Argumentative Writing

English 425
Professor Alisse Theodore
Winter 2000

The course information and schedule of assignments for this course are now available at

Please note that the course description below is a slightly revised (and more accurate)
description than the one provided in the on-line guide by the English Department.

Hello. If you are here, you are probably considering taking this section of "Argumentative Writing" in the winter term. Although I won't have a schedule of assignments ready until December, you might get a sense of my teaching philosophy by looking at the website for the section of English 484 that I am teaching currently, a class called "Rhetoric and the Achievement of Woman's Rights."

If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Good luck with the rest of your fall term.

Course Description for English 425, Winter 2000
**Note: This course description is slightly modified from the description published by the English Department.**

The signers of the United States Constitution declared our freedom of expression the most important right of United States citizens. Susan B. Anthony and dozens of other women used the only power they had, the power of language, to ensure women their right to vote in the United States. And the persuasive eloquence of Martin Luther King, Jr., changed this nation's consciousness. These were ordinary people doing extraordinary things with language. What about you? Do you aspire to extraordinary things, or do you simply hope to land a great job or appeal a parking ticket? Either way, you'll need to use persuasive writing. This semester, we will increase our awareness of, respect for, and facility with persuasive writing. But our enthusiasm for and understanding of argumentative writing can grow only if we care about what we're doing (and even have some fun), so usually you will choose your own topics as we play with, analyze, and practice argumentative writing. To guide us in these challenging but rewarding enterprises, we'll use a textbook, Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. We'll write almost daily, in the form of short exercises, rhetorical analyses, and longer essays; plan on lots of informal writing and three formal essays of 3-6 pages each.