Critical Writing Seminar (Non-LPS)

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Course Number: 
WRIT 030 901
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Teachers, doctors, and bill collectors use rhetoric, and so too lovers. Visual rhetoric - the ability of images to wordlessly persuade and explain - can be the most powerful of all. In this course, students will learn to be artful producers and discriminating consumers of rhetoric. We will begin by reading and analyzing Sam Leith's Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama, to learn about the art of informing and persuading others, an art that is at the very heart of all civil society and every walk of life. This introduction to rhetoric will be followed by students' own explorations of rhetoric on a topic of their own choosing, which might include the rhetoric that engineers use to explain a failed bridge, that fashion designers use to promote new collections, or that politicians and marketing consultants use to convince us to subscribe to their views. Students will gain experience with many valuable and practical writing genres including the scholarly literature review, the business memo, the PowerPoint presentation, the elevator pitch, and the internet editorial. Students will also learn how to read more efficiently and critically - their own work and others' - and produce meaningful self-assessments and peer reviews. 

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3440 Market Street, Suite 100
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(215) 898-7326
summer@sas.upenn.edu

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