Environmental Rhetoric

Christine Jones

Welcome to English 102 Open

This textbook is an English 102 text that includes a focus on contextualized topics while using rhetoric and approaches to research.

There are hundreds of wonderful, free writing resources available online, yet most college writing classes still use expensive textbooks. Students have been frustrated by textbook prices for longer than most instructors have noticed. Your instructor, like many others at the campus, has been actively working to lower that barrier to instruction and learning.

This course uses OER Materials.


A desk covered in notes, articles, books, used for research. The desk also has a lamp.
“My desk, while writing a paper” by Guðmundur D. Haraldsson is licensed under CC BY 2.0


OER stands for Open Educational Resources. OER materials are free or low-cost. This book focuses on freely available works under a Creative Commons license. All works here are adaptable; all works here are printable and downloadable for free.  This book CAN be printed if you feel the need for a physical textbook.  Speak to your instructor about how to make that possible or reach out to any  “print on demand” company.

Materials have been organized into “Chapters” which connect to the Modules of the course. They are NOT in the same order that the modules are. However, there are no extra chapters.  You should completely read the textbook by the end of the semester.  The materials include text, videos, and interactive activities that were developed under Creative Commons licensing.

You are expected to read the texts, watch the videos, and participate in interactive activities.  You should complete the reading before coming to class, as I will be teaching with the expectation that you have completed the reading. It is best if you complete your Cornell Notes before the classes so you will be familiar with the information and be able to use them in class.  Many of the in-class assignments are directly related to the information you will find in the book.  Some of the in-book activities will be requested in class!

You may work ahead at any time.


H5P Activities

The videos and activities that are in the book are graded automatically.  If you are reading the textbook for information, you can do that in any format you like, even printed.  If you want the credit for completing the activities, you need to access the textbook using the  “reading” page in Canvas.  This is only required for completing the graded activities.  Here is an example of a graded activity that should show up in Canvas.

Be sure to click “Submit” if there is a submit button.  If there is a print button available, be sure to save a copy to your Google Drive.  I recommend having a folder for the textbook activities in case of technical issues.  Mac, Ipad, and Phone access of the textbook does not always record the grades. Keep that in mind as you plan your study time.



Why, What, When, Where, How, Who?

 by Sybil Priebe

Why Do I Have to Take This Class? Why Do I Have to Improve My Writing?


Students ask me why they have to take my class. They ask me this a lot. A LOT.

Now, I could be a typical teacher and roll my eyes, but I usually try to connect these questions with the REAL WORLD. College instructors are supposed to prepare students for that big scary REAL WORLD, right? So, often, I’ll explain it like this:

“Do the people around you communicate well? Everyone always knows what the other one is saying, thinking, feeling at any given moment? Or, perhaps this is a better question: The people around you never fight or argue?”

Rarely can anyone say they haven’t seen people fight. Here’s a key to why English is important at all levels – communication is super tricky. We create slang on a daily basis, we text people with acronyms, and we still have people not understanding other people even when we don’t use slang or a text message! And don’t forget that if we can’t speak well, we probably aren’t writing well – what does that mean in our future jobs? For our future customers? What does that mean for us as people in relationships, friendships, etc.?

WHAT is Writing All About?

What is Composition? What is Rhetoric? What is Literature? What is Linguistics?

These are terms you might only get quizzed on during Jeopardy, but if we start from the smallest level and work our way to the largest, it goes like this: Linguistics is the study of words, Composition is the study of arranging those words into sentences and paragraphs and essays, and then Literature is the study of fully composed pieces of work that may or may not be true (Nonfiction vs. Fiction). That weird word Rhetoric? Yeah, that’s the study of Argument.

At the heart of rhetoric is argument. At the heart of argument is persuasion. Truly understanding rhetoric presents the understanding that it is dependent on the individual judging the argument and finding themselves persuaded.  It is a process of internal deliberation that utilizes the rational, emotional, and deliberative faculties.   Understanding rhetoric also helps refine the mental pathways to recognize and renounce manipulation. It teaches us ethical ways of communicating and a process to improve judgment.  Rhetoric is directly tied to critical thinking, a necessary skill in ALL majors.

WHEN Should We Write? WHERE Should We Write?

All the time and everywhere.

HOW Can You Get Started with Writing?

With this amazing book!

WHO Am I Writing This For?

Okay, so typically, you might only be composing an assignment for your teacher’s eyes only, but if you participate in Peer Review, or will be showing the final product to the public, your audience is more than one person.

