In this course, you will review and explore important concepts in rhetoric and argumentation theory, and you will gain skill in discovering the questions that drive controversies and the arguments that can be made on all the different sides of an issue. You will also practice speaking, writing, and reasoning as a way to develop the strengths and the habits of mind and heart on which the best kind of reasoning, writing, and speaking depend. 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. Our focus this term will be on the idea of different kinds of democratic publics, different kinds of audiences, and especially how it is possible to address complicated and diverse audiences appropriately and effectively.
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.
Upper-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience.