The class is on Visible Rhetoric, so to kick things off, let's kick things off with a rhetorical analysis of this very blog post... as I write it.
Since acknowledging the flaws in your argument is supposed to be good for your ethos, let's say that the fact that I said straight out that I procrastinated and now have to cram to get a grade can make you, my (probably imaginary) readers, a little more sympathetic to me, the blogger. After all, who has never procrastinated? And who has never busted their butt doing something for a grade when, in the long run, the something they were busting their butt for probably wouldn't matter for anything beyond that grade?
Now there's something interesting I just did there. I said that this assignment only matters for the grade, and I sort of implied that the grade doesn't matter much either. That's not entirely true. As an Honors student, grades matter a lot to me, and I haven't taken very good care of them this semester, and now I'm concerned that I may lose my status in the Honors program.
See what I did there? I just sort of casually slipped in that I'm in the Honors program, which indicates to you that I'm smart, which makes me more credible. But I might lose that Honors status, which means I'm struggling, which brings us back to that sympathy thing. On the other hand, since I mentioned the Honors thing, you might now resent me for being one of those annoying smart kids. I do try not to be too annoying about it, but I am the kid who likes to sit at the front of the class, comes to class every single day, and tends to do pretty well on tests without studying for them. (Now, see, the fact that I've said all of that sort of undermines me not being annoying about it, doesn't it?)
My average post should probably be a bit longer than this, but I've gotta keep moving. I have reading to respond to.