What is argumentation? What are its central elements, processes, forms, structures, techniques, goals? How does one create or imagine arguments? In this course, we will explore some of the central concepts in rhetoric and in argumentation theory, but the major focus will be on practicing argumentation, especially the inventing of arguments. We will use the study of rhetoric and argumentation to support that practice. You will gain a knowledge of some important concepts in rhetoric and argumentation theory, and you will gain advanced skill in discovering the questions that drive controversies and the arguments that can be made on different sides of an issue. Be prepared to be called on in class, to think and speak on your feet, 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.
Literary Theory/Criticism courses teach academic and rigorous media comprehension, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.