For this assignment, youll pick an important rhetorical concept or term and define, interrogate, and explore that concept, reflecting on its meaning, its relevance and value, and its possible future trajectory. Pick a Big Concept one of central importance to rhetorical studies (or at least of primary importance to a rhetorician). Pick a concept that you find interesting, troubling, or valuable. Pick one that you are intrigued by and want to learn more about. Pick one that you hope to use in your future work (either in this class or beyond).
The key questions your paper should address are:
Where, when, and how did this concept originate?
What is the importance or value of this concept of rhetoric?
How does this term have value and relevance in our daily lives?
As you draft and revise, here are some additional questions to consider:
Definition and etymology: What does the concept mean? Are there multiple or shifting meanings? What are the origins of the term?
Use: How and when is the concept deployed? How is it intended to be used by rhetoricians?
System: What role does the concept play in an overall system of rhetoric? (Whose system(s)?)
Debate/Issue/Ambiguity: What are the debates, problems, and/or ambiguities related to the concept? Is there anything at issue regarding its interpretation or use? Are there scholarly disagreements about its use, value, or influence?
Relevance/Value: How important is this concept? For whom?