Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in COMM 1B or SPCH 1B.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area V: Communication & Analytical Thinking
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to distinguish a fallacious argument from empirical truth.
  • A successful student will be able to deliver an effective persuasive speech


The study and practice of argumentation and persuasion. Analysis of rhetorical theory and application of methods of effective persuasion. Knowledge of the structure and format of various types of disputation and participation in in-class speech activities. The honors section provides accelerated students with academic enrichment emphasizing rhetorical analysis and critical thinking. Expanded opportunities include, but are not limited to, examination of political speech in historical context, student-initiated and student-led discussion, self-reflection paper, and creative group project.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Understand and express the theoretical concepts of argumentation and persuasion.
B. Demonstrate skills in research on topic of controversy.
C. Prepare written materials, and demonstrate proficiency in oral presentation.
D. Deliver persuasive discourse using various types of evidence and supporting material.
E. Respond to counter arguments and engage effectively in refutation and rebuttal.
F. Gain understanding and appreciation of people of diverse cultural backgrounds through intercultural research, disclosure and presentations.

Course Content

A. Persuasive communication theory
1. Inductive and deductive reasoning
2. Critical analysis of argumentative claims and logical fallacies
3. Cultural diversity as a communication opportunity
B. Critical evaluation of speech presentations
1. Peer evaluation of student debates and persuasive speeches
2. Self-analysis and written self-evaluation
3. Instructor critique
C. Organization and planning of speech performance
1. Effective introductions and conclusions
2. Argument structure and development
3. Documentation and support of claims
4. Traditional patterns of organization
D. Research methods and citation of sources
1. Library research to support argumentative positions
2. Use of alternate sources, such as InfoTrac and LexisNexis
3. Oral and written citation methods

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Classroom with access to audio/visual aids, especially monitor and DVD/VCR, computer with internet connection, projector, viewing screen.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Students will be expected to demonstrate progress and competency through:
A. written examinations on the theories of argumentation
B. evaluation of speeches based upon organization of material, clarity of expression, significance of evidence, effectiveness of transitions and logical progression of ideas
C. analytical and persuasive writing

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations
E. Electronic discussions/chat
F. Demonstration

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Barnet, Sylvan, Hugo Bedau, and John O'Hara. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. 11th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2017.

Lunsford, Andrea, John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything's an Argument. 8th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2018.

Rottenberg, Annette T., and Donna Haisty Winchell. Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2017.

When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via email and/or internet; feedback on tests and assignments delivered via email and/or internet; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, listservs, and newsgroups.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. In preparation for in-class oral presentations, completion of evidence portfolio comprised of extensive topic research with full MLA citations; outline and detailed explanation of affirmative, negative, and rebuttal arguments.

B. Self-evaluation paper, reflecting on progress, effectiveness, and needed improvements.



Communication Studies