Syllabus, Spring 2010, M 3:30-6:30 PM, SKN 1115

Last Updated 25 April 2010


Instructor: Robert Gaines

Office: 2106 SKN

Phone: 301.405.6526


Office Hours: MW 1:00-1:50 PM


Notice: The official syllabus for COMM604, Spring 2010, is available on-line at this address: <>; the official syllabus is subject to minor revision as the course proceeds. Any hard copy of the syllabus is unofficial.


Books Required


Gilbert, Michael A. Coalescent Argumentation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997. ISBN-13 9780805825206.


Yule, George. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN-13 9780194372077.


Perelman, Chaim, and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. The New Rhetoric, A Treatise on Argumentation. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969. ISBN-13 9780268004460.


Toulmin, Stephen. The Uses of Argument. Updated ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN-13 9780521534833.


Van Eemeren, Frans. H., and Rob Grootendorst. A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN-13 9780521537728.


The Course


This course of study is an inquiry into fundamental concepts, approaches, and problems in argumentation theory. Several conceptions of argumentation are examined, including logical, rhetorical, pragmatic, social-psychological, cultural, feminist, and visual theories.




In computing final course grades, assignments will be weighted as follows: Reports = 40%, Scholarly Essay =60% (i.e., Participant Presentation on Scholarly Essay = 30%, Final Draft of Scholarly Essay = 30%).


Reports. Participants in the course will be asked to report on specific readings. Reports should be prepared with a view toward representing the positions contained in the readings as informatively as possible. The content of reports will be assessed by the instructor for responsiveness to the report assignment, accuracy, organization, clarity, thoroughness, and scholarship. Reports should review the main elements of positions contained in assigned readings, closely analyze any passages crucial to the understanding of positions contained in readings, and explain the significance of positions contained in readings for the ongoing inquiry comprised by the course. A missed report may be made up only if the participant demonstrates that the absence from class and inability to report were due to excused absence (as defined below under Attendance).


Scholarly Essay. Participants in the course should prepare a scholarly essay on some matter related to argumentation (the matter may be theoretical, critical, pedagogical, or historical). The substantive position of the essay may critique, extend, or apply a published position on argumentation, or it may pursue a problem or line of inquiry previously untouched in the literature on argumentation. Participants in the course are encouraged to pursue essays that are aligned with their personal interests and ongoing research projects and/or publication plans. Essays should demonstrate familiarity with scholarship pertinent to the substantive position they are designed to represent. Such demonstration will normally require a brief review of literature as part of the essay. Essays should also present reasoning in support of the substantive position represented. This reasoning should meet the intellectual standards as well as expectations of format and style within the discipline or sub-discipline to which the substantive position is designed to make a contribution. The scholarly essay assignment involves two submissions. The first submission is a presentation of up to thirty minutes on the substantive position presented in the essay. Associated with each presentation will be a question-and-answer/discussion period of up to thirty minutes. Presentations will be scheduled during the regular class periods on 3 May 2010 and 10 May 2010. Presentations should follow the conventions for academic communications in professional colloquia and seminars. The second submission is the final draft of the scholarly essay. Final drafts of the scholarly essay should follow APA, MLA, or Chicago style. There is no particular requirement regarding the length of final drafts of scholarly essays; however, it is expected that most essays will fall in the range of 3000 to 6000 words. Final drafts of scholarly essays must be submitted to the instructor by Monday, 17 May 2010, by 6:30 pm. Hard copy or electronic submissions (as attachments to email) are welcome.




Attendance in Normal Circumstances. It is expected that participants in the course will make every effort to attend class meetings regularly and promptly. Of course, attendance is especially important whenever a participant is scheduled to make a report, make a presentation, or submit a written assignment. When a participant does not attend class, the absence is excused only if the absence is caused by illness of the participant, or illness of a dependent as defined by Board of Regents policy on family and medical leave; religious observance (where the nature of the observance prevents the participant from being present during the class period); participation in university activities at the request of University authorities; and compelling circumstance beyond the participant's control. (The interpretation of "compelling circumstance beyond the participant's control" that is followed in this course requires that a qualifying circumstance be both "compelling" and actually "beyond the participant's control.") Participants claiming excused absence must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the instructor that their failure to attend was on account of one of these four causes. Such demonstration shall take the form of a document signed by a person in a position to make an authoritative determination as to the validity of the cause of absence claimed by the participant. Within the document, the cause of absence must be specifically affirmed by the writer. (For example, where the cause of absence is illness, a document from a medical professional that affirms the participant was "too ill to attend class" will satisfactorily demonstrate that the participant did not attend class on account of illness.) Documents related to any absence must be presented to the instructor within five calendar days of the participant's return to school from that absence. The instructor reserves the right to verify the content and authority of letters.


