This course is rooted in the study of classical rhetorical devices and contemporary composition theories as they relate to the development of argumentative prose. General topics will include the validity and soundess of arguments, deductive and inductive reasoning, argument patterns and concepts of logic, and writing/revision practices for honing written persuasion. For theoretical grounding, we will look to both western and non-western rhetorical approaches, both historical and contemporary. For practice, we will explore contemporary issues, producing both formal and informal written pieces of persuasion. In this sense, as a participant in this class, you will engage in issue analysis, discussion, and written debate about topics of importance and impact to you, while applying the key elements of argumentative discourse and rhetorical proofs. Because of the practical nature and use of argumentation, students will engage in writing assignments requiring collaboration, audience analysis, and contextual considerations with an emphasis on application. Students will complete short in-class writing assignments, a series of argumentative papers, and a final essay.
Text: Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, 5th Edition, Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee, Pearson (2011): ISBN 978-0205175482.