We are living in a contentious time in history. Fundamental disagreements on critical policy, economic, and political issues make it essential to learn how to compose an effective argument and to analyze the arguments of others. This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make needed changes in society. Conveying a convincing message can benefit your personal, public, and professional lives.
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. In it, you will learn to construct and defend compelling arguments, a crucial skill in many settings. We will be using selected speeches from prominent twentieth-century Americans — including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, Ronald Reagan, and more — to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style. Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view.
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