English | Argumentative Writing
W270 | 1789 | Schilb

2:30p-3:45p WF (22) 3 cr.

This course is for students interested in strengthening their ability
to write persuasively in any field and to analyze arguments made
by other people. Many of us automatically think of "argument" as
combative, but it need not be so. In this course, we will more or
less define "argument" simply as writing that attempts to influence
a particular audience's position on an issue. We will spend much
time considering what makes for powerful claims and effective
evidence, recognizing that audiences may differ in their standards
of argument. We will examine the strategies that have been used in
particular arguments, both inside and outside the academy, and we
will spend a lot of time writing, reviewing, and revising arguments
of our own. There will be several brief writing exercises, two
medium-length papers (4-5 pp. each), and a longer writing project
(10-12 pp.). Students will have plenty of opportunity to write about
topics of particular interest to them. The class will be almost
entirely discussion.