This course focuses on examining and employing academic argumentation. Students hone their skills at the presentation, explanation, and assessment of claims through effectively crafted writing that utilizes appropriate evidence. The course builds on and refines skills from first-year writing courses and provides a basic introduction to incorporating research.
Academia is built on arguments. These arguments are deeply connected to the larger rhetorical situations that they both react to and help to create. And these arguments take shape in specific uses of language, among the most important of which are written texts, both conforming to and contravening existing patterns of words, sentences, paragraphs, and genres.
In this course, we will employ a variety of approaches — rhetorical, logical, and linguistic approaches to help us study, analyze, understand, and create the kinds of written texts valued in contemporary academic contexts. Students will be encouraged to focus their work and research on how academic writing works in the specific disciplinary contexts of their concentrations or intended courses of study. We will also consider larger issues of what happens to academic arguments when they are taken up in the public square.
ENGLISH 225 builds on strategies introduced in ENGLISH 124 and 125, serving as a more advanced examination of academic writing and argumentation. In this particular section, we will pay special attention to analyzing rhetorical strategies, logical methods, and linguistic resources used in texts from multiple academic genres (e.g., argumentative essays, research articles, application essays, recommendations letters, proposals) as well from multiple disciplines (including sciences, social sciences, and humanities).
To guide our analyses, we will make use of analytic tools to examine how writers (both professionals and students) use language to create an argumentative stance, to evaluate others’ arguments, to interact with readers, and to organize the discourse.
By the end of this course, students will have built up their knowledge about rhetorical, logical, and linguistic strategies for analyzing and constructing arguments in their disciplines.
Students will know and be able to use a variety of analytic tools to help them unpack the ways that arguments are constructed and expressed in academic and public genres.
Students will also be able to use these tools to examine their own writing, and to help them to refine their academic argumentation as tied to specific genres.
Students will be expected to read and participate in the discussion of articles, complete three short analytical exercises based on criteria set in class, complete three written argument assignments, and offer assistance to classmates on their work. Throughout the course students will be expected to select topics to write on and texts to examine that are of particular interest to them and relevant to their own academic goals.
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Seminar-style discussions and peer-review workshops will take up most of the class time.
With permission of instructor.
Completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.