Jason Palmeri -


Teaching Materials

[note: this page is outdated. Contact me if you'd like access to more current syllabi]

Workshop/Gallery: Designing and Assessing Video Composing Assignments

English 732 (pdf): Theories and Histories of Composition

English 731 (web): Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition

English 225 (web): Advanced Composition (Creative Nonfiction)

English 224 (web): Digital Writing and Rhetoric

English 223 (web): Ancient and Modern Rhetorical Strategies for Writers

English / IMS 171 (web): Humanities and Technology (“Humanistic Approaches to New Media”)

English H101 (web): Honors Writing Seminar (“Political Rhetoric and New Media”)

Teaching Philosophy

In all of my courses, I seek to prepare students to become rhetorically reflective composers who can enter a new rhetorical situation and analyze it for themselves.  Early in every term, I introduce students to key theories of audience, context, and genre; in informal writings and in-class discussions, we practice applying these theories to both the texts we read and the texts we compose. We also collaboratively investigate the conventions (of style, of arrangement, of visual design) that are common in the kinds of texts we will be composing—exploring situations in which the conventions would and would not apply. Placing a special emphasis on writing as a generative process of critical inquiry, I always ask students to engage in informal invention activities, to compose multiple drafts of their writing projects, and to revise their work in response to feedback from both me and their peers. To help students think critically about audience adaptation, I regularly assign students to compose and distribute digital texts for audiences beyond the classroom (including community/student organizations, workplaces, friends, and potential voters).

As a teacher and scholar, I value intellectual complexity and generosity. I try to resist binary thinking and embrace multiple perspectives. Even when I disagree with people, I work to understand and appreciate why they think as they do. If I am going to ask students to engage seriously with the perspectives I bring to the classroom, then I too must be ready to seriously engage with—and indeed actively learn from—the diverse perspectives they bring to the classroom. With this philosophy in mind, I have often assigned students to write analytical dialogues in which they imagine a conversation among people with differing perspectives on an issue. By placing numerous perspectives in conversation, students come to appreciate that intellectual questions rarely have simple answers—that analytical thinking requires an openness to multiple points of view.

Recognizing that students learn in diverse ways, I think it important to provide students with multiple pathways for engaging in invention, revision, and reader response. In addition to participating in class discussions and writing formal papers, students also have the opportunity to learn through writing discussion board entries and blog postings, through composing digital audio files, and through composing images. As a teacher who is committed to adapting my instruction to meet the unique needs and concerns of students, I work hard to meet individually with each of my students at least once during the term (either in person or via online chat). In informal writing and conversations, I regularly ask students to reflect on what strategies best help them learn and compose. In this way, I seek to prepare students to meet the diverse rhetorical challenges they will encounter throughout their lives.