Course Goals | Required Texts and Technologies | Projects | How to succeed | Conduct | Grading Policy | Attendance | Dropping the Course | Due Dates and Submissions | Technology Requirements | Plagiarism | ADA and Religious Holiday Statement | Back to Index

Schedule for ENGL 7030, Summer 2013

Schedule and readings subject to change

Day Date Topic Class Plan Class Preparation/ Assignment Due Points
R 5-16

Class Overview/


Part 1: Overview of goals and outcomes.


Part 2: Environmental excercise, lecture, and discussion.

Part 3: Discuss public policy

AU Campaign Complain

Policy Cycle

Bring books to class

Read prior to class (and bring a copy):

What is the Difference Between Policy and Law?

Definitions of Public Policy and the Law

M 5-20 Ethics Scenarios

Brief Rhetoric Discussion: Chopper! vs. Resisting the Green Dragon

Part 1: Discuss WPP 1-3

Part 2: Ethics and the role of the communicator (brief overview lecture)

Discuss ethics cases.

Workshop Ethics Case 1 if time.

WPP 1-3

Hockenhull, D., Martin, A., Mayhall, V., & Stude, S. (2013). Ethics scenario: Facebook use in the workplace. Intercom, March: 45-46.

Ross, D. G. (2013). Ethics Scenario: Chinese drywall. Intercom, January: 37-38.

R 5-23 Activism

Part 1: Environmental Speeches

Part 2: Discuss WPP 4-6

Part 3: Student-led class discussion

Student____: IP 1-3

Lake Powell Promo Video

The Cracking of the Glen Canyon Dam

Ed Abbey's remarks on the cracking of the dam (Philippon, 2004).

Lake Powell Tourism

National Park Service

IP 1-3

WPP 4-6

Ethics Case 1 due electronically

Regulations.Gov Tips

M 5-27   Holiday. No Class.

Ethics Case 2 due electronically via Blackboard by Midnight on Tuesday, 5-28.

Response to EC 2 due by Midnight on Friday, 5-31.

FIND A CALL FOR COMMENT ON, be prepared to show & discuss it in class on 5-30. Be able to:

  • Identify when comments are due
  • Summarize the call
  • List problems and Benefits
  • Discuss how you might respond




R 5-30  

Discuss WPP 7-9

Student-led class discussion

Student____: IP 4-7


Choose 1 Zine from in-class examples (or find your own) for 6-3 discussion

Image politics 4-7

WPP 7-9

Discuss and Analyze

Calls for Comment

For comparison:

No Compromise





Bite Back

M 6-3 Hand-made Activism

Analyze and discuss Zines

Student-led class discussion

Student____: Pranking Rhetoric

Proposal submission and informal discussion

Proposals are due at midnight. Please bring a paper-based draft with you to class.

Discuss public hearings (continued from 5-30)

Prepare a ~10 minute semi-formal analysis presentation of your zine.

R 6-6 Participation

Student-led class discussion

Student____: P&P 1-3

Buell article

If workshop time, work on research papers and policy statements, including identification of audience.

Discuss WPP 10

P&P 1-3

Buell, L. (2009). What Is Called Ecoterrorism. Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism, 16, 153-166.

M 6-10  


Student-led class discussions on
P&P 4-6 & Harold

Discuss Berry essay

Harold, C. (2004). Pranking rhetoric: "Culture jamming" as media activism. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 21(3), 189-211.

P&P 4-6

Berry, W. (2002). Think Little. In N. Wirzba (Ed.) The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (pp. 81-90). Washington D. C.: Counterpoint.

Rough draft of research report due in class. Peer review workshop. Discuss (not a formal write-up) where policymaking may occur.
R 6-13  

Brief Rhetoric Discussion: Paradise

Student-led class discussion
Student____: Wynne article

Student____: Peterson article

Workshop public comment aspect of paper. Be prepared to articulate an argument.

