Core 110 -- Effective Writing
Section F
King's College, Fall 2001
Rhetorics and Journal Prompts:

In addition to the longer exercises and papers that I am asking each of you to do in this class, I ask you to keep a semi-regular journal.  I want you to use that journal to experiment not merely with ideas but also with forms of writing.  Be conscious as you write that what you say is tied up with how you say it.

For each entry you do,
write for 15 minutes without stopping.  If you do stop for more than a moment, then you are not writing the kind of entry I am asking for.  Once you get a sense of the voice you're working with, keep writing.  Let that voice carry you away.  I expect that your early entries will all be at least a page to a page and a quarter long; I expect your later entries will be about two pages each.  I recommend that you set a timer so that you don't have to think about anything else.

I am asking you to write in this journal approximately once a week for a total of 15 entries.  (See the course calendar for details.)  When you make use of a rhetorical strategy or a journal prompt, put a check next to it on this sheet.  For the entry itself, put the name and number of the rhetoric along with the letter of the topic at the beginning of your entry.

You may either write by hand or type them on a computer, but I would like for you to have some folder or binder in which you keep them all.  Be sure to bring your complete journal to class with you every day.  While we have certain days scheduled for journal reading, you should be prepared to read a journal excerpt at any time.


1. Second person - You should report an incident or compose an argument trying as often as possible to make "you" the grammatical subject.  You should put words into someone else's mouth.  You should let this option be an opportunity to explore a fresh perspective.  You are getting very sleepy...

2. Indicated lies - When I was a speech writer for Pres. Clinton, I used to invent economic statistics so they would rhyme with the next word in the speech.  You should be just as truthful when you write with this rhetorical approach.  (Model what you write on the old John Lovett skit from Saturday Night Live; he used to talk about "my neighbor, no... my friend, no... my girlfriend Morgan Fairchild and I were talking the other day...").  Use lies in your journal entry

Journal Prompts

A. Write about sleep.

B. Write about hair.

C. Write about some policy at King's that really bothers you.

D.  Argue for or against body piercing.

E.  Describe the river the last time you noticed it.