About This Book

Johannah White and Melanie Gagich & Emilie Zickel

Rhetoric Matters: A Guide to Success in First Year Writing

This book and the accompanying course (CENL 1023–English Composition II) were created as part of the Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment project, facilitated by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network and funded by a $2 million Open Textbooks Pilot Program grant from the Department of Education.

This project supports the extension of access to high-quality post-secondary opportunities to high school students across Louisiana and beyond by creating materials that can be adopted for dual enrollment environments. Dual enrollment is the opportunity for a student to be enrolled in high school and college at the same time.

The cohort-developed OER course materials are released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification and sharing with others. This includes a corresponding course available in MoodleNet and Canvas Commons that can be imported to other Learning Management System platforms. For access/questions, contact Affordable Learning Louisiana.

If you are adopting this textbook, we would be glad to know of your use via this brief survey.

This book is primarily built upon the work of Melanie Gagich and Emilie Zickel, first and foremost. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their excellent work. We also thank their many contributors and sources for making Guide to Rhetoric so useful. Please see below for information, attribution, and thanks from that original work.

Review Statement

This textbook and its accompanying course materials went through at least two review processes:

  • Peer reviewers, coordinated by Jared Eusea, River Parish Community College, used an online course development standard rubric for assessing the quality and content of each course to ensure that the courses developed through Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment support online learners in that environment. The evaluation framework reflects a commitment to accessibility and usability for all learners.
    • Reviewers
      • Jesse Walczak
      • Emily Aucoin
      • Nicole Shaw
  • The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) collaborated with LOUIS to review course materials and ensure their appropriateness for dual enrollment audiences. Review criteria were drawn from factors that apply across dual enrollment courses and subject areas, such as determining appropriate reading levels, assessing the fit of topics and examples for high school DE students; applying high-level principles for quality curriculum design, including designing for accessibility, appropriate student knowledge checks, and effective scaffolding of student tasks and prior knowledge requirements, addressing adaptability and open educational practices, and principles related to inclusion and representational social justice.
    • Reviewers
      • Danielle R Potier
      • Will Rogers

Guide to Rhetoric

This book combines the Introduction to Writing in College by Melanie Gagich and ENG 102: Reading, Writing and Research by Emilie Zickel, which were both supported by Cleveland State University’s 2017 Textbook Affordability Small Grant. The book was then revised, edited, and formatted by Melanie Gagich, Emilie Zickel, Yvonne Bruce, Sarah Lacy, John Lanning, Amanda Lloyd, Charlotte Morgan, and Rashida Mustafa. This work was made possible through the generous support of the Cleveland State University Office of the Provost.

Within each chapter there are sections written by Melanie Gagich, Emilie Zickel, or other members of the textbook team (see above) and authorial attributions are given. This book also contains other resources integrated under Creative Commons licenses. These open-access resources include complete and also remixed chapters from Monique Babin, Carol Burnell, Susan Pesznecker, Nichole Rosevear, and Jamie Wood’s The Word on College Reading and Writing, links to several essays from the open source textbook series Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, and several links to articles from the open source website Writing Commons. Additionally, parts of this book also come out of a remixed version of Robin Jeffrey’s About Writing, which have been rearranged, amended, edited, and enhanced with digital reading experience by including videos and visual reading features. Shared and remixed materials will be denoted with attribution information when necessary.

Our Philosophy

When Melanie and Emilie decided to combine our individual textbooks, we decided that we wanted the new text to function more like a manual or guide to rhetorical concepts and writing genres, to composing in a college setting, and to helping students succeed in FYW at Cleveland State rather than a formal textbook. Together we conceptualized a text that does not necessarily answer all student questions or cover all material taught by FYW instructors at CSU or at other institutions. Instead, we wanted to create a text that is less prescriptive than a traditional textbook and allows for the picking and choosing of content by instructors and by students. We believe this type of text fosters student-centered pedagogies because it is a tool for students that supports them during many different writing moments such as when the instructor isn’t there to reinforce concepts that have been discussed already in class.

Further, the text lacks a unifying tone because we feel that one of the central philosophies behind Open Access Educational Resources is the need for and importance of collaboration and the sharing and “remixing” of others’ content. Our text was not written by one or even two authors, rather it is a collection of a diverse array of viewpoints and writing styles, which, to us, exemplifies one of the many ways that our book is different from a traditional, printed, and academic textbook. We feel that the inclusion of work by multiple authors can also provide a starting point for conversations in writing class about how writing “actually works in the real world” (Wardle and Downs).

In sum, the book cannot and should not replace the voice of the instructor. We envision it as a manual or guide also because we want all instructors to be able to use it how they see fit. We hope that this text will reflect not only our voices and the voices of our team of part-time instructors but also offer students resources for navigating and succeeding in college and support for working on writing assignments.

A Note about Citations

This text was written in and chapters have been edited to reflect the 8th edition of MLA.

About the Authors of Rhetoric Matters

Adam Falik is an assistant professor at Southern University of New Orleans. He can be reached at afalik@suno.edu.

Dr. Dorie LaRue is professor of English at Louisiana State University, Shreveport. She can be reached at dorie.larue@lsus.edu.

Dr. Doreen Piano is associate professor of English and Director of Women and Gender Studies program at the University of New Orleans. To contact her, email dpiano@uno.edu.

Dr. Tracey Watts is an instructor in English at Loyola University of New Orleans. She can be reached at tawatts@loyno.edu.

Johannah White is a public services librarian at the University of New Orleans. To contact her, email jwhite15@uno.edu.

Creative Commons Licensing

This book is licensed under a Creative Commons as CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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About This Book Copyright © 2022 by Johannah White and Melanie Gagich & Emilie Zickel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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