Wynne, B. (1992). Misunderstood misunderstanding: Social identities and public uptake of science. Public Understanding of Science, 1, 281-304.

Peterson, T. R. (1997). Subverting the culture of expertise: Community participation in development decisions. In T. R. Peterson, Sharing the Earth: The rhetoric of sustainable development (pp. 86-118). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

M 6-17  


Policy Presentations

Submit research report and comment. (Only the report will be graded at this time).







Submit to me the final, revised version of your public comment, based on your grade and my comments, by June 22.

For your final grade to be recorded, you must provide proof (screen captures, photo of you mailing the documents, etc.) of you actually submitting your public comment to the intended audience. Please upload evidence to our "Public Comment Submission Proof"discussion board, and follow the short discussion prompt there.

Course Goals

Right-wing, left-wing, conservative, liberal, or some mix of them all, the environment means something to us. This course will examine environment-related messages in various media, consider how these messages affect public perceptions of the environment, and help you learn how to actively take part in environment-related policy making by introducing you to calls for comment and helping you identify active decision makers.

We will examine environmental rhetoric in terms of argument, persuasion, design, and culture, and also explore the impacts various forms of media have on an audience. This class will study the construction and distribution of messages to different audiences, how audiences receive and (mis)interpret those messages, what ethical roles the messenger has in creating and distributing those messages, and how public perception of environment-related issues affects environmental policy. In examining these issues, we will be constructing our own messages and taking part in ongoing policy debates through active participation in the policymaking process.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

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Required Texts and Technologies

Deluca, K. M. (1999). Image politics: the new rhetoric of environmental activism. New York: Guilford Press

Simmons, W. M. (2007). Participation and Power: Civic Discourse in Environmental Policy Decisions. New York: SUNY

Smith, C. F. (2010). Writing public policy: A practical guide to communicating in the policy making process, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford.

Access to a computer

MS Office Suite or Open Office

A Prezi education account

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Class-leading (2): 7.5 points each Choose one of the readings listed on the course schedule and be prepared to conduct a discussion which ties the article in to concepts we are working with in class. You should have a list of questions/topics prepared in order to facilitate discussion, and a handout and presentation designed in order to draw attention to key details, real-world examples, etc. You should meet with me at least once prior to the class in which you will be leading discussion in order to discuss your ideas.

Policy Presentation: 15 points You will give a 15 minute audience-ready presentation on the last day of class in which you present your key findings and recommendations from your research report and written public comment. Think of this as a presentation you would make TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. View this as your five minutes in the spotlight at an open forum where you need to convince us to get on board with your idea. Make sure you consider what type of design elements will most effectively speak to your audience's needs and expectations.

Written Assignments

Ethics Case 1: 10 Points Pick 1 environmental ethics case from Utah Valley's Ethics Center, or a different source (validate it with me first). Read it, and in a ~500 word response summarize the key points and comment on the situation by explaining what you see as the salient problem and offering possible solutions (along with your reasoning). Post your response on our discussion board, and submit an electronic copy, by Midnight on Sunday. Be prepared to introduce us to your case in class.

Ethics Case 2: 15 Points Develop a 1000-1500 word ethics case in relation to some environment-related concern in your world. You should treat this as the development of a story, where a protagonist, or group, must make an ethics-based decision. Your case should conclude with communication-based ethics questions.

Response to Ethics Case 2: 10 Points Write a thoughtful response to at least one of the class-posed ethics problems. ~500 words. Post your response on our discussion board and submit an electronic copy.

Making/Changing Public Policy Assignment: 35 Points See Chapter 9 of Writing Public Policy Start by finding a Call for Comment, or identifying/contacting an audience/administrator.  A good place to start is with the Federal Register Advanced Search Page. Look for Proposed Rules and Notices ( Alternatively, you may use

Part 1: 10 Points Write a proposal memo (~500-1000 words) to me in which you:

  • Define the policy problem
  • Identify the audience for your public comment
  • Identify the problem
  • Describe your research plan and timeline
  • Provide evidence of having considered how you might contribute to ongoing discussion/what changes you might propose

See your Writing Public Policy text for help with this.

