Welcome to the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program!

Rhetoric Leadership Team, 2018-2019
Rhetoric Leadership Team, 2018-2019

Front Row: Erin Grogan, Helen Makhdoumian, Dana Kinzy. Back Row: Ryan Ware, Dan Zhang, Kristi McDuffie, Dave Morris

ZJU China Group Photo

ZJU China Group photo 2018-19

Clip from a Special note from Interim Director of Rhetoric, Kristi McDuffie –“A note of thanks to everyone for supporting my visit to the ZJU campus at the end of September. It was a great success. Marilyn, Ryan, and I held three days of Rhetoric instruction training for the graduate teaching assistants that are supporting their classes this semester (see above photo). They are a wonderful group and the training helped professionalize the program, create cohesion among the courses, and create community between all of the instructors. The campus is beautiful and everyone was extremely hospitable. I owe the most thanks to Ryan and Marilyn, who hosted me and lead training sessions with me while also teaching their full class loads.”

WE invite you to an upcoming Workshop titled "Discovering Our Values" facilitated by Dr. Bob Broad

Discovering Our Values Bob Broad

"I WRITE" in the News!!

The Rhetoric Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the latest example of an Illinois program taking advantage of the eText services offered by CITL. The program offers both a print and digital version of its customized, in-house I-Write text.

follow link to read full article written by CITL. “I-Write”: Illinois Rhetoric Program’s High Quality, Low Cost Text

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Program News

ESSAY CONTEST - Spring 2019

Rhet Essay Contest Spring 2019


Greetings from the Rhetoric Program!

We write to announce our Fall 2018 Student Essay Contest winners. With over 80 fantastic submissions of a wide range of genres, we are pleased to announce the following winners, along with the titles of their work and their instructors:

  1. Melanie Reed,“Should All Schools in America Have Later StartTimes?,”Amanda Bales
  1. Nathan Edelman, “Kosher as a Viable Dietary Option: Internalizing the Value of Kosher Programs on Campus,”Eric A. Thomas
  1. Ricardo Ramirez Betancourt, “The Polysemous Nature of Representation: Why LGBTQ Members do not see the Representation They Want in Video Games”Evin Groundwater
  1. Savannah Gregory, “Vaping Isn’t Really Dangerous and the Sky is Orange,”Mary Hays
  1. YuqiShao, “Justifying Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement: “Letter from BirminghamJail”,”Mary Rose Cottingham
  1. Wendi Ding, “Research Proposal,”Jordan Sellers
  1. Russell Green, “Effectively Persuading a Targeted Audience: A Rhetorical Analysis of “FML: Millennials Are Screwed”,”Jordan Sellers
  1. ZhujunNie, “Locking Door: Ineffective University Resources Outreach,”Justin Smith
  1. Teresa Huang, “Clashing of Two Cultures: The Evaluation of Asian-ness in Asian American Individuals,”Justin Smith
  1. Jessica Mingee, “Impact of Service on a Person's Well-Being,”Justin Smith
  1. Cindy Kang, "University's Mandatory Education on Eating Disorder," Michael Hurley
  1. Claire Follis, "The Effects of Inequality in Education Funding," Michael Hurley

Winners receive a gift certificate to IUB, potential publication in I Write, and recognition at the annual English Dept. student writing ceremony.

We would also like to thank our readers who so freely gave their time:

  1. Paul Beilstein
  1. Andy Bowman
  1. Aaron Burstein
  1. Savannah Block
  1. AllisonKranek
  1. John MacLean
  1. LizMatresse
  1. Megan Mericle
  1. Dave Morris
  1. Anna Robb
  1. Alexis Schmidt
  1. Jordan Sellers
  1. Justin Smith
  1. Rebecca Weber
  1. Carolyn Wisniewski
  1. Dan Zhang

We couldn’t maintain this successful essay contest every semester without the work of all of the instructors who encourage their students, so thanks to all of you who do not appear on this list as well.

Congratulations to all!

