This course will focus on the study of argumentation with an eye toward writing effective arguments. We will consider theories and strategies of argumentation that will enable students to recognize and utilize those theories to hone their skills at crafting sound, well-developed, and persuasive arguments of their own. While the course will focus heavily on writing arguments, reading, analyzing, and discussing the structure of arguments will aid students in deepening their understanding of effective argumentation through viewing the acts of reading and writing as part of an interactive process with particular emphasis on reaching and interacting with diverse audiences. To that end, we will spend much of the semester interrogating how, in this digital age, tools of new media such as blogging, videography, and online citizen journalism inform and enrich written argument as well as how such technologies have opened an arena for greater interaction between readers and writers that has heightened our understanding of the importance of audience awareness in crafting an effective argument.
Upon completion of this course, it is my hope that students will:
* Develop an understanding of the structure of written arguments and learn to identify and produce writing in a variety of rhetorical situations.
* Learn to recognize effective arguments and avoid logical fallacies both in their own writing and as savvy consumers and analyzers of argument.
* Develop an understanding of the interactive relationship between reader and writer and the importance of audience awareness in crafting sound arguments.
* Produce well-crafted, critical, and persuasive writing that demonstrates the skills of organization, argumentation and rhetoric, and grammar and mechanics.
* Learn to professionally and responsibly use media and technology as innovative writing tools.