Attendance during Inclement Weather or Other Emergency Conditions. In the event of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, the University of Maryland will provide information and direction for University community members at the following address: On any class day affected by inclement weather or other emergency conditions, this course will meet if the University is open during the regularly scheduled class time. If the University is closed during the regularly scheduled class time, the course will not meet. During circumstances of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, participants are expected to exercise good judgment regarding their personal circumstances; if prudence recommends non-attendance in class, even when a presentation is scheduled, participants should claim excused absence based on circumstances beyond their control (and such claims will be assessed liberally by the instructor).


Academic Integrity


It is expected that each course participant will behave honorably throughout this course. Academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Participants who are uncertain as to what constitutes academic dishonesty should consult the Student Honor Council Code of Academic Integrity (


Honor Pledge. The University of Maryland, College Park, has established the following Honor Pledge for use in all graduate and undergraduate classes: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination." Unless you are specifically advised to the contrary, the Honor Pledge should be handwritten and signed on the front page (at the bottom) of all academic assignments submitted for evaluation in this course. The Honor Pledge is not compulsory; however, participants who fail to write and sign the Honor Pledge may be asked to confer with the instructor.




In this course, the mark of "I" will be granted only to a participant who meets both of the following criteria: (1) the participant has satisfactorily completed a major portion of the work of the course and (2) the participant has been unable to complete some small portion of the work of the course because of illness or other circumstances beyond the participant's control.


Recording, Transmission, and Reproduction of Course Proceeding and Course Materials


Unauthorized recording, transmission, or reproduction of class proceedings and course materials through any means or medium is an infringement of federal copyright law. Participants are permitted to take notes of course proceedings and to employ course materials for their personal academic use in this course.  However participants are not authorized to record, transmit, or reproduce class proceedings or course materials or make any commercial use of them without prior and express written consent from the instructor.


Academic Assignments and Religious Observances


Within this course, participants will not be penalized in any way for participation in religious observances. Participants will be allowed to make up academic assignments that are missed due to such absences. It is the participant's responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor regarding make-up assignments.


Documented Disabilities


Participants who have documented disabilities and who wish to discuss academic accommodations within this course should contact the instructor before or as soon as possible after the beginning of the course.


Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment of any sort will not be tolerated during or in association with the activities of this class. The University Campus Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment defines sexual harassment as "(1) unwanted sexual advances; or (2) unwelcome requests for sexual favors; and (3) other behavior of a sexual nature where:


A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or participation in a University-sponsored educational program or activity; or

B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or

C. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment."


Conduct which might constitute sexual harassment is characterized by the Campus Policy in this way:


Sexual harassment may, for example be as undisguised as a direct solicitation of sexual favors, or solicitation accompanied by overt threats. Harassment may also be implied, arising from the relative situation of the parties. In this regard, the following types of acts are more likely-than-not to result in allegations of sexual harassment: unwelcome physical contact, sexual remarks about a person's clothing, body, or sexual relations, conversation of a sexual nature or similar jokes and stories, and the display of sexually explicit materials in the workplace or used in the classroom which are without defensible educational purpose.


Participants who wish to obtain further information regarding the campus sexual harassment policy and its procedures should consult the University of Maryland Policy and Procedures On Sexual Harassment at the following address:


 Continuation/Completion of Course in Case of an Emergency that will Close the University for an Extended Period


In the event that (a) the University closes for an extended period due to an emergency, (b) the University does not cancel courses for the academic term affected, and (c) the University's internet and other electronic services are not significantly disrupted, then participants will have the opportunity to continue/complete their academic work in this course consistent with the following plan. Participants should continue work on course assignments and prepare for any affected assignments according to the schedule set out in the syllabus (the instructor will be available for consultation through email). Participants will be allowed to submit their assignments through internet technology. In emergency circumstances, the instructor's only means of communicating with participants directly will be through email; accordingly, it is crucial that participants ensure that their correct email addresses are part of their directory information as maintained by the University. It is also crucial that participants ensure that their email accounts are in good order and accepting messages.




Week 1 (25JAN10): Introduction & Logic of Argument [Gaines]


Toulmin, Stephen. The Uses of Argument, Updated ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 1-40, 87-134.


Week 2 (01FEB10): Logic of Argument (Analysis of Continuous Arguments) [Gaines]


Toulmin, Stephen. The Uses of Argument, Updated ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 195-238.


Newman, Susan E., and Catherine C. Marshall, "Pushing Toulmin Too Far: Learning from an Argument Representation Scheme." Technical Report SSL 92-45, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, 1991.


Hitchcock, David, and Bart Verheij. "The Toulmin Model Today: Introduction to the Special Issue on Contemporary Work using Stephen Edelston Toulmin's Layout of Arguments." Argumentation 19 (2005): 255-258.


Reed, Chris, and Glenn Rowe. "Translating Toulmin Diagrams: Theory Neutrality in Argument Representation." Argumentation 19 (2005): 267-286.


Verheij, Bart. "Evaluating Arguments Based on Toulmin's Scheme." Argumentation 19 (2005): 347-371.


Hitchcock, David. "Good Reasoning on the Toulmin Model." Argumentation 19 (2005): 373-391.


Week 3 (08FEB10): Weather Emergency--Meeting Canceled


Week 4 (15FEB10): Rhetoric of Argument: Framework & Starting Points [Camper]


Perelman, Chaim and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. The New Rhetoric, A Treatise on Argumentation. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969, 1–183.


Week 5 (22FEB10): Rhetoric of Argument: Techniques of Argumentation [Gaines] & Pragmatics [Marconi]


Perelman, Chaim, and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969, 187–514.


Yule, George. Pragmatics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).


Week 6 (01MAR10): Pragmatics of Argument (Interactive Arguments) [Plymouth]


O'Keefe, Daniel J., "Concepts of Argument and Arguing." In Advances in Argumentation Theory and Research, ed. J. Robert Cox and Charles Arthur Willard, 3-23. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.


Hample, Dale. "A Third Perspective on Argument." Philosophy & Rhetoric 18.1 (1985): 1–22.


Jackson, Sally, and Scott Jacobs. "Structure of Conversational Argument: Pragmatic Bases for the Enthymeme." Quarterly Journal of Speech 66 (1980): 251–65.


Week 7 (08MAR10): Pragmatics of Argument (Pragma-Dialectical Approach) [Chiang]


Van Eemeren, Frans H., Rob Grootendorst, Sally Jackson, and Scott Jacobs. Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993, 1-19.


Van Eemeren, Frans H., and Rob Grootendorst. A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 1-68.


Week 8 (15 MAR10): Spring Break


Week 9 (22MAR10): Pragmatics of Argument (Pragma-Dialectical Approach) [Synk]


Van Eemeren, Frans H., and Rob Grootendorst. A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 69-196.


Week 10 (29MAR10): Pragmatics of Argument (Cultural Notions of Argumentation) [Rossmiller & Cionea]


Johnstone, B. "Linguistic Strategies and Cultural Styles for Persuasive Discourse." In Language, Communication, and Culture, ed. S. Ting-Toomey and F. Korzenny, 139-56. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1989. Available at --> Login --> Course Tools --> Course Reserves.


Ellis, Donald G., and Ifat Maoz. "Cross-Cultural Argument Interactions Between Israeli-Jews and Palestinians." Journal of Applied Communication Research 30.3 (2002): 181-94. Available from Research Port at


Hazen, Michael David. "Dissensus as Value and Practice in Cultural Argument: The Tangled Web of Argument, Con/Dis-sensus, Values and Cultural Variations." In Dissensus and the Search for Common Ground, ed. H. V. Hansen, C. W. Tindale, J. A. Blair, R. H. Johnson, and D. M. Godden, 1-43. Proceedings of the 7th OSSA Conference. Windsor, ON: OSSA, 2007. Available at


Week 11 (05APR10): Argument and Persuasion [Magid]


Petty, Richard E., and John T. Cacioppo. Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches, 255-269. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996.


A. W. Kruglanski and E. P. Thompson. "Persuasion by a Single