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Elective: Argumentation and Debate

Vak
2015-2016

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

How do successful leaders defend their standpoint in a discussion? What can we learn from them? In this course, we will focus on both the theory and practice of debate. In the theoretical component of the course, you will learn a set of systematic strategies which will increase your abilities to critically analyse debates, as well as your abilities to find relevant arguments to support and defend a position in a debate. You will also learn about ethos, pathos and means of style (such as metaphor), and how these can be used to persuade an audience.
In the practical component of the course, these theoretical insights will be put into practice and you will improve your own debating skills. In addition, we will look at international political debates and analyse the strategies used by the debaters, and we will address the question to what extent the nature of (parliamentary) debate and argumentation is culturally dependent.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lecture, seminar style discussion and supervised research.

Course Load

  • Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24 (2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours)

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and completing weekly assignments: 130 (10 hours per week)

  • Preparation for the midterm exam: 35 hours

  • Writing the final research essay (including reading / research): 91

Assessment method

  • In-class participation, weekly assignments (web posting), analysis of a case study (10 %)
    • Debating, 2x (20%)
    • Midterm exam (30%)
    • Final research essay (max. 6000 words) (40%)

Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the final essay is a 6.0. There is no resit for the other assessments.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Details will be circulated via Blackboard. If readings are not available online, they will be made available via a bookcase at location Schouwburgstraat.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. M. van Leeuwen, email: M.van.Leeuwen@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Tel: +31 71 527 2073

Remarks

Not applicable.