Tips for Success and Book Suggestions from Rhetoric Teachers

"Reading assignments are requirements not suggestions. Give yourself adequate time to complete an assignment leaving enough time to review and revise your work before turning in the final draft".

Must Reads:
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
--Laura Mohsene


"To quote Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, my best advice to the freshly-registered Rhetoric student is "don't panic. " Writing and rhetoric are not complicated concepts, and everyone can improve their writing with enough practice. Chances are if you read your textbook, participate, and bring your brain and a sincere attitude to class, you will most likely learn to write well".

Must Reads:
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
Style: Ten lessons in Clarity and Grace by J. M. Williams
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler
--Abigail Manuel


"Take yourself seriously. Be proud of every essay you hand in. This doesn't mean that you should try to write a perfect paper every time, but you should feel that you have perfected some part of your paper. If your paper was published the next day, would you feel proud of what you did? I take few things more seriously than student work, and it is always disappointing to see a student who values his or her writing half as much as I do".

Must Reads:
Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow
Writing Analytically by David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen
--Rachael Sullivan


"To be successful in writing, one must realize writing as a process that not only involves time for writing, but time for revising".

Must Reads:
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Writing to Learn by William Zinsser
Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams
--Ryan Fletcher


"Be engaged, come to class prepared, and dedicate yourself to improving your skills as a critical reader and writer".

Must Reads:
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing by John Trimble
On Writing Well by William K. Zinsser,
--Jeff Pettineo


"I have advice for two kinds of students: Overachievers and Slackers (They'll know who they are):
Overachievers: I think it is important to remember that writing is a recursive process, and your writing should evolve over every draft. In fact, writing is an activity where we constantly work towards perfections, but never actually achieve it. Therefore, prepare yourselves to accept the fact that there are no perfect grades, and no perfect papers. Make it your aim to learn as much as possible in the course. Learning, not grades, should be the ultimate goal of Rhetoric 1302 (and education in general).

Slackers: Come to class. Do your work. Turn in assignments on time. Read the readings. Participate in Class. Don't sulk in the corner. Believe it or not, you will have to write something someday. GIGO".

--Jordan Canfield


"The two parts of advice I have for students entering their freshman year of college is something I wish I took heed to when I was given this advice, which is "You can not get by with the effort you did in high school to succeed in college. You have to challenge yourself to do better whether it being attendance, homework, reading assignments or anything else. You have to prepare for every class and not just the night before. " The second part of advice I have deals with the students who do not take my prior advice seriously, "the lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. "

Must Reads:
Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (9th Ed) by Joseph M. Williams
--Kassi Buck


"You will write wherever you go and no matter what you do. You will argue your point of view many times. So you might as well learn what has been a century old tradition of rhetoric to be more successful in your work. In this course you will learn transferable skills that will make you a better communicator and writer".
-- Sobia Khan


"Come prepared to work. Writing isn't easy and it is going to take considerable time and effort to improve. Like anything else, you get out of the class what you put in so make sure you are keeping up with the reading. Participate! The more active you are in class, the more fun you will have and the more you will learn. Keep in mind that writing, just like painting or sculpting, is an art. The only difference is your medium is words words words, and they don't cost $8 a tube. But it is an exciting craft that, if you will endeavor to learn, will pay off in everything else you do. Most of all, have fun. It really can be fun. And even when it's not, it's rewarding".

Must Reads:
Guide to Style by Strunk and White
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Grammar Bible by Michael Strumpf
Style by Joseph Williams
--Barbara Vance


"Muddy thinking prohibits clear writing. So put those Brawny paper towels to work first to determine exactly what you want to write so you can then determine how to best write it".

Must reads:
Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P. J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors
--Thom Mackenzie