• Rhetoric of Protest

    “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” That chant rang out throughout the day from protestors at the recent Women’s March on Washington, a reminder that part of the argument made that day was visual ar...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • And Just What's Wrong with a Twitterer-in-Chief?

    Donald Trump has made it clear during his days as President-elect that Twitter is his medium of choice when it comes to  expressing his opinions. We will see if that changes once he is inaugurated. Apparently, wh...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Campaigns and Connotations

    In the days since the recent election, several articles have listed terms that will never be the same: nasty woman, locker-room talk, deplorables, Buttercup. Who would have thought that labeling yourself a "nasty woma...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Facebook and Fake News

      The news is bad enough these days without the extra burden of having to deal with fake news. But that is just what Facebook users have been dealing with. In fact, following Donald Trump’s surprise win, s...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Cause and Effect and the Campaign of 2016

      One type of analysis that plays a role in argumentation is causal analysis. I started trying to do a causal analysis of some of the arguments in the recent presidential campaign, but the cause-effect relations...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Stasis Theory and the Headlines

    Stasis theory has become popular in recent years as a way of exploring controversial issues and arriving at claims about them.  In the age of classical Greek and Roman rhetoric, stasis theory provided citizens pr...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • What a Difference a Word Makes

      Can offensive language sabotage a whole election? It would be an understatement to say that language has played a critical role in the presidential campaign recently. Parents had to rethink letting their childr...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Evidence in the Digital Age

    An article on CNN.com last week was entitled “Scott, Castile and the Women Who Filmed Their Final Moments.” Millions have seen the video that Rakeyia Scott took with her phone as police killed her husband,...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • The Elements of Argument and the Daily News

    The elements of argument can be applied to issues we read or hear about daily in the news. Although the term warrant is not a familiar one, the concept of the warrant, or the assumption underlying a claim, can help to...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Changing Conventions

    Aristotle defined a rhetor as a good man skilled in speaking. What we are teaching and you are learning when you study argumentation is rhetoric—the use of words to move listeners—or, in this course, to mo...
    Donna Winchell
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  • The Movie Review as a Claim-of-Value Essay

    This blog was originally posted on February 13th, 2015.   Because my son Jonathan is a film scholar, I am probably even more aware than most that this is awards season. The Academy Awards ceremony each year is fo...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Where Does Argumentation Go from Here?

    What role will argumentation play in students’ studies after they complete first-year English? What role will it play in their lives outside the classroom?     In discussing the research assignm...
    Donna Winchell
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  • Argument and the Research Assignment

    What role does research play in argumentation? Is there a place for the traditional research paper in an argumentation course? Back when most colleges and universities had a two-semester first-year writing sequence, t...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Balancing Justice: The Supreme Court Appointment

    The balance of powers among the three branches of the federal government has been one of the foundations of American politics from the beginning. The fact that members of the Supreme Court serve for life largely remov...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • How Hacking an iPhone Became a Matter of National Security

    Every week on Criminal Minds, computer whiz Penelope Garcia hits a few keys and in seconds provides any information the Behavioral Analysis Unit needs to find and put away the criminals. The good guys use technology t...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Claims and the Headlines

    Headlines almost any day of the week give us ample material to practice writing claims on argumentative topics and to explore the differences among the three types of claims featured in the Toulmin model: claims of fa...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Logos, Pathos, Ethos, and Twenty-first Century Presidential Politics

    Surely it was the first time in the history of American presidential elections that a candidate had made such a statement: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose ...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • The Timeliness of Studying Argumentation

    Some of the terminology used in discussing argumentation is centuries old, but its applications are as timely as today’s headlines, as the title of this blog suggests. When we listen to presidential candidates, ...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell
  • Beyond Our Classrooms

    All teachers hope that their students will make use of the knowledge and skills taught in their courses–in spite of the students’ protestations that “I’ll never use this after the class ends!&#...
    Donna Winchell
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  • What a Difference a Word Makes

    This blog was originally posted on March 6th, 2015.   Language has made the headlines once again. We teach our students that word choice affects their arguments. President Obama has drawn criticism over the last ...
    Donna Winchell
    last modified by Donna Winchell