Vanwege de coronamaatregelen kan de onderwijsvorm of tentaminering afwijken. Zie voor actuele informatie de betreffende cursuspagina’s op Brightspace.


nl en

Argumentative and Rhetorical Strategies


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Admission requirements

This course is an Honours Class and therefore in principle only available to students of the Honours College. There are a few places (generally 10-20%) available for regular students.


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 analyzing 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. After that we will focus on two classical rhetorical practices: politics and law. You will learn that speakers often do not only use argumentation for persuading their audience, but also ethos and pathos, as well as means of style and presentation. If you are capable of seeing through these means, you are capable of passing a well-considered judgment of the tenability of an opinion.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of basic argumentative concepts

  • Knowledge of basic rhetorical concepts

  • Being capable of identifying and analyzing the argumentative and rhetorical aspects of a text

  • Being capable of providing a basic assessment of the use of these aspects

  • Being able to compose and deliver a persuasive speech


Thursday evening, 17-19hrs.

30 November: Principles of rhetoric and argumentation
7 December: Standpoints and arguments
14 December: Main line of arguments
4 January: Guest lecture 1 and Speech arrangement
11 January: Speeches
18 January: Ethos & pathos
25 January: Guest lecture 2 and fallacies
1 February: Final exam


All lectures will take place in the Lipsius Building Room 002, except for 7 December 2017. The Lecture on 7 December 2017 will take place in Lipsius Building Room 030.


  • Week 48: Principles of rhetoric and argumentation

  • Week 49: Standpoints and arguments (Assignment 1)

  • Week 50: Main line of arguments (Assignment 2)

  • Week 1: Guest lecture 1, speech arrangement (Assignment 3)

  • Week 2: Speeches

  • Week 3: Ethos & pathos (Assignment 4)

  • Week 4: Guest lecture 2, fallacies (Assignment 5)

  • Week 5: Final exam

Course load

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

  • Lectures: 8 lectures of 2 hours (16 hours)

  • Literature reading & practical work: 6 hours p/week (78 hours)
    *Assignments: 5 assignments of 1,5 hours (7,5 hours)

  • Preparation Oral speech + written reflection: 20 hours

  • Preparation written exam : 20 hours

Assessment method

  • 20% Weekly assignments

  • 40% Oral speech + written reflection

  • 40% Written exam (questions about theory and application questions)

Blackboard and uSis

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site two weeks prior to the start of the course.

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

Reading list

Reading materials will be announced via Blackboard.


Enrolling in this course is possible from August 21st until September 6th 23:59 through the Honours Academy, via this link


Dr. Roosmaryn Pilgram