ENGL 5359. ARGUMENTATION THEORY. 3 Hours.
Emphasis on theories of argumentation and persuasion that further the rhetorical aims of convincing or achieving agreement through identification and consensus. Attention to classical and contemporary approaches to issue analysis, invention, audience analysis, building common ground, stasis theory, types of proofs and tests of validity, organizational strategies, and style. Special attention to argument on the Internet. Assignments may include constructing Web sites related to argument. Study of such theorists as Aristotle, Perelman, Toulmin, Ong, K. Burke, Brockreide and Ehninger, Bitzer, Young, Becker and Pike, and others.
The Department of English offers a wide variety of graduate courses to meet the needs of students with a diversity of interests and academic backgrounds who wish to enhance their awareness of their literary and cultural environment by additional formal instruction or to increase their professional competence. The MA in English is designed to enable students to learn about, critique, and work in teaching, scholarship, writing, or other fields which value a strong background in language, rhetoric, and the study of culture through texts. Early in the program, each student takes one core course that serves as an introduction to theory as it is currently used in English scholarship. Each student plans an individual program of coursework with the help of the Graduate Advisor ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). This program draws on the Department’s varied courses, which offer students ways to study literature, rhetoric, and criticism, as well as methods of studying culture through texts and traditions of discourse. The MA in English provides a strong grounding in scholarly methods and in theory, making it an ideal preparation for doctoral study in disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs. MA graduates in English pursue careers in journalism, educational administration and services, publishing, and many business fields that demand writing and communication skills. The MA in English is also useful for prospective or experienced teachers who want both to sharpen their ability to teach literature and writing and to advance professionally. The PhD in English prepares students at the most advanced stage in the interpretation and composition of texts. The program emphasizes rigorous critical study in the fields of rhetoric, composition, critical theory, cultural studies, pedagogy, and literary studies. Rather than offering separate tracks, the program allows students, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and the dissertation committee, to design a program of work that best suits their particular scholarly interests and career goals. The combination of a diversity of course offerings, required and elected courses, and the requirement that each student define a focus that reflects his or her intellectual and career interests provides students with the flexibility to adapt to changes in English studies. Specifically, the PhD in English prepares students for careers in writing, including electronic and technical writing, as well as in teaching at community colleges, small colleges, or research universities. The Department trains students for college-level teaching in several ways, including graduate courses in the teaching of literature and of composition. Doctoral students in English present papers at scholarly conferences, publish essays in scholarly journals, and participate in other professional activities. Graduate Teaching Assistantships Please consult the Director of First Year Writing, Dr. Justin Lerberg ( email@example.com ), for more information on Graduate Teaching Assistantships.