CMST 2 ONLINE: Introduction to rhetorical criticism

Class description

CSU-A3: Critical Thinking, IGETC 1B: Critical Thinking


Studies the rhetorical tradition and significant rhetorical artifacts. Analyzes public discourse through the application of commonly applied rhetorical methods. Communication artifacts are evaluated for support, reasoning, language use, message construction, and context in a series of academic research papers. Emphasizes critical thinking principles alongside techniques of effective discourse.


Jennifer Kienzle, Ph.D.

Add/Drop Process

For adding the Class Before the Start Date:

  • Use Web4 to enroll in the class if space is available.
  • If no space is available, you can use Web4 to add yourself to a waitlist. If space becomes available before the semester, you will be notified via email and provided an add code.
  • If you are on the waitlist and no space becomes available, you will need to use the next set of steps (For adding the class After the Start Date):

For Adding the Class After the Start Date:

  • Add codes are only provided after the semester starts.
  • You must email the instructor for an add code prior to the last day to add date (check this on CCSF schedule).
  • Allow 24 hours for a response from the instructor.
  • Even if the schedule says "Space Available", there might not be any space.
  • Do not hold onto add codes or add a class just because you need it for financial aid or any other benefit.

Dropping the Class:

  • Students are encouraged to drop the class on their own ASAP to allow other students to add.
  • The instructor will drop students who do not demonstrate academic contributions within the first seven days of the course. Academic contribution is usually in the form of a discussion post or quiz, depending on the instructor's assignments.
  • The instructor reserves the right to drop students at any point in the semester if they do not login and contribute academic work at least once every seven days.
  • Students are required to be aware of drop dates throughout the semester. CCSF Academic Calendar will include the last dates to drop with and without a W as well as last day to drop for a full refund. Students are responsible to drop the class on their own in these circumstances.

text requirement

Kuypers, J. A. (Ed.). (2016). Rhetorical criticism: Perspectives in action (2nd ed., Vol. 2). Lanham ; Boulder ; New York ; London: Rowman et Littlefield.

Canvas Requirement

Since this is an online course, students are required to access Canvas often in order to view and complete lessons, quizzes, and discussion board posts.

OPTIONAL In-person orientation

Fall 2018:

August 22 - Wednesday

1:30 - 2:30 in Cloud 230, Ocean Campus

Student Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Outcome 1: Formulate research questions based on an understanding of rhetoric
  • Outcome 2: Construct reasonable, valid, and sound conclusions, using critical reasoning, analytical skills, and a knowledge of the rhetorical situation
  • Outcome 3: Compare and contrast the appropriateness of rhetorical critical methods
  • Outcome 4: Assess how rhetorical acts reflect the author's cultural, moral, gender-based, and philosophical assumptions, which can be explicit, implicit, or even hidden
  • Outcome 5: Organize academic essays with clear purpose and proper documentation



  1. Analysis Paper #1
  2. Analysis Paper #2 (Redo or update to Analysis Paper #1)
  3. Rhetorical Criticism Paper (Includes 3 papers)
  4. Extra Credit Intro Paper


9 Canvas Discussions (8 graded)

Wiki Pages

6 Wiki Pages (5 graded)

Peer Review

3 Peer Reviews


Rhetorical Criticism Panel Presentation

Class Quiz

online versus offline

Many students ask whether the online class or offline (in-person) class is for them. Here are some distinctions to help make your decision:


  • Online students get more writing practice with Wiki Pages.
  • Students need to organize their time wisely and take more responsibility to ensure they are keeping up with reading, discussions, and writing. Procrastinators often do not succeed in online classes.
  • Successful students are independent learners who often do better work alone.
  • Students are competent and comfortable in using online tools such as Google Docs and Canvas.
  • Students are comfortable using video or audio for their panel presentation. (Note: No movie editing experience is necessary. You would just need to be open to videoing a brief presentation).


  • In person students get more practice with discussing and consuming rhetorical artifacts. We have a lot of classroom discussion on rhetorical criticism.
  • In person students get more one-on-one attention with the advent of individual meetings.
  • Students get more support from their peers during writing workshops and discussion panels.

TL;DR: Both online and offline students complete the same exact papers. Its the learning tools that differ.