RhetCrit Comparison Papers

The aim of these papers is to help you gain familiarity with the major elements (and claims) of different critical approaches and how they differ from one another.

In each paper, you will:

  1. begin by summarizing the fundamental tenets of two approaches (make sure you cite sources and document correctly)
  2. place each approach against the other in order to spotlight the aspects of an artifact (same one for both approaches) that each approach pulls into focus
  3. assess the stakes and value of each focus

Please review the explication of tenets and stakes before you begin.

You will need to “show” how each approach works by offering an example or two. In other words, pick an artifact and then take us through how this approach and then that approach might handle that particular artifact. What are their differences and similarities?

These papers should be approximately 4-6 well-written, double-spaced pages. They are not application papers—that is, your focus is on the critical approaches themselves and not on an artifact. By placing the critical approaches side by side, taking one as a lens through which to view the other and vice versa, you are analyzing one critical approach through the lens of another critical approach in order to demonstrate what each brings into focus or does not bring into focus (leaves unquestioned).

These papers should indicate careful and critical thinking on your part: do not simply repeat what the book has to say.