

Lecture: Introduction to the Enthymeme

This lecture supplements and extends this week’s reading on the enthymeme that is available in Blackboard.1)1. Gage, John T. “The Enthymeme” from The Shape of Reason: Argumentative Writing in College. 4th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2006. 82-85. This lecture draws heavily from Gage’s The Shape of Reason and from Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary […]

Lecture: MIT Guide, Ch. 10: Memos, Letters, and Electronic Mail

As always, unless I hear otherwise I will assume you understand the readings from The MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication. Therefore, lectures on readings from the book will tend to be short, focusing on specifics I want to highlight. If you have any questions or need further elaboration on anything about the readings, including material not covered […]

Lecture: MIT Guide, Ch. 1

Note: Unless I hear otherwise I will assume you understand the readings from The MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication. Therefore, lectures on readings from the book will tend to be short, focusing on specifics I want to highlight. Just because I don’t address something doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. For instance, in the lecture I only […]

Lecture: Defining Rhetoric

Despite its 2,500-year history and its place of privilege in the Trivium as one of Seven Liberal Arts, rhetoric is often thought of as something negative: as empty speech or pretty or flowery language used to deceive. Immanuel Kant wrote that rhetoric is the art “of deceiving by a beautiful show (ars oratoria)” (171) and […]