Some Comparisons


High School College
Reading assignments are moderately long. Teachers may set aside some class time for reading and reviewing the material in depth. Some reading assignments may be very long. You will be expected to come to class with a basic understanding of the material.
Teachers often provide study guides and other aids to help you prepare for exams. Reviewing for exams is primarily your responsibility.
Your grade is determined by your performance on a wide variety of assessments, including minor and major assignments. Not all assessments are writing-based. Your grade may depend on just a few major assessments. Most assessments are writing-based.
Writing assignments include personal writing and creative writing in addition to expository writing. Outside of creative writing courses, most writing assignments are expository.
The structure and format of writing assignments are generally stable over a four-year period. Depending on the course, you may be asked to master new forms of writing and follow standards within a particular professional field.
Teachers often go out of their way to identify and try to help students who are performing poorly on exams, missing classes, not turning in assignments, or just struggling with the course. Often teachers will give students many “second chances.” Although teachers want their students to succeed, they may not always realize when students are struggling. They also expect you to be proactive and take steps to help yourself. “Second chances” are less common.

The Keys to Success


Two keys held between the first finger and the thumb of a left hand. One key is silver colored, the other is slightly bronze colored. The silver key has JMA in raised letters. A road can be seen background.
“Project 366 #296: 221012 I Hold The Key” by comedy_nose is marked with CC PDM 1.0


Planning Strategies

Time Management

  • Setting aside enough time
  • Breaking Assignments into manageable chunks

Setting a purpose for reading

  • How did my instructor frame the assignment?
  • How deeply do I need to understand the reading?
  • How does this assignment relate to other course readings or to concepts discussed in class?
  • How might I use this text again in the future?

Comprehension Strategies

Reading for Information

  • Reading that aligns with our skill level and interests
    • Magazines, newspapers, the latest book in our favorite series, a book about our favorite subject
    • Reading is not challenging and can be done passively

Reading for Understanding

  • Reading that is outside of our skill level and interest
    • College textbooks and assignments
    • Reading is more challenging and requires more effort/deliberate action

Active Reading

  • Reading for understanding cannot be done passively
  • How much understanding you gain from a text depends on how much activity you put into it
  • Active readers engage with a text: ask questions and demand answers
  • Active readers can organize the reading and record answers to any questions
  • Connect what you read to what you already know. Look for ways the reading supports, extends, or challenges concepts you have learned elsewhere.
  • Relate the reading to your own life. What statements, people, or situations relate to your personal experiences?
  • Visualize. For both fiction and nonfiction texts, try to picture what is described.
  • Pay attention to graphics as well as text. Photographs, diagrams, flow charts, tables, and other graphics can help make abstract ideas more concrete and understandable.
  • Understand the text in context. Understanding context means thinking about who wrote the text, when and where it was written, the author’s purpose for writing it, and what assumptions or agendas influenced the author’s ideas
  • Plan to talk or write about what you read. Jot down a few questions or comments in your notebook so you can bring them up in class.

Annotate a Text

Develop a system and stick to it!

  • I generally underline the Thesis and Topic Sentences
  • I use vertical lines in the right margin of a paragraph for important supporting details–note the word, important; I do not highlight small details because annotations should be used for the main ideas and should point you toward what you need to read further.
  • I circle unfamiliar words and write their definition above the word or next to it.
  • I write notes in the margin if I want to connect the information to something else I have read or an essay I am writing.
  • I use an asterisk or exclamation point for startling facts/ statistics or surprising information.

Continuously Monitor Your Comprehension

Summarize the main points

  • Thesis
  • Topic Sentences

Ask questions and then answer them

Prepare questions for class discussion

Use the SQ3R Strategy

  1. Survey the text in advance.
  2. Form questions before you start reading.
  3. Read the text.
  4. Recite and/or record important points during and after reading.
  5. Review and reflect on the text after you read it.

Key Takeaways

  • College-level reading and writing assignments differ from high school assignments not only in quantity but also in quality.
  • Managing college reading assignments successfully requires you to plan and manage your time, set a purpose for reading, practice effective comprehension strategies, and use active reading strategies to deepen your understanding of the text.
  • College writing assignments place greater emphasis on learning to think critically about a particular discipline and less emphasis on personal and creative writing




This textbook was compiled by Mrs. Christine Jones for her English 102 course using multiple OER and Creative Commons licensed materials. A complete guide to the texts used can be found in the Appendix, with links to the Pressbooks and source materials pages. Specific citations and attributions can be found at the bottom of each chapter.


**The memes used in this book are NOT creative commons and are used in a “Fair Use” educational capacity only, intended for this edition of the online textbook.  If you are making a copy of this text, please remove the memes before use.




Media Attributions

  • My desk, while writing a paper © Guðmundur D. Haraldsson


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Introduction Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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