Part 2: 10 Points Develop a well-researched (at least 10 viable sources, ~1500-2500 words) informational report on an environment-related problem in your world. This is the information-only component of your policy assignment. Your goal here should be to create a logos-based, facts only, non-recommendation statement of a problem. We’ll discuss the complexities of such a thing in class, but the end goal here is an as-clinical-as-possible write up of a situation.

Part 3: 15 Points Distill your report down to a ~500-1000 word written public comment to an administrator. In short, your comment should have:

  • Narrow focus
  • Evidence, analysis and references supporting your views
  • Indication of public support of your view
  • Positive and feasible alternatives

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All major assignments must be turned in in order to pass this class.

Grades on assignments will be determined according to the following criteria:

Projects submitted more than 7 days after the due date will not be accepted for a grade (they will receive a zero), though I will be happy to look over the project and offer constructive commentary.

Team Assignments

Team assignments receive grades based on group and individual work. It is possible that unsatisfactory participation in team assignments will result in a lower participation grade or a lower grade on the team assignment itself. You may be called upon to evaluate your own or your team members' performance on group assignments.

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The following policies intend to help you develop and display professional work habits, both in individual and team work. These habits include meeting deadlines, doing required work, and regular attendance. Please read these policies carefully.

How to Succeed in this Course

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Conducting Yourself in The Computer Classroom

Knowledge of word-processing techniques and electronic communication has become an essential part of being a writer in today's professional world. This class will assume that all students have a general knowledge of word processors, web browsers, and email applications. Most other computer-related topics will be covered in class. If you are unsure of your computer literacy abilities, contact me immediately.

Although we are often meeting in a computer classroom, the computers are not available for personal use before, during, or after class. Please do not log in to your computers until directed to do so.

It is expected that discussions will occur in the classroom; consequently, it is important to be respectful and listen to the instructor and your classmates.

"Listening" does not include answering a cell phone, texting, chatting to your neighbor, checking email, surfing the internet, etc.

Computer use (email, Facebook, games, etc.) not directly related to the class will result in your dismal from the classroom for the day. You will be counted absent.

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Attendance and Tardiness Policy

*While all students should plan to attend every class, graduate students, in particular, should not miss class. Ever.

You are allowed 2 unexcused absences in this class. All unexcused absences beyond 2 will result in a loss of 1 point from your final semester's point total for each absence.

The 2 absences that do not deduct points from your grade are not considered "allowed," "free," or "permitted"-- they only result in no points being deducted from your grade. Any quizzes or participation grades given on a day when you are absent without documentation will result in a grade of zero (0) for that quiz/participation assignment and may not be made up.

Do not show up late to class. If a participation grade or quiz is given during the first 15 minutes and a student arrives late, a grade of zero (0) will be received for that assignment.

A student will be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for documented University-approved functions (such as competing in an athletic event), or the observance of a religious holy day and the time necessary to travel for this observance. The student will not be penalized for the absence and will be permitted to take an exam or complete an assignment missed during the excused absence. The policy applies only to the documented University-approved events and official holy days of tax-exempt religious institutions. No prior notification of the instructor is required, though is requested.

Other than exceptions related to university-related events and religious circumstances, only a note from a doctor or death notice for an immediate family member will result in an absence being excused. Personal circumstances are not considered acceptable for excusing an absence.

Please see The Tigercub for additional materials relating to what constitutes an "excused" absence.

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Dropping the Course

If you drop the course, you must do so in person at the Office of the Registrar. I cannot drop you from the course. It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the drop dates.

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Due Dates and Submission Technology

You will fail the class if you do not attempt and submit ALL major assignments. Assignments more than a week late automatically receive a grade of zero (0). It is your responsibility to turn in your work on time. Computer-related excuses will not be accepted.

