When was the last time you were called upon to convince another that your opinion was valid? Did you succeed? Expressing an opinion is something we do every day in a variety of formats for reasons that range from vital to convenient. Convincing another person that your opinion is correct or even just valid, though, isn’t always straightforward. Rhetoric and sound argumentative skill isn’t enough. There is a delicate balance between technique and content.
Using reading, assignments, and activities, we’ll take on the challenge of formulating rhetorical arguments, writing formal argumentative speeches, labeling and countering logical fallacies, and developing solid rhetorical techniques. Then, we’ll take those skills into the valued halls of government where we will hold a political debate on a historical topic.
You will learn to recognize, formulate, write, and engage in formally presented and rhetorically persuasive speeches. The focus is on how to craft and perform a formal rhetorical argument both independent of and within a debate environment. Therefore, you must be prepared to be assigned a topic and/or position with which you may not agree. Indeed, you may well learn more by adopting an opposing view from that which you normally would hold.
Note to parents:
- While there is no age requirement, students must operate at a minimum and solid 8th grade level with the ability to work both independently and in a team situation. It is highly suggested that students have prior experience writing or speaking persuasively.