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The Real World Reader

A Rhetorical Reader for Writers

James S. Miller

Publication Date - 29 January 2015

ISBN: 9780199329892

432 pages
6 x 9 inches

In Stock

The first rhetorical reader that teaches students how to examine the world in which they live and work


From academic essays to blogs, magazine articles to social media posts, newspaper editorials to public service announcements, and advertisements to emails, The Real World Reader brings together a wide collection of formal writing with an equally diverse array of popular writing from everyday life. This innovative rhetorical reader for first-year composition courses divides the process of rhetorical analysis into logically sequenced steps that focus on five key concepts-purpose, audience, argument, voice, and credibility. Author James Miller encourages students to use this step-by-step process in order to identify, analyze, and master the multiple modes of writing that they will encounter at school, work, and home.

* Uses a rhetorical framework to teach writing--rather than examining different modes of writing in isolation--and reveals what all forms of writing have in common
* Introduces rhetorical concepts through a variety of informal and formal writing examples, showing students how rhetorical patterns intersect
* Combines step-by-step writing instruction with a scaffold of sixty-seven diverse readings, allowing students to critically write and read four distinct types of selections: informal, formal, and academic selections and sample student essays
* Connects rhetorical analysis to cultural analysis with content that ranges from debates on multiculturalism to discussions of online privacy and from critiques of modern political campaigning to analyses of modern consumerism
* Focuses on familiar, "real world" writing, demonstrating the important role that writing plays in everyday life

About the Author(s)

James S. Miller is Associate Professor of Languages & Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


"The Real World Reader fills a niche that no other reader has yet filled. It plays to students' strengths as internet users, readers, and writers."--Alice Eaton, Springfield College

"Thoughtful and reflective."--Marjorie Stewart, Glenville State College

"This reader will appeal to forward-thinking professors who view popular culture--the lifeblood of their students--as a vehicle for motivating and engaging students, and for preparing them for the marketplace."--Annie S. Perkins, Norfolk State University

"Rhetorical analyses provide students with a widely applicable set of skills. The practice as outlined in the book reinforces the relationship between clear reading, thinking, and writing."--Stephen A. Raynie, Gordon State College

"I champion the idea of students being both consumers and producers of multimodal texts. This is a good text for adjuncts and instructors new to our program's philosophy, because it provides the theory within the apparatus."--Kim Haimes-Korn, Southern Polytechnic State University