Hardcopy assignments are due by the beginning of the designated class period, unless specified otherwise. Electronic assignments are to be submitted through Blackboard. While computer errors do happen, it is your responsibility to make sure that your work is in the correct place at the correct time. Documents received via email, rather than Blackboard, will not be accepted for grading unless prior arrangements have been made.

Electronic documents must be saved in the following format: lastname_firstinitial_assignmentname.

Documents saved in the .docx format are generally compatible across systems. However, formatting is a major aspect of this class. To that end, you may wish to save your file as a .pdf to insure that all formatting appears to me exactly as you intended. There are several free options available to you, beyond those offered by most office software suites, including bullzip, pdfill, and cutepdf, among others. The excuse "it didn't look like that on my computer" will not be accepted.

If you are absent the day an assignment is due, I will not accept the work via email. You must make arrangements with me to submit work before the deadline or put your work in my department mailbox. You will lose ten percent (10 %) of the available points for the assignment per calendar day late. If extenuating circumstances apply (see below), your work will be due the day after your return from your athletic event or the day after you attend the emergency appointment or funeral.

I may give quizzes at any time during the class. These quizzes cover the specified readings, but they may also cover material introduced in previous classes/chapters. I do not offer make-up quizzes for any reason other than absences for university business (and only with proper university documentation), documented illness (a clinic must document the episode of illness if you have a chronic illness), or the death of an immediate family member. Additionally, late homework exercises will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Lastly, use of program templates is discouraged. These don't encourage you to learn the programs and generally result in dull documents.

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Basic Technology Requirements


You are expected to be familiar with the day-to-day operation of computers including email (and sending attachments) and standard software. If you are not familiar with basic computing skills, speak to me as soon as possible, so that we can familiarize you with basic procedures.

You are also expected to have regular access to computing technology whether it be your computer at home or the computers provided by the university. The statement, "I don't have access to a computer" is not acceptable.

Hardware and Disk Media Requirements

It is your responsibility to ensure that the computer(s) and disk(s) you use are functional and that you have, in the case of technological failure, backed up your data. Bring a USB drive to class, keep your work on it, and keep your work updated.

Email Requirement

You are required to have a viable email account.

When sending email to me, your instructor, or to your classmates, please ensure the subject line is formatted as:

RE: ENGL 5010 - [Your Last Name]

Identifying emails from students is difficult, especially when sent from accounts outside of the university. Addresses such as "" with subject lines like "I have a question" or "It's me from class" are generally used to transmit viruses and will be deleted without being read. Professional communication requires you to clearly identify your subject and your name.

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Plagiarism includes any use of words or ideas of another writer that would allow readers unfamiliar with the source to assume that the words or ideas originated with you. THIS INCLUDES USE OF IMAGES. Policy does not allow me to judge whether an instance of plagiarism is accidental or deliberate. If I find in your work 1) another writer's work inserted without quotation marks or acknowledgment, 2) a close, unacknowledged paraphrase of someone else's writing, or 3) another writer's research or analysis presented without acknowledgment, then I will treat it like a plagiarized assignment and deal with it appropriately. Sanctions range from failing the assignment to expulsion from the university. I take the issue of plagiarism very seriously, and will enforce the university's plagiarism policies to their full extent.

Please see The Tigercub for official university policies relating to plagiarism and penalties.

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Special Needs

Auburn University makes reasonable accommodations for people with documented disabilities. I will adapt methods, materials, or testing for equitable participation. During the first week of class, set up a meeting with me. Bring the Accommodation Memo and Instructor Verification Form to the meeting and discuss what you need for equitable participation in this class. If you do not have an Accommodation Memo but need special accommodations, make an appointment with the Program for Students with Disabilities (Haley Center 1244; 334-844-2096; or All communication between a student, the Program for Students with Disabilities, and his or her professor is confidential.

Religious Holidays

Students requiring to miss class due to the observance of an officially recognized religious holy day are asked to consult with me in advance so we can schedule missed work accordingly.