Communication and Culture | Argumentation and Public Advocacy
C228 | 6230 | Amsden, B.
MW, 1:00 PM-2:15 PM, TE F256
Fulfills College A&H Requirement
Instructor: Brian Amsden
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 210
This is a course designed to introduce students to the practical
forms and functions of public argumentation and advocacy. Topics to
be emphasized 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 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.
Course assignments will include three argumentative papers (4-6 pp.
in length) plus midterm and final examinations. 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.