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Argumentative and Rhetorical Strategies


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes. For the latest updates regarding corona virus, please check this link.

Topics: Argumentation, Fallacies, Rhetorical strategies.
Disciplines: Argumentation theory, (Informal) logic, Persuasion, Rhetoric.
Skills: Argumentative and rhetorical analysis, Critical thinking, Public speaking, Speech writing.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.


How do you get persuaded? Are you capable of distinguishing between good and bad arguments? Do you recognize rhetorical tricks? In this course we will teach you how to resist verbal manipulation. Starting with analysing argumentative discourse, you will learn how to find the implicit elements of an argument, to make a schematic overview of the different arguments in a line of reasoning, and how to recognize fallacies. Apart from looking at the ‘logos’ part, we will also focus on classical rhetorical practices and discuss the effects of ethos and pathos, as well as means of style and presentation. If you are capable of seeing through these means, you are capable of presenting in class a reasonable and at the same time effective speech.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • have gained knowledge of basic argumentative concepts;

  • have gained knowledge of basic rhetorical concepts;

  • be able to identify and analyse the argumentative and rhetorical aspects of a text;

  • be able to provide a basic assessment of the use of these aspects;

  • be able to compose and deliver a persuasive speech.

Programme and timetable:

The sessions of this class will take place on the following Thursdays from 17.30 till 19.30.

Session 1: October 27
Principles of rhetoric and argumentation

Session 2: November 3
Standpoints and arguments

Session 3: November 10
Main line of arguments

Session 4: November 17
Ethos and pathos

Session 5: November 24
Guest lecture by speech writer

Session 6: December 1

Session 7: December 8

Session 8: December 15
Final exam or paper

Kamerlingh Onnes building, room C.020

Reading list:

  • Crowley, Sharon & Debra Hawhee (2012). Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 5th edition. Boston [etc.]: Pearson.

  • Eemeren, Frans van, Rob Grootendorst & Francisca Snoeck Henkemans (2010). Argumentation. Analysis, Evaluation, Presentation. New York [etc.]: Routledge.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Attending seminars: 8 x 2 hours (16 hours) (participation is mandatory)

  • Literature reading: 8 x 9,25 hours (76 hours)

  • Assignments: 5 x 1,5 hours (7,5 hours)

  • Speech: 20 hours

  • Exam: 20 hours

Assessment methods:

  • 20% Weekly assignments

  • 40% Oral speech + written reflection

  • 40% final exam or paper

It is not required to successfully complete all partial exams in order to pass this course. Students are allowed to compensate a ‘fail’ (grades up to and including 5.0).

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 15 August 2022 up to and including Thursday 1 September 2022 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.

Francisca Jungslager
Department of Dutch Discourse Studies, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics