PWR 2 is a 4-unit course, taken by students in their second year, that continues PWR 1’s emphasis on analysis and research-based argument, while adding a focus on oral and multimedia communication. The course satisfies second-level WR 2 General Education Writing and Rhetoric requirement.
The centerpiece of PWR 2 is a research project that allows students to research, write, translate, and deliver an in-depth investigation. This project consists of several parts:
- research proposal (in oral and written form),
- substantial written research-based argument,
- oral delivery of research with media support,
- the composition of a text in an additional genre or mode (i.e., a podcast, a photo essay, an infographic)
At each stage of the project, students are asked to reflect on how medium impacts rhetorical choices. In addition, students participate in in-class workshops and peer-led revision exercises that are augmented by individual conferences with the PWR instructor and with Oral Communication Tutors. The class is designed to allow students to conduct field-based as well as library and Internet research, to write in a wider range of genres, to focus intensively on the media they use to present their research, and to plan and deliver presentations for live audiences.
PWR 2 Learning Objectives
Students can expect to achieve the following learning objectives after completing PWR 2:
- Students will continue to develop their ability to construct research-based arguments, including collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data as well as scholarly and public texts.
- Students will expand their ability to apply and adapt rhetorical knowledge and principles through presenting an argument across a variety of modes, in varied situations, for varied audiences, requiring analysis and selection of effective strategies for achieving a specific purpose.
- Students will learn and practice skills and strategies for conveying a research-based argument through live oral presentation, focusing on the performative elements (including visual, aural, digital, etc.) of conveying an argument.
- Students will learn to understand writing and communication as iterative processes by developing practices of reflection and revision.
PWR 2 Assignment Sequence
PWR 2 is designed to build on students' introduction to research in PWR 1 and serve as a bridge to their later work in WIM courses and the writing of Honors Theses. Students in PWR 2 continue to focus on research-based writing, making rhetorical choices about format, genre, diction, style, and media as appropriate to the goals of their research and to the audiences they wish to address. PWR 2 adds a focus on delivery–the fifth canon of rhetoric–and thus on the written, oral, and multimedia presentation of research.
The assignment sequence is as follows:
- Research Proposal. Students write a proposal for a research project related to the course theme, establishing the significance and scope of the project, framing research questions and expected research methods, and presenting preliminary information about prominent sources. Each student shares their research proposal with their class in an oral presentation. (5 minutes of oral presentation, written text of 900-1200 words)
- Written Research-Based Argument. Students create a substantial academic argument that incorporates a range of sources appropriate to their project, which will include library and Internet sources and, in some cases, field research. (10-12 pages or 3000-3600 words of research-based writing)
- Delivery of research. Students translate their research-based argument and present it in a live oral presentation with multimedia support. (10 minutes of live oral presentation with multimedia support)
- Genre/Modes Assignment. Students translate their research and argument into an alternate mode or genre, such as a podcast, an op-ed, a video, or infographic.
Additional Writing and/or Delivery
In addition to the major assignments above, instructors may ask students to do additional informal writing in the form of drafts, blogs, peer responses, additional delivery in the form of impromptu delivery exercises, interim presentations on their research process, and rehearsals. Some instructors ask their students to present their Delivery of Research to an audience outside of class, in an academic conference or community performance.
Overall work required
During the quarter, students should complete 18-20 minutes of graded live oral presentations and at least 15-20 pages (4500-6000 words) of graded writing to be read in print. Each major graded assignment should include a draft and revision stage.
Note for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
PWR has recommended that instructors make some adjustments to the usual assignment sequence to accommodate the compressed time-frame and shorter class meeting times of quarters during the pandemic and to acknowledge the challenges both students and instructors will face with all instruction conducted online. Different instructors have chosen different routes to making these adjustments, so the assignments for this class may look slightly different from the assignments in another. Please be assured that care has been taken to ensure that the overall workloads are comparable across all PWR classes.