Table of Contents

    Rhetorical Table of Contents
    Thematic Table of Contents
    Writing in The Real World
    What Does This Book Ask You to Do?
    Why Should You Do It?
    How Do You Get It Done?
    Thinking Rhetorically About Real World Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide
    Using These Rhetorical Steps to Analyze Real World Writing
    --"Column Degrading, Rather Than Empowering"
    Putting It Into Writing
    --"Dangerous Images"
    Analyzing Rhetorical Modes
    Looking Forward, Getting Started
    1. Thinking Rhetorically About the Reading Process
    --Planet Green Recycle, "The Bike Revolution"
    --"Editorial: To Eliminate Fraternity Hazing, Pledging Must End"
    --Visual Rhetoric: Joel Pett, "Unemployment Line"
    --Sherry Turkle, "The Flight From Conversation"
    Multimedia Writing in the Real World
    --Visual Rhetoric: "D!straction.Gov"
    Activities for Putting Rhetorical Analysis into Practice
    2. Thinking Rhetorically About the Writing Process
    --Determining Your Purpose
    --Activities for Thinking Rhetorically About Purpose
    --Understanding Your Audience
    --Activities for Thinking Rhetorically About Audience
    --Building Your Argument
    --Activities for Thinking Rhetorically About Argument
    --Example: Thinking Rhetorically About Invention
    --Editorial Staff, "A Big Change, But Not the End"
    --Rhetorical Strategies for Invention
    --Creating Your Own Voice
    --Example: Thinking Rhetorically About Arrangement
    --Activities for Thinking Rhetorically About Arrangement
    3. Thinking Rhetorically About the Revision and Editing Process
    --The Minimum Wage Debate
    --Activities for Thinking Rhetorically About Revision
    --Rhetorical Strategies for Revising
    --Strategies for Editing
    --Activities for Editing
    4. Thinking Rhetorically About Different Modes of Writing
    --Suleika Jaouad, "Life, Interrupted: Five Days of Chemo."
    --Analyzing Narration in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Narration to Create Your Own Writing
    --Sheryl Sandberg, from Lean In
    --Analyzing Description in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Description to Create Your Own Writing
    Compare and Contrast
    --The New York Times, "More Lessons About Charter Schools."
    --Analyzing Compare and Contrast in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Compare and Contrast to Create Your Own Writing
    --Anonymous, "I Am an Undocumented Immigrant at Stanford University."
    --Analyzing Exemplification in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Exemplification to Create Your Own Writing
    Cause and Effect
    --Julie Angwin, "Why I'm Unfriending You on Facebook."
    --Analyzing Cause and Effect in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Cause and Effect to Create Your Own Writing
    --Leah Koenig, "The Classy Dive: Do's and Don't's of Dumpster Diving."
    --Analyzing Process in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Process to Create Your Own Writing
    --Beth Teitel, "Why Do We Loathe Mullets?"
    --Analyzing Definition in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Definition to Create Your Own Writing
    --Lawrence Gostin, "Banning Large Sodas is Legal and Smart."
    --Analyzing Proposal in Rhetorical Terms
    --Using Propoal to Create Your Own Writing
    5. Purpose
    What Goal Do I Want To Achieve?
    How to Analyze Purpose in Real World Writing
    --Ellen Roche, "Military Recruiters on Campus Is a Bad Idea."
    Informal Writing Selections
    --Courtney Whitman, "Best Warriors Highlight Strong Army Values."
    --Matt Kibbe, "Take America Back."
    --Visual Rhetoric: Andy Reynolds, "Voto Aqui."
    --Alicia Criado, "After Waiting 13 Years, My Family Reunited."
    --Jamie Kelley, "The Steroid Problem, and How to Fix It."
    --Bryan Johnson, "Make State-Church Separation Absolute."
    Formal Writing Selections
    --José Cruz, "College Affordability: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't."`
    --Sherry Turkle, "The Flight From Conversation."
    --Douglass Rushkoff, "Why I'm Quitting Facebook."
    --Shankar Vedantam, "Partisanship is the New Racism."
    --Visual Rhetoric: Stuart Isett, "Occupy Seattle Protesters Join Police Brutality March."
    --F. Diane Barth, "Why Women Fear Envy, and Why We Don't Need To."
    Academic Writing Selections
    --Tillie Olsen, "I Stand Here Ironing."
    --Stephen King, "Why We Crave Horror Movies."
    Using the Steps of Rhetorical Analysis to Write Your Own Academic Essay
    --Student Essay: Iris Lopez, "Unintended Consequences: The Dangers of Social Media."
    Group Work: Thinking Rhetorically About Formal Selections
    Different Purpose, Different Point: Understanding the Connection Between Informal and Formal Writing
    Connecting Purpose to Rhetorical Modes
    Speaking For Yourself
    6. Audience
    Audience and the Goals of Writing
    How to Analyze Audience in Real World Writing
    --Connie Uhlrich, "Let Me Choose My Own Classes!"
    Informal Writing Selections
    --PostivelyPresent.com, "Get Happier!"
    --Girlshealth.gov, "Why Fitness Matters."
    --Visual Rhetoric: Justin Bilicki, "We Are Destroying the Earth."
    --Peter Hakim and Cameron Combs, "Why the US Should Legalize Marijuana."
    --CNN.com, "Kate and William Bring Home the Royal Baby Boy."
    Formal Writing Selections
    --Michael Solis, "Social Media: Obstacle to Friendship/Love."
    --Christopher Calabrese and Michael Harwood, "Desroying the Right to be Left Alone."
    --Allison Brennan, "Microtargeting: How Campaigns Know You Better Than You Know Yourself."
    --Daniel Solove, "Why Privacy Matters, Even When You Have 'Nothing to Hide'."
    --Visual Rhetoric: Tim Robberts, "Young Woman Peering Inside Laptop Screen."
