Communication and Culture | Argumentation and Advocacy
C228 | ALL | John Lucaites
Class Number: 14921, 22449-22450, 26281
MW 12:20 PM-1:10PM (Lectures)
Required Friday discussion times vary
Fulfills COAS A&H Requirement
Professor: John Louis Lucaites
Office: Mottier Hall 202
This is a course designed to introduce students to the practical
forms and functions of public argumentation and advocacy. Topics to
be emphasized will include the differences in form and function of
propositions of fact, value, and policy; how to identify, employ,
and critique different modes of reasoning (including so-
called “fallacies of argumentation”) and the usage of evidence; the
role of advocacy in public debate (focusing on social change, legal
advocacy, and public policy decision-making); and the fundamentals
of directed research using both the library (including the use of
government documents and legal resources) and the world wide web.
The primary goal of the course is to help students to become better
producers and consumers of arguments as they appear in the public
sphere. The course will be conducted in a lecture/discussion
format. On Mondays and Wednesdays students will attend lectures on
the theory and principles of public argumentation and advocacy. On
Fridays students will attend small discussion sections
(approximately 25 students) where they will work on a variety of
critical and practical exercises designed to develop skills in the
use of public argumentation.
Course assignments will include three argumentative papers (4-6 pp.
in length) plus a mid-term and final examination. Papers will
emphasize the ability to employ the skills of argumentation, while
exams will emphasize the ability to analyze and critique the usage
of arguments by others. Class attendance is required.
Readings will include a textbook on argumentation such as Andrea
Lunsford’s Everything’s An Argument, Boston: Bedford, 2004. A
variety of additional readings (speeches, editorials,
advertisements, legal decisions, etc.) will be placed on e-reserves.