COMM 114 : Argumentation and Critical Discourse

Transcript title

Argumentation Discourse



Grading mode

Standard letter grades

Total contact hours


Lecture hours


Recommended preparation

or to be taken with COMM 111Z or WR 121Z.

Course Description

Explores theories of argumentation. Develops skills of inquiry and advocacy through oral and written discourse, including critical analysis and rules of evidence. Practices planning, constructing and delivering persuasive arguments in a variety of extemporaneous formats.

Course learning outcomes

1. Choose and apply ethical rhetorical communication behaviors appropriate to the audience and the situation.
2. Identify and model concepts in the study of persuasion, argumentation, and debate, such as knowing the types of propositions, the sides of a controversial issue, and how to use opposition arguments.
3. Conduct and document research and analyze the quality of all researched sources and information.
4. Analyze controversies and determine the motives within conflict situations, as well as the accuracy of assertions.
5. Recognize and respond to discourse that contains logical fallacies and specious arguments.
6. Analyze and use mathematical information in arguments and present mathematical information appropriately to audiences.

Content outline

  1. Definitions of Argument
    1. Making vs. Having an Argument
    2. Spoken/Written
  2. Purposes of Argument
    1. Debate
    2. Persuasion
    3. Deliberation
    4. Dialectic
  3. Elements of Argument
    1. Evidence
    2. Claim
    3. Inference
    4. Linking Arguments
  4. Perspectives on Argument
    1. Traditional Argument Theory
      1. Claim/Thesis/Conclusion
      2.  Evaluation of Evidence/Premise
      3. Inferences
      4. Fallacies
    2. Toulmin Logic
      1. Claim
      2. Warrant
      3. Data
      4. Qualifier
      5. Backing
    3. Post-Modern Argument Theory
      1. Dialectical Criteria
      2.  Media Influence on Messages
      3. Propaganda
      4. Appeals to Fear and Pity
      5. Ad Hominem
      6. Ad Populum
      7. Opinion Polling
      8. Persuasive Definition
  5. Forms of Debate
    1. Dialectic
    2. Parliamentary
    3. Lincoln-Douglas
    4. Rhetorical Criticism

Required materials

Textbook, traditional media--pen, pencil and paper.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Oral Communication

Outside of

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