Charles Henebry, College of General Studies, Boston University

Course Description

Through class discussion and learning experiences, students explore connections between readings assigned in Rhetoric and those in other courses, focusing on themes drawn from the two units that comprise the semester's curriculum. The course further develops skills in expository writing and introduces exploratory essay writing. Students continue to explore the contemporary relevance and meaning of the interdisciplinary curriculum. Students refine their skills in grammar, style, organization, and document design. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: First-Year Writing Seminar, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Critical Thinking.

Course Policies

The CGS summer program offers an intense, experiential, and interactive experience that depends, especially during these challenging times, upon all students giving their classmates and their instructors their full attention. As such, in order to enhance the learning experience of your classmates, your Team D professors request that you observe the rules set out below:

CAMERA POLICY: Keep your camera on at all times during all classes if you are attending remotely. When your professors are not sharing their screen, they also need to see the individual students in order to create the equivalent of an in-person class. We understand that circumstances at your location may occasionally require you to turn your camera off for brief periods (and that you may sometimes experience technical difficulties) -- but if you need to turn your camera off for all or part of a class, you are required to let us know in advance so that we can talk about alternative strategies for you to receive credit for both attendance and for participation. Students whose cameras are off and who have not contacted us before doing so will be grade penalized. (Please also know that ZOOM provides faculty users with reports supplying the number of minutes each student was logged in to class; your professors use these reports to credit you for your attendance.)

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Whether you are attending in person or not, attendance is mandatory -- both in class and on field trips -- unless you are ill or have a personal emergency. Each two-hour class counts for a week or more of regular-term attendance; as such, it would be easy to fall irretrievably behind. Lateness to class will also be penalized.

NO EXTENSIONS POLICY: Owing to the intense pace of the summer term, your professors have no way to grant extensions and to keep everyone on schedule. Please plan ahead to avoid receiving a zero for work submitted past the deadline.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense in this course, at CGS, and in the wider BU community. It will not be tolerated.

Please do not let any of these regulations obscure how grateful we are for your help in making sure that your classes this summer offer the live, communal quality of classes held on campus!

— Your Team D Professors

*Note: Some of the language here is drawn with permission (and, in some cases, adapted) from the Arts and Sciences Writing Program syllabus template.

Schedule of Assignments


Grade Weighting as follows, out of 20 total:

  • Visual Rhetoric Essay: 4
  • Interdisciplinary Group Project: 3
  • Interdisciplinary Solo Photo Essay: 1
  • Rhetoric Video Essay: 6
  • Homework: 2
  • Participation: 2
  • Final e-Portfolio: 2

Required Text

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, as an eBook or in printed form. Available from Amazon and elsewhere

RH 103 HUB Capacities

This course fulfills the following capacities, per the BU HUB:


First-Year Writing Seminar (1 unit)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to craft responsible, considered, and well-structured written arguments, using media and modes of expression appropriate to the situation.
  2. Students will be able to read with understanding, engagement, appreciation, and critical judgment.
  3. Students will be able to write clearly and coherently in a range of genres and styles, integrating graphic and multimedia elements as appropriate.

Digital/Multimedia Expression (1 unit)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to craft and deliver responsible, considered, and well-structured oral and/or signed arguments using media and modes of expression appropriate to the situation.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the capabilities of various communication technologies and be able to use these technologies ethically and effectively.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of visual communication, such as principles governing design, time-based and interactive media, and the audio-visual representation of qualitative and quantitative data.

Intellectual Toolkit

Critical Thinking (1 unit)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to identify key elements of critical thinking, such as habits of distinguishing deductive from inductive modes of inference, recognizing common logical fallacies and cognitive biases, translating ordinary language into formal argument, distinguishing empirical claims about matters of fact from normative or evaluative judgments, and recognizing the ways in which emotional responses can affect reasoning processes.
  2. Drawing on skills developed in class, students will be able to evaluate the validity of arguments, including their own.