NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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K-12 Professionals

Build Your Argument Toolkit K-12

ENGL 600




Instructor: Kim Donehower, Ph.D.

Grading: Letter or S/U

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days

Location: NDSU Campus, Minard Hall Rm 302, Fargo, ND

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

NDSU Credit Fee: $50

Course Description:

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts place tremendous emphasis on the “evidence-based argument,” but there’s a more important word buried (and sometimes misdefined) in the standards: “rhetoric.” “Rhetoric,” in the classic sense, is the study of persuasion, and it’s difficult to teach students to read or write arguments without it. It encompasses everything from coming up with sound claims to the selection of evidence to audience analysis to persuasive techniques to word choice. This mini-institute is designed to give K12 teachers an introductory course in classical to contemporary rhetoric, so that we might select useful ideas, terms, and techniques for our students and our teaching.


Participants in this mini-institute will…

  • understand and apply the concepts of rhetorical situation, Aristotelian appeals, Toulmin terminology for analyzing arguments, skepticism, and logical fallacies;
  • identify current beliefs and practices which may be limiting students’ learning of argumentation;
  • transform some current classroom practices into ones which provide richer, more informed learning situations for students.

Required Participant Resources:

Participants must have necessary writing materials and access to teaching materials that they will revise during the mini-institute. Laptops are extremely useful, but not required.

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