Prerequisite: COMM 111, 112, 115 or faculty consent. Principles and techniques of preparing evidence and of persuasive speaking before critical listeners.
We all engage in debate every day—with family, friends, peers, coworkers, and sometimes even strangers—on matters as mundane as where to eat dinner or as intense as whether the United States should have a military presence in the Middle East. In these interactions, we develop a position, present it, defend it against those who disagree, and respond to their counterarguments. This course seeks to improve your ability to effectively state and defend your position, and analyze and respond to the arguments of others. The material will introduce you to the elements of argumentation and persuasion through activities and assignments designed to develop listening and speaking skills. At the end of this class, you should be able to:
- Identify the elements of effective and ethical argumentation and debate, including organization of information and proper use of credible evidence;
- Construct and defend arguments;
- Critically analyze and respond to oral arguments;
- Recognize and respond to argument fallacies;
- Effectively view and argue multiple sides of a single issue.