Length: 6+ Hours
Discipline: Composition and Rhetoric
Level: intermediate (non-majors)
Author: Brenda Refaei

This is the third problem in a set of three. The first, by Claudia Skutar, involves students in developing a founding document. The second problem, by Rita Kumar, requires students to defend an important right. This final problem encourages students to think about how they can use the content of their major to solve global problems. In a world of rapidly changing communication methods, college-level writers must not only understand the conventions of traditional academic writing, but must learn to think critically and to write about and in various rhetorics and genres. One way to help students learn to do this is via communication problems based on parallels to real-world events. The final problem in the set requires students to use everything they have learned throughout the course to analyze the types of genres they will need to produce, locate the appropriate sources of information, and integrate that information in both an oral report and an individual paper. This problem also pushes students to use information related to their major to solve social problems. It gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their courses to real-world situations. For example, one group of business majors, veterinary technicians, nursing majors, and liberal arts examined the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The group worked together to give a coherent presentation on their different perspectives of this important social issue.

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