For this paper, we will enlist the thesis of Robert Irish’s article, “Engineering Persuasion: Teaching Rhetorica

For this paper, we will enlist the thesis of Robert Irish’s article, “Engineering
Persuasion: Teaching Rhetorical Savvy for Engineering Leadership” of techné and savvy. We
will identify, examine, and re-contextualize a few excerpts of the science in Andy Weir’s book,
The Martian, and Ridley Scott’s film, and address these moments in a rhetorical response. We
will explore the text, as well as the visual and auditory aspects of the movie in our examination.


ENG107 Major Writing Assignment #2- Rhetorical Response
Due: Friday, March 8, by 11:59 pm – Blackboard Dropbox – M.A. #2 Rhetorical Response
Peer Review: Monday, March 4 – have a FULL draft – printed
Length: 5-7 pages double-spaced
Technical: MLA or APA Style conventions – complete with Works Cited or References page
Content: For this paper, we will enlist the thesis of Robert Irish’s article, “Engineering
Persuasion: Teaching Rhetorical Savvy for Engineering Leadership” of techné and savvy. We
will identify, examine, and re-contextualize a few excerpts of the science in Andy Weir’s book,
The Martian, and Ridley Scott’s film, and address these moments in a rhetorical response. We
will explore the text, as well as the visual and auditory aspects of the movie in our examination.
What is a Rhetorical Response paper? For our purposes we will search for
rhetorical strategies that enable these writers/directors to transmit scientific and technological
knowledge to the public, and at the same time, provoke a response from their reader/viewer. All
authors of scientific writings use rhetorical strategies in order to share their knowledge and
understanding with an audience. Examinations of this type use strategies such as ethos
(credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic) as appeals to audience and purpose to prove
how successful the author’s attempts are in communicating information.
Tasks – We will have several workshops for each of these steps:

Study Robert Irish’s article, “Engineering Persuasion: Teaching Rhetorical Savvy for
Engineering Leadership.”

Understand terms like: rhetoric, exigence, savvy, communication, worldview, analysis,
persuasion, defects/obstacles, and leadership.

Carefully examine the excerpts from the book (pdf. in Blackboard – M.A. #2 Unit) and
also the movie (in class) to identify where scientific information is being communicated.
For each excerpt of your choice include in your response the answer to each of these
rhetorical questions: Who is the audience? What is the purpose? How can I restructure
this information for my purposes to communicate to a more/less educated audience?

Learn about rhetorical strategies and devices as they apply to evidence of science,
technology, visual, and auditory communication in The Martian and who we may also
re-work this evidence for a new audience of our choice.

Stage this paper with several workshops and one formal Peer Review for: brainstorming
and idea maps, outlines, and drafts.

Write a response paper with subheadings (or another organizing model) that present
evidence from the book and film which demonstrate rhetorical choices of author/director.
Then restructure/re-write at least one of these pieces of evidence for another audience and
purpose (of your choice).

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