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Argumentative and Rhetorical Strategies


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Topics: Various social issues (dependent on the choice of the texts and speeches)
Disciplines: Communication
Skills: Analysing, Collaborating, Oral communication, Written communication, Presenting, Societal awareness, Reflecting, Independent learning

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? And how can you yourself persuade an audience in an effective and - at the same time - reasonable way?

In this course you will learn to look from two different perspectives at the quality of a speech and/or text. A rhetorical framework will help you to analyse the degree of effectiveness of the text: how did the speaker/writer make use of the rhetorical situation, the ideologies of the audience(s), what means of delivery were used?

From an argumentation-theoretical angle you will learn to determine the degree of reasonableness of the arguments. Starting with analysing argumentative discourse, you will make schematic overviews of the different arguments in a line of reasoning, and learn how to recognize fallacies.
With both the rhetorical and the argumentation-theoretical insights you are capable of passing a well-considered judgment of the tenability of an opinion. And you will put your skills right away in practice in class by giving a reasonable and persuasive speech yourself.

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 Thursdays from 17:30 to 19:30.

Session 1: October 26
Principles of rhetoric and argumentation
by Francisca Jungslager

Session 2: November 2
Seminar Argumentation theoretical insights
by Francisca Jungslager

Session 3: November 9
Seminar Rhetorical insights: inventio
by Francisca Jungslager

Session 4: November 16
Seminar Rhetorical insights: dispositio and elocutio
by Francisca Jungslager

Session 5: November 23
Seminar Speechwriting: actio
Guest lecture

Session 6: November 30
Seminar Speeches and feedback
by students and Francisca Jungslager

Session 7: December 7
Seminar Speeches and feedback
by students and Francisca Jungslager

Session 8: December 14
Seminar and exam
Wrap up and exam
by Francisca Jungslager

Kamerlingh Onnes building, room C0.20

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.

Other possible literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.

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: 4 x 2 hours = 8 hours

  • Speech: 20 hours

  • Exam: 20 hours

Assessment methods:

  • 20% Weekly assignments
    Deadlines for these assignments:
    Assignment 1: October 25 before 8.00 AM
    Assignment 2: November 1, before 8.00 AM
    Assignment 3: November 8, before 8.00 AM
    Assignment 4: November 15, before 8.00 AM

  • 30% Speech
    December 1 (subgroup1),
    December 8 (subgroup 2)

  • 30% Reflection on your speech

  • 20% Final exam
    14 December 2023

Assignment 1: analysing the use of the rhetorical situation of a speech
Assignment 2: making an argumentation structure and evaluating the reasonableness of an argumentative discourse
Assignment 3: evaluating the inventio of a given speech
Assignment 4: evaluating the use of dispositio and elocutio in a given speech

Speech: presenting in class a 3 minute speech (making use of the insights taught in class)
Reflection of your speech: max 3 A4, reflecting on the effectiveness and the reasonableness given the feedback, using a set format

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.

Application process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 21 August 2023 up to and including Tuesday 12 September 2023 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