Argumentative Writing

This advanced writing course is designed to help students examine and employ rhetorical concepts and practices that will enable them to write persuasively in a variety of contexts and genres. As such, you’ll learn about key rhetorical concepts and about effective writerly practices, demonstrating what you’ve learned in written arguments.

You will be challenged to work outside of what may well be your comfort zone in academic writing. That is, once we quickly review what you’ve learned about the thesis-driven essay, you will advance to writing like a scholar, by getting oriented to and practicing the writing conventions of academic argument. Then, you will break with both forms to write in a form that is more suited to a public audience. All of these efforts will be framed in explorations of and reflections on “ethics of engagement” – i.e., how we can engage productively with others and with beliefs and values that come into conflict within polarized discourse. Though one of the primary goals of the course is to orient you to scholarly writing practices, you will be given opportunities to explore and test (within the controlled environment of our class) modes of engagement that might be deployed in conversations/conflicts that you are a part of beyond the walls of our classroom.

By the end of the semester, I hope you will have a stronger sense of what options are available to you in participating in written argument, as well as what writing practices and ways of thinking about writing work for you.