Rhetoric and the Short
This paper looks at the use of film in the multi-modal freshman classroom. Arguments for multimodality claim that the use of different modes supports the learning environment because we learn in different ways. This paper takes on the mode of film because it is a very common media mode. Computers and projectors are available in most classes and access to short films and movie clips is near limitless because of movie sharing sites like YouTube.
The paper will look first at what film has to give as a social medium, both in the way it is created and consumed. It will look at ways in which the very social nature of watching a film affects the way we view it and what that has to say about evaluation. There are also implications in the teaching of process through the network film production creates.
After looking at how the structure supports composition strategies, the paper looks at ways to teach rhetoric using film rhetoric. The paper focuses on two examples: consideration of ethos through an examination of mise-en-scene and the power of pathos through visual cues and the close up. Both of these examples intend to expand these rhetorical strategies often usurped by logos heavy print. The hope is that the examination of rhetoric in this different mode helps students to apply the rhetorical conditions highlighted by them across modes and disciplines they might encounter outside of the freshman composition classroom.
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