The title Rhetoric Through Media expresses the central idea of this book: critical analysis of contemporary media can serve as the basis for understanding rhetoric. Rhetoric Through Media develops students' abilities to view the media critically and to write and think for academic purposes. Its accessible tone allows students to make critically sophisticated use of materials with which they are already familiar, texts from popular culture. Students write their way toward understanding how important rhetoric is, not only for college classes, but for the culture generally. This approach makes the book appropriate for courses in freshman composition, mass media, and cultural studies. Rhetoric Through Media devotes most of its chapters to activities basic to writing: making observations, looking for associations, analyzing and classifying texts, developing insights, gathering further information, and shaping what is written for particular audiences and purposes. These activities connect forms of media to purposes for writing: news is linked to researching and evaluating information; advertising texts serve as material for close reading and analysis; photographs illustrate visual aspects of media; and entertainment media divert and instruct at the same time. Assignments allow readers to discover the force of certain points for themselves - for example, the extent of our reliance on all forms of media is shown by doing without media for a short time. Media logs establish early the importance of observation and record-keeping in order to judge from data and not impressions and preconceptions. Readings from both student and professional writers are provided as commentary on issues under discussion and as texts where rhetoric is to be examined. Journals and other forms of informal writing are discussed and integrated into the book as valuable work in themselves; and two chapters deal with the movement from informal writing to draft and from draft to finished work, culminating in portfolios which involve writers in gathering and assessing their own work.