Skip to main content
David Fanning, Principal
Academies » Language and Argument

Language and Argument

Language and Argument

Dr. Lowenthal, PhD, Teacher



Description & Objectives of the Course

Students will be able to independently use their learning to…                                        

  • Read and comprehend a range of increasingly complex texts and media written for various audiences and purposes.
  • Communicate ideas effectively in writing to suit a particular audience and purpose.
  • Understand and use logic.

Fall Semester Units

  1. Rhetoric: The art of using persuasive language.
  2. Logic, syllogisms, and fallacies
  3. Propaganda and persuasion: How NOT to be fooled.
  4. The Culture of India through dance and film
  5. Basic Debate

Spring Semester Units:

  1. Anthem by Ayn Rand: deconstructing a controversial polemic
  2. Inherit the Wind by Lawrence and Lee: trial as debate
  3. 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose: jury deliberation as debate
  4. Milgram and Zimbardo social experiments: the scope and limits of authority

Standards met:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his/her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

Grading Policy & Assessments

In accordance with a school wide policy, the grading policy for this course is:

60% -- Exams/Essays/Projects/Quizzes

25% -- Class Work (attendance and punctuality, collaborative work with peers, independent assignments, active participation in class discussions and readings, and demonstrating respect for oneself & others)

15% -- Homework (multiple reading and/or writing assignments which students will complete each week)

** Students must report to class daily with pens, pencils, a notebook, and a folder **

Promoting Student Achievement

Research shows that strong school-parent relationships promote student achievement.  To help our children succeed, we invite parents and guardians to help us guide, encourage, and help students with their school work as they move through this challenging but academically rich school year.  Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions, thoughts, or concerns you may have about your son’s/daughter’s success.

Ongoing Communication through Skedula: Our school is using Skedula to regularly post students’ assignments, grades, and academic progress.  The school also posts upcoming workshops, important dates & events on this site.   When you log on to Skedula, you may also email your child’s teachers and guidance counselor.