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—but this is not a class on classical rhetoric, it is a class on argumentative writing. So much more 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 two major essays and a student presentation/debate. Through these three assignments, you will become familiar with composition methods, strategies for finding academic sources, and with the resources of the UH Manoa Library.