Argumentation and Communication (H) (2S)


From newspaper headlines to online forums, talk shows to viral videos, our world can be bitterly divided. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to engage in civil discourse. This course invites you to become effective communicators in a society filled with conflicting goals and purposes. Together, we’ll explore thorny questions: how do we recognize (and construct) effective arguments? What is the place of dialogue, debate, dissent– and listening in the midst of it all? How do we use rhetorical strategies responsibly? To help us grapple with these questions, we’ll read a variety of nonfiction arguments as well as one self-selected book per quarter. Class activities will include discussion of selected readings, games, debates, and writing workshops. We’ll sharpen our written and oral skills with extensive writing, including an editorial, a satire, a debate, and a speech. By the end of this course, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity and beauty of their own voice and the voices of others.