Reading Response: CFP Rhetorical Analysis

A misreading of the prompt can have far-reaching ramifications for student papers. Perhaps their claims will answer a different question or superficially address that question. Or they may invoke a different target audience than suggested by the prompt.

For my fairy tale course, I would like to prepare students to develop a conference paper as though delivering it in a professional setting. This will be a very new idea for many of them, so I will need to scaffold it on short writing assignments and introduce them to this new rhetorical context.

Along with looking at examples of conference papers on youtube, I want to do a short unit on the rhetoric of the call for papers. First we will look at a few CFPs as a genre in class and talk about how they are structured. Students will then choose one and write a short rhetorical analysis of it based on their previous work on genre analysis. In a page, they will describe the theme of the conference, the potential audience members (through looking at the organization’s website), and what kind of topics might be a good fit for the conference. At the end of the unit, the class as a whole will brainstorm and compose a CFP for our own mini-conference that we will hold for the end of the second act, keeping in mind the structure of a CFP that they have looked at so far. Since the generated the prompt for their conference papers collaboratively, they will begin drafting with a firm idea of what kind of work is being asked for.

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