OWL Across the Disciplines | Rhetorical Concerns

woman using a laptopOne of the most common concerns among faculty across the disciplines is that students struggle to adjust to the style and genre conventions of different writing assignments. This is a common struggle because adjusting to so many different style and genre conventions is simply a difficult process for most students. Even more advanced writers can struggle in this area. Fortunately, the OWL offers detailed support for students. By offering instruction in rhetorical awareness and the tools needed to assess rhetorical situations, students can learn to adjust their writing to different assignments and become more flexible writers.

The following resources provide a basic overview of the rhetorical support in the OWL, but the “Using the Excelsior College OWL” guide in the appendix will provide a more comprehensive list.

  • For help with formal, academic voice and style, you can refer your students to the content on “Voice” in The Writing Process area.
  • For support in assessing the rhetorical situation of an assignment and making good decisions related to assignment requirements, you may want to refer your students to the “Assignment Analysis” section of Research & Citations.
  • Sample papers from a variety of genres are available throughout the OWL, all with commentary related to content and rhetorical “moves.” Rhetorical Styles features a wide variety of sample papers from across the disciplines, including a lab report. Having your students review similar models can help them begin to understand style and convention requirements.

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