COMM 2320 The Craft of Argument
Name: Myles Mason
Virtual Office Hours: by email and appointment
Please reach out with questions to Dr. Christy Maurer (Christy.Maurer@Colorado.edu), the Communication Department’s Director of Online Programs.
About the Course
Focuses on the practice of argumentation in public life with attention to how the process of critical thinking leads to the invention of arguments. Students use argumentation theory to craft ethical and well-reasoned appeals and to critically evaluate the arguments of others.
In order to effectively induce cooperation in others, one must understand how existing symbols induce cooperation in unrecognized ways. Only by understanding complex, subtle relationships between symbols in a particular context can one creatively invent a new and persuasive way of symbolizing out the symbols that currently organize argumentation. Hence, in this course, we will study how argumentation utilizes symbols to subtly induce cooperation.
Only through a mastery of currently persuasive symbols used in argumentative practices can we creatively recombine them in ways that allow us to engage in the communicative process. In this class, you will learn how argumentation functions to persuade. Only by analyzing arguments can you see how they work and how you can utilize various argumentative strategies in your own persuasive efforts.
In this asynchronous class, we will not meet for regularly scheduled class sessions. Your work across the semester is guided by the instructor through online materials, assignments, and feedback, as well as reaching them through office hours as needed. Some live meetings may be scheduled, offering you a variety for days and times to select from. You will take part in online regular class discussion boards to explore ideas and connect with peers. This class expects your consistent and substantive contributions engaging with the materials, peers, and the instructor, by logging in to post across multiple days of every week.
Course materials and assignments are organized into units across the semester, through which you build knowledge and develop skills, culminating in the final project. Together, we explore communication in our world from a critical perspective, considering how interactions are affected by identities and ideologies. Here at CU, Communication classes strive to embody our CRAFT: Creativity in what we produce; Relational connections between people, communities, and ideas; Analytical in our understanding; Flexible across professional fields; and Transformative for society.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Define argument concepts and vocabulary, and explain how argument concepts relate to problem-solving.
- Identify values and how they function in discussions and disagreements.
- Apply argument heuristics to written and spoken arguments, and arrange and rearrange arguments using heuristics.
- Breakdown how arguments function to persuade people to take action.
- Create and revise ways of speaking about a controversy that resonates with different audiences.
All readings for this course will be posted to or linked to on Canvas.
*assignment and weighted value may be adjusted to suit the needs of the class.
- Reading Guides 15%
- Hueristic Modules 20%
- Argument Concept Project (multiple steps) 40%
- Weekly Discussions 20%
- Class Membership Tasks & Participation 5%