How do we speak effectively in situations of controversy? How do we maintain civil but powerful ways of speaking? How do we use oral reasoning for inquiry and mutual understanding as well as for debate and for building and defending arguments? How can we learn to listen as carefully as we speak? How can we know what is permissible in oral argument and what is out of bounds? What character and personal strengths must we develop in order to speak well? In this course, we will ground ourselves in some of the essential principles of rhetoric and reasoning with an eye toward applying them both to new and to traditional forms of oral expression and argument. You will gain knowledge of these principles and these forms, and you will gain the capability to use this knowledge effectively in oral controversies and in advocacy. Be prepared to think and speak on your feet in class, to work in groups, to participate in debate, and to learn by practicing and in part by trial and error.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Theory/Rhetoric courses teach media theory, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
The interdisciplinary minor in Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning offers students a coherent program of courses that strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This minor is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.
Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning Certificate courses strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This certificate program is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.