Mini-Modules Ready for Use

This page provides links to the various mini modules I have created in case teachers wish to include them in a course they are teaching.

What is a Mini-Module?–This is a description I provided for my ERWC colleagues.

A Narrative with a Point–This is a mini-module on narrative built around a Jimmy Kimmel monologue on health care.

“Three Ways to Persuade” Mini-Module–I extracted the “Three Ways to Persuade” article from the old “Rhetoric of the Op-Ed” page module and built a mini-module around it.

New! Knowledge, Belief, and the Role of Rhetoric: This is a mini-module that is designed to build upon “Three Ways to Persuade.”  It explores the problem of knowledge versus belief that Plato raises in the Gorgias.  It also works with Aristotle’s concept of the enthymeme, the argument based on assumed premises, without actually emphasizing that term.

Pathos as Inquiry: A Mini-Module–This is a re-conceived version of the concept of pathos as a way of knowing the audience.

Stasis Theory: A Mini-Module–This introduces the ancient practice of stasis theory in an approachable way for students. The module description says: “Our polarized politics provides daily examples of events and actions that are seen in utterly different ways by different groups. Stasis theory provides students with a framework for adding some clarity and rationality to even the most heated debates. Even if we end up agreeing to disagree, it is good to know what we are agreeing to disagree about.  Update: Modifying Stasis Theory for the Classroom.

The Classical Pattern of Persuasion–This introduces the Roman six-part speech as a flexible and more effective alternative to the essay organization formulas that students are often taught.  It presents the Classical pattern as a chart, a series of questions for the writer, and as a series of questions for a critical reader.  The Latin terms are included, but not emphasized.

A Reader-Response Approach to Poetry–A mini-module based on Reader-Response theory.  Any poem could be plugged into it and it is designed for a wide range of levels.

How Texts Construct Readers: A Mini-Module–This module is based on ideas from Glenn Stillar’s book, Analyzing Everyday Texts. Stillar argues that writers assign roles to the different stakeholders in a situation and construct the reader of the text to fulfill a particular role. Reading a text critically may mean that we want to question the roles assigned and resist being the reader the text constructs. The module uses a sign found on campus as an object of analysis.

Lydia Davis Micro Module–The original mini-module.  The core texts are a couple of paragraph length short stories by Lydia Davis.

A Science-oriented Mini-Module–This one focuses on a blog post about the death of the Messenger probe, which was the first probe to orbit Mercury.  The writing task is a bit of science fiction.

Exploring Disciplinary Discourse–This mini-module helps students explore the language, genres and writing style of their chosen major. It is designed to go toward the end of a college level first year composition course, but could be used in other contexts.

A Science Fiction Mini Module: “Boojum”: “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette has pirates, tentacled aliens, brains in jars, and a crew member who really loves her ship. It’s a good read. It was published in an online science fiction magazine called Lightspeed.