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English 2276

Arts of Persuasion


Credit hours: 3
GEC categories: Culture and Ideas
Prerequisites: English 1110

Text Books:

Title Author(s) Publisher ISBN
Dissent in America, Concise Edition, 1/E Ralph Young Pearson 0205625894

Example Syllabus:

Course Objectives: In this course, students will be introduced to the study and practice of rhetoric (the methods by which we convey messages effectively and persuasively). Students will also learn about how arguments are shaped by technology, media, and cultural contexts. In other words, students will learn how effective messages (spoken, written, and visual) are composed. Using famous speeches and documents from the founding of the United States up through current times as examples, we will explore the strategies speakers and writers use to get audiences on their side, the ways of putting together words and images that are persuasive, and why those strategies are effective. We'll also consider the ways that changes in time and place and situation change what's persuasive.

Course Content: Using significant speeches and documents from US history as case studies, we will study why they were effective responses to their situations and how they prompted the change that they did. We will carry this study up through the 21st century with an exploration of how persuasion and information function in a world with a range of media options.

Method of Presentation: Note: one-third of the work for this class will take place online. That is, we will meet two days a week and the equivalent of the third meeting each week will take the form of an online class through Carmen. We will read persuasive documents and view performances of speeches and other forms of persuasion when possible. We will then discuss their effectiveness using concepts delivered through lectures, handouts, and online materials.

Method of Evaluation: Midterm, final, and a few small projects that involve responding to readings or material posted online or that require applying concepts learned in class.


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