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The Art of Persuasion: Effective Arguing and Rhetoric

Art of Persuasion

Note: This class has a special schedule.

The class runs for 8 weeks total. It consists of 4 lesson plans with an extra week in between the release of each lesson plan so students can spend extra time focusing on developing their writing.

Is water wet? Is a hotdog a sandwich? If a tomato is a fruit, then is ketchup a smoothie?

Deciding which side of an argument to take and trying to persuade others to agree with your side of an argument is something everyone experiences from time to time. Now, arguing effectively so that others clearly understand your argument and are persuaded to agree with you is the true art form. Writing can be a daunting task, especially when trying to pose an argument clearly and effectively. Therefore, this fun class on the Art of Persuasion will teach students how to argue effectively through the process of proper rhetorical writing.

The aim of learning argumentative rhetoric and composition is to aid in the student’s ability to use writing as a medium for developing an argument. Throughout this class, students will learn and practice strategies to form and present an effective argument. Students will develop rhetorical knowledge, such as the ability to understand the audience, purpose, and context of an argument, and then learn appropriate essay formatting and structure to help present an objective argument.

Students will have the opportunity to form an argumentative essay. They will begin by studying the fundamentals of forming an argument and a thesis, go through the process of understanding proper rhetoric and composition, and end the class with the editing, reviewing, and revising process until the student has a finalized argumentative essay. Students will choose their topic for their paper, but these will be limited to simple, everyday arguments and situations that students might come across in their everyday lives—no political, environmental, or religious controversies.

By the end of the class, students will have learned that all writing has an intended audience, and involves a process of thinking and strategies, such as invention, prewriting, drafting, peer review, revising, and editing.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1 & 2: What is a Rhetorical Analysis
The first weeks of the course will focus on analyzing and interpreting rhetoric to help students better understand strategies that make effective spoken and written arguments. We will learn rhetorical strategies, such as forming an argument, identifying and relating to the target audience, and presenting an effective and unbiased opinion.

Week 3 & 4: Structuring Your Argument
After forming a thesis statement for an argument it is important to understand how to present that argument with a clear structure and a logical thought process. This week will focus on organizing an effective argument. By the end of this section of the class, students will have formulated a working thesis and a general outline of their argument.

Week 5 & 6: Evidence and Analysis
Using evidence and examples from the real word is essential to forming an effective argument. During this week students will learn how to research sources and pull from real world examples, then interpret and analyze the significance of this information for the sake of the argument. Students will use their original argument along with the outline they have formed to write their argumentative essay.

Week 7 & 8: Bias and Counterpoints
The last part of the class will teach students to recognize potential biases on an issue and how to acknowledge alternate viewpoints without undercutting the original argument. The last weeks will include peer review and discussion exercises to edit and improve their argumentative essay before submitting a final completed writing assignment.

Course Features

  • Schedule TBD
  • Activities Language Arts
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 13-17 One Level