SRJC Course Outlines

7/12/2020 3:39:29 PMCOMM 3 Course Outline as of Spring 2021

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  COMM 3Title:  INTRO TO ARGUMENTATION  
Full Title:  Introduction to Argumentation
Last Reviewed:10/8/2018

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled04 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  SPCH 3A

Catalog Description:
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The study of argumentation, including methods of analysis, research, detecting fallacies of reasoning, use and tests of evidence, refutation and debate as a practical application of these principles.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
The study of argumentation, including methods of analysis, research, detecting fallacies of reasoning, use and tests of evidence, refutation and debate as a practical application of these principles.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 1981
Communication and Analytical Thinking
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 A3Critical ThinkingFall 1981
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:
 CID Descriptor: COMM 120 Argumentation or Argumentation and Debate SRJC Equivalent Course(s): COMM9 OR COMM3

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable


Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1.  Analyze the core elements of a proposition and develop relevant arguments for and
    against the proposition.
2.  Engage in formal debates utilizing sound reasoning, clear organization and effective
3.  Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments raised for either side
    in a debate.

Objectives: Untitled document
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1.   Identify the basic logical precepts and traditions of argumentation in the Western rhetorical
2.   Recognize, identify and construct the three traditional types of propositions of fact, value and
3.   List and explain the traditional prima facie elements for propositions of fact, value and
4.   List and explain the strategies for supporting and opposing debate resolutions.
5.   List and explain the techniques of refutation.
6.   Identify and utilize the principles of effective and efficient research in preparing arguments
      to support or oppose a debate resolution.
7.   Identify different types of evidence that may be used to support arguments.
8.   Compare and contrast inductive and deductive reasoning.
9.   Compare and contrast different patterns of reasoning including example, analogy, causal and
      sign reasoning.
10.  Recognize and identify logical fallacies.
11.  Demonstrate the use of outlining to construct cases that support or oppose a debate
12.  Participate in in-class oral debates emphasizing the employing the argumentation principles.
13.  Identify competing paradigms for evaluating a debate.
14.  Critique a debate, either oral or written, and provide a ballot stating reasons for a decision in
      accordance with accepted evaluation.

Topics and Scope
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I.   Introduction to the Course
    A. The relationship between argument and critical thinking
    B. The role of critical thinking in life, politics, professions and
    C. Argumentation and epistemology
    D. The roles and responsibilities of arguers
II.  The Nature of Argumentation: From Arguing to Debating
    A. The meaning of argumentation
    B. The basic unit of rhetorical argument: the enthymeme
    C. The relationship of debate to argumentation
    D. The world of debate
III. The Reasonable Person Model: Addressing Our Rational Selves
    A. Defining the "reasonable person"
    B. The parties to a debate
    C. The role of debate in problem solving
    D. The ethics of debate
IV.  The Resolution: The Focus of a Debate
    A. The burden of proof
    B. Presumption
    C. The standard of proof
    D. A burden of proof
    E. The burden of refutation/rejoinder
V.   The Requirements for a Properly Constructed Debate Resolution
    A. One central idea
    B. Controversy
    C. Neutral terminology
    D. The burden of proof properly placed
VI.  The Importance of Definitions
    A. Types of definitions
    B. Standards for evaluating competing definitions
VII. Traditional Prima Facie Requirements for Resolutions
    A. Resolutions of fact
    B. Resolutions of value
    C. Resolutions of policy
VIII. Affirmative Strategies in Debate
    A. Needs analysis
    B. Comparative advantage
    C. Alternative justification
    D. Goals/criteria
IX.  Negative Strategies in Debate
    A. Topicality
    B. Defense of the status quo
    C. Minor repair
    D. Counter policies
    E. Reliance on presumption
    F. Disadvantages
X.   Critical Thinking
    A. The Toulmin model
    B. Fallacies of reasoning
    C. Syllogisms
    D. Inductive reasoning
    E. Deductive reasoning
    F. Determining valid and invalid arguments
XI.  The Role of Research in Support of Claims
    A. The need for evidence
    B. The evaluation of evidence
    C. The application of evidence
    D. Conducting basic research
XII. Evaluating The Debate
    A. The role of the critic
    B. Judging paradigms
    C. Providing constructive feedback

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1. Regular reading assignments from course texts and supplementary materials
    (20-25 pages/week)
2. Homework assignments covering material from the textbook and/or class discussions and
3. Exams (2 - 20)
4. Writing assignment (minimum 500-2000 words) options typically include:
    a. writing and rewriting resolutions to be used for debates
    b. writing opening cases  for class debates
    c. writing short evaluations  of class debates
    d. writing a short essay  evaluating a debate viewed outside of class
5. In-class work consists of:
    a. skills demonstration: Minimum of two oral debates that demonstrate proficiency in
         constructing supportive arguments, refuting opposing arguments, asking and
         answering questions, utilizing evidence, avoiding and detecting fallacies, organizing
         ideas, managing time, and understanding and correctly applying appropriate debate
    b. group exercises & mock debates.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 20%
Written homework, Term papers, Series of short essays, 1,000-2,000 words combined
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 10%
Homework problems
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
30 - 60%
Performance exams, Oral presentations/debates
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
20 - 40%
Multiple choice, True/false, Matching items, Completion, Essays
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 10%
Class attendance and participation in discussions and group exercises

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Argumentation and Debate: A Public-Speaking Approach. Remland, Martin and Kay, Neal and Brown, Tim. Kendall Hunt. 2014 (classic)
Argumentation and Debate. 13th ed. Freeley, Austin and Steinberg, David. Cengage Learning. 2014 (classic)
Critical Thinking and Communication: The Use of Reason in Argument. 7th ed. Inch, Edward and Tudor, Kristen. Pearson. 2014 (classic)
Critical Thinking Through Debate. 2nd ed. Corcoran, Joseph and Nelson, Mark. Kendall/Hunt. 2013 (classic)

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