Argumentative Writing

Aristotle defines rhetoric as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This course will teach you to identify the rhetorical strategies available in select discursive genres. In this course, you will utilize analytic and inductive reasoning, document evidence to support your reasoning, and hone your research methods.

Just how can you persuade someone through writing? What constitutes effective or convincing evidence? This course will explore the role of invention in composition, as well as the premises of rhetorical proof.

Rhetoric is not just how we persuade, others, though: it also informs how we are convinced, and challenges our willingness to engage in civic activities. On the one hand, this class will explore some of the classical figures in the history of rhetoric. Much of the class will be spent examining contemporary argumentative writing and examining the strategies involved in composition. Finally, this class will focus on the role of rhetoric in fostering civic engagement in local, national, and international issues.

The majority of the grade for this class will be based a rhetorical analysis, an original argument, a final project, and a student presentation/debate.