It seems to be characteristic for Western societies that public debate has become highly polarized in the last decade. If one wants to take a critical stance with regard to the various debate positions, it is necessary to possess at least some knowledge of argumentation. In this seminar we will study the current state of argumentation theory and discuss its latest insights. Argumentation theory offers the analytical tools for the identification, analysis and evaluation of argumentative discourse. However, it depends on the particular theoretical approach what these tools amount to and how specific they are. By addressing some central themes within the study of argumentation, we will assess the differences between the most leading theoretical approaches. As a result, you will become a skilled analyst of argumentative discourse in various settings.
At the end of the course, students are able to:
1. Describe and recognize the leading theories within argumentation theory;
2. Describe the current methods of analysis within argumentation theory and apply them to concrete instantiations of argumentative discourse;
3. Describe and analyze how context (e.g. politics, advertising) affects the characteristics of argumentative discourse;
4. Develop a new perspective on one of the themes that have been addressed during the course;
5. Deliver a verbal and oral presentation;
6. Provide peer feedback and participate in a discussion in a constructive way.
Mode of instruction
Examination 1 (text analysis): 30%
Examination 2 (paper): 60%
Completion of weekly assignments.
Your paper should be 5.5 or higher.
The weighted average of your grades should be 5.5 or higher.
There is one resit opportunity for the final version of the paper; there is no resit for the other assessment components.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
A list of readings will be provided on Brightspace and at the first meeting; please check blackboard for how to prepare for the first meeting.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Please contact Student administration van Wijkplaats for questions.
The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk