Argumentative Writing I

Catalogue Course Description:

ENG 306 Argumentative Writing I (3) Theory and practice of written argument; emphasis on the role of invention in argumentative discourse and on the nature of rhetorical proof. Pre: FW and either 200 or one ENG DL course, or consent.

Expanded Course Description:

This advanced writing course is designed to help students study 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.

At a couple of points in the semester, you will be challenged to work outside of what may well be your comfort zone in academic writing. That is, once introduced to competing approaches to argument, you will be asked to practice a couple of those approaches, and they may or may not conform to your prior conceptions of (and training in) academic argument.

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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate rhetorical awareness by writing in ways that are appropriate to particular purposes, contexts, and audiences.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of genre as a concept by adapting stylistic conventions to differing rhetorical purposes, contexts, and audiences.
  3. Demonstrate understandings of rhetorical theory by analyzing rhetorical practices in writing and, in the process, successfully utilizing appropriate terminology, disciplinary frameworks, and scholarship.

Texts (these may change):

Crowley and Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students

Kolln and Gray’s Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects

Readings posted to Laulima

Major Assignments (these may change):

Written Arguments (using source materials and totaling 4000 words): for these formal writings, you will put into practice the concepts and strategies that you are learning in class. Some will be more experimental and some will be more traditional in their approaches to argument.

Mini Lessons: you will lead the class in writing exercises and/or discussions, based on the course readings

Rhetorical Grammar Exercises: you will be asked to complete weekly rhetorical grammar exercises to strengthen your prose style

Workshops: for each written argument, you will share a draft with your classmates and provide feedback on each other’s work