Kristi, Dan, Erin, Andrea, Dana, Dave, Ryan, and Helen

ESSAY CONTEST - Spring 2018

Undergraduate Rhetoric to announce formally our Spring 2018 essay contest winners. With nearly 80 fantastic submissions, we are pleased to announce the following winners, along with the titles of their work, and their instructors:

  1. Kylie Ashton, “The Incessant Agony of Parental PTSD,” Jordan Sellers
  2. Madelyn Angus, “Becoming Vegan: The Most Effective Way to Benefit Yourself and the Earth,” Edgar Garbelotto
  3. Aleyah Hattab, “If A College Student Falls and Money Isn’t Involved, Do They Even Make A Sound?” Kathryn O'Toole
  4. Destiny Henning, “Evolution v Creationism,” Justin Smith
  5. Paul (Won Hyung) Lee, “Implementation of a Nationalized Internet Network and its Effects on the Private Internet Service Provider Market,” Jordan Sellers
  6. Danling Ma, “Personal Discourse,” Bri Lafond
  7. Khayla Moore, “Blacked Out Mental Health,” William Schwartz
  8. Rohan Siddhpura, “Greed and Silence: Exhuming the Bourgeois in Income Disparity,” Corina Villanueva
  9. Zachary Tollakson, “Planting Doubt in Genetically Modified Seeds,” Mary Hays
  10. Sabrina Wu, “Queer Diasporic Asian Americans,” Amelia Hawkins

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our readers who so freely gave their time:

  1. Paul Beilstein
  2. Mary Rose Cottingham
  3. Ben DeVries
  4. Kyle Garton-Gundling
  5. Erin Grogan
  6. Michael Hurley
  7. Annie Kelvie
  8. Helen Makhdoumian
  9. Logan Middleton
  10. Jordan Sellers
  11. Justin Smith
  12. Jess Tanck
  13. Ryan Ware
  14. Carolyn Wisniewski
  15. Dan Zhang

Congratulations, and again, thanks for all of your work!



The Rhetoric Program is pleased to announce the winners of the Fall 2017 Rhetoric Program Student Essay Contest! We received 72 student submissions from 25 instructors. Here are the winners, along with the titles of their essays and the instructors who supported them.

Thank you to all of the instructors who encouraged their students to submit, as well as the eleven Rhetoric instructors who donated their time to read submissions. Winners received a gift card to the Illini Union Bookstore, and several of the winning essays will appear in the forthcoming Rhetoric Program Textbook. Award Winners:

*             Joseph Procopio, "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery," Aumaine Gruich

*             Kai Oliver, "The Pauper and the Prince: Insight into the Phenomenon of Wealth Inequality,” Ben DeVries

*             Mark Toledano, "Buying Organic Worth the Cost?" Jane Im

*             Daniela Arcos, "What are the Best 'Ways' of Sleeping?" Edgar Garbelotto

*             Rosario Barrera, "Latinas in Higher Education," Patrick Fadely

*             Madalyn Liberman, "GM Crops: Finding Middle Ground," Mary Rose Cottingham

*             Mackenzie Musch, "The Destructive Effects of Fitspiration," Ben O'Dell

*             Adam Maksimovich, "Electric Vehicles and the Environment," Edgar Garbelotto

*             Bailey Milet, "Human Trafficking: Focusing on the Victims," Amanda Bales

*             Leo Sanchez, "Who Can Claim the Word 'Bitch'?" Amanda Bales

*             Rui Shi, "Mystery Lies at the Core of Mona Lisa's Persevering Fame," Kyle Garton-Gundling

*             Max Mitchell, "Fighting Back Against the War on Music," Kyle Garton-Gundling

The Undergraduate Rhetoric Program is pleased to announce a student essay contest. Please see CFP for details. Submissions due December 1st here!


Congratulations to Rhetoric Conference 2016 Winners!

Sadie Potvin-First Prize Winner, Spoken Presentation

Annie Xia-Honorable Mention, Spoken Presentation

Nalin Gadihoke-Honorable Mention, Spoken Presentation

Iaroslav Ekimtcov-Honorable Mention, Spoken Presentation

Haley Inyart-First Prize Winner, Poster Presentation

Zifan Feng-Honorable Mention, Poster Presentation


Fall 2016

On October 24, 2016, Dr. Mya Poe of Northeastern University gave a presentation entitled "From Vexing Questions to Intended Consequences: A Sociocultural Study of Writing Assessment." Her lecture argued for fairness as a pillar of sound writing assessment and expanded notions of how students form what she called "theories of writing." She also met with small groups of Rhetoric instructors to share her expertise and provided consulting to Engineering faculty through the AE3 program. 

Mya Poe presenting (1)

Mya Poe presenting (2)

Fall 2015

Congratulations to the presenters at the Annual Rhetoric Conference! Students presented on a diverse array of topics to their peers and audience members from across campus. Many thanks to the instructors who volunteered to judge the presentations. Here's to next year's conference!

For more information, including a list of winners' names, please visit the Conference page.

Image of award winner for spoken presentation

Image of award winner for poster presentation

Fall 2014

 Professor Sandra Jamieson visited from Drew University to present her work on "Rereading Student Papers: How Citation Project Research Can Help Us Strengthen Reading and Writing Skills."

Image of Professor Sandra Jamieson

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