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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael C. Souders
COM 495
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Communication

Lecture, seminar, and/or team study. Topics vary.

Class description

Introduces key techniques in the practice of debating public issues and critically observing and examining public debates. Class will focus on the key arguments surrounding major public issues and developing skills to engage in effective argument exchanges.

Student learning goals

Students will learn to critically examine public issue controversies to grasp the major issues at hand.

Students will learn to distinguish quality public argument from public arguments that seek to mislead the public or avoid engagement in major issues.

Students will learn to analyze audiences in order to gain an understanding of what persuades audiences and why many major public issues debates or arguments fail to resolve most conflicts.

Students will learn key techniques of effective arguments construction and rebuttal.

Students will learn effective delivery skills appropriate to several types of public debate.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

No required prerequisite. Any of the following would be very helpful: COM 220 Introduction to Public Speaking COM 234 Public Debate COM 320 Advanced Public Speaking COM 334 Fundamentals of Argument COM 434 Argumentation Theory

Class assignments and grading

Grading will consist of class participation, debate criticism papers, exams, and performances in debates.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Michael C. Souders
Date: 12/23/2013