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University of Oregon


The English Department’s Minor and Certificate in Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning provides students in any major with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge desired by graduate programs and essential for living in a complex world of advocacy and controversy.  Students take a series of integrated courses in three categories.  Writing courses provide instruction in argumentative and professional writing designed to enable students to communicate their ideas effectively to a variety of audiences, in essays and other forms.  Speaking courses enable students to become effective and ethical oral communicators and to understand how the modality of oral persuasion functions in the social, political, and interpersonal realms.  Rhetoric courses enable students to understand the arts of persuasion and informal reasoning from historical, ethical, and theoretical perspectives.

The minor and certificate were begun by Professor James Crosswhite, backed by a grant from the Williams Council.  Faculty from English, Philosophy, and The Clark Honors College met to discuss influential works on rhetoric and pedagogy, and the new WSCR curriculum emerged from these discussions, including the return of speech classes to the UO for the first time since the 1980s.  More about the WSCR Minor and Certificate can be linked from the English Department homepage click here.