    --Jim Taylor, "Popular Culture: Reality TV is NOT Reality."
    Academic Writing Selections
    --George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant."
    --Jhumpa Lahiri, "Rice."
    Using the Steps of Rhetorical Analysis to Write Your Own Academic Essay
    --Student Essay: Luke VanderMeer, "Censoring Free Speech: A Contradiction in Terms."
    Group Work: Thinking Rhetorically About Formal Selections
    Changing Contexts, Shifting Audiences: Understanding the Connection Between Informal and Formal Writing
    Connecting Audience to Rhetorical Modes
    Speaking for Yourself
    7. Argument
    What Point Am I Trying to Make?
    How to Analyze Argument in Real World Writing
    --Alex Echov, "The Credit Card Trap."
    Informal Writing Selections
    --Adam Copeland, ""I Will Pray on National Day of Prayer but NOT Because Congress Told Me To."
    --Kristi Myllenbeck, "You're Vegan, We Get It."
    --Debate.org, "Where Else Would Our Children Learn Patriotism?"
    --Visual Rhetoric: Chris Knorr, "The Pledge of Allegiance and an American Flag."
    --Amanda Hall, "College Affordability and the Growing Cost of Education."
    --Visual Rhetoric: John Darkow, "Student Loan Debt."
    --Penny Lee, "The Problem With a $15 Minimum Wage."
    Formal Writing Selections
    --Myisha Cherry, "Twitter Trolls and the Refusal to Be Silenced."
    --Lisa Bonos, "The Art of the Digital Breakup."
    --Geoffrey Nunberg, "Swearing: A Long and #%@&$ History."
    --Bonnie Erbe, "As Religious Affiliation Declines, What's the Impact?"
    --E.J. Dionne, "Will We Keep Hating Government?"
    Academic Writing Selections
    --Thomas Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence."
    --Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Address to the Seneca Falls Convention."
    Using the Steps of Rhetorical Analysis to Write Your Own Academic Essay
    --Student Essay: Andrea MacBride, "Dolls: A Legacy of Stereotypes."
    Group Work: Thinking Rhetorically About Formal Selections
    Arguing in Context: Understanding the Connection Between Informal and Formal Writing
    Connecting Argument to Rhetorical Modes
    Speaking for Yourself
    8. Voice
    Putting It Into Words
    How to Analyze Voice in Real World Writing
    --Jason Sulakis, "Personal Portrait."
    Informal Writing Selections
    --Hailey Yook, "Positive Stereotypes are Hurtful, Too."
    --The Onion, "Ah, To Be Young, Rich, White, Male, College-Educated, Straight, and in Love."
    --Adrian Rodriguez, "Body Art Stereotypes Misrepresent Tattoo and Piercing Culture."
    --Visual Rhetoric: Ed Fischer, "Pink Slime Burger."
    --Denis Storey, "Why We Hate Congress."
    --Valerie Frankel, "Your Three Biggest Stressors, Solved."
    Formal Writing Selections
    --Brian Moen, "The Myth of Objectivity."
    --Carl Elliot, "The Perfect Voice."
    --Deanna Zandt, "Can't We All Just Get Along? Polarization of Politics, the Internet and You."
    --Patricia Williams, "Anti-Intellectualism is Taking Over the US."
    --William J. Astore, "The United States of Euphemism."
    Academic Writing Selections
    --Zora Neal Hurston, "How It Feels to be Colored Me."
    --Richard Rodriguez, "Public Language, Private Language."
    Using the Steps of Rhetorical Analysis to Write Your Own Academic Essay
    --Student Essay: Daniel Freeport, "Alternative Versus Conventional Medicine"
    Group Work: Thinking Rhetorically About Formal Selections
    Different Goals, Different Voices: Understanding the Connection Between Informal and Formal Writing
    Connecting Voice to Rhetorical Modes
    Speaking for Yourself
    9. Credibility
    How Do I Make Myself Believable?
    How to Analyze Credibility in Real World Writing
    --Natalie Wu, "Childhood Obesity Is No Laughing Matter."
    Informal Writing Selections
    --Consumer Reports, "Mercury in Canned Tuna is Still a Concern."
    --National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, "Why Charter Schools?"
    --Virginia Heffernan, "Why I'm a Creationist."
    --Houston Chronicle, "On Global Warming, the Science is Solid."
    --Robin Warshaw, "Eating Healthfully During Stressful Times."
    Formal Writing Selections
    --Pamela Rutledge, "#Selfies: Narcissism or Self-Exploration?"
    --Frederic Neuman, "Should You Trust Your Doctor?"
    --Jeff Karon, "A Positive Solution for Plagiarism."
    --Stephanie Pappas, "Oscar Psychology: Why Celebrities Fascinate Us."
    Academic Writing Selections
    --Shirley Jackson, "The Lottery"
    --Brent Staples, "Black Men and Public Space."
    Using the Steps of Rhetorical Analysis to Write Your Own Academic Essay
    --Student Essay: Rachel Morton, "How I Learned to Dislike Math."
    Group Work: Thinking Rhetorically About Formal Selections
    Comparing Credibility: Understanding the Connection Between Informal and Formal Writing
    Connecting Credibility to Rhetorical Modes
    Speaking for Yourself
    10. Finding and Evaluating Sources
    Thinking Rhetorically About Research
    Generating a Viable Research Topic
    Creating a Formal Research Proposal
    --Research Proposal Example
    Using Sources
    Finding Sources
    --What to Look for
    --Where to Look for It
    Evaluating Sources
    11. Creating and Revising a Research Draft
    Organizing Your Research Paper
    Integrating Research Sources
    Identifying and Avoiding Plagiarism
    Creating Your First Draft
    --Student Writing: "Brain Injury and the NFL: Time for a Change"
    Revising Your First Draft
    --Revision: Student Writing, "Brain Injury and the NFL: Time for a Change"
    Citing and Documenting Sources
    --In-Text Citations: MLA Guidelines
    --In-Text Citations: Electronic Sources
    --Works Cited: MLA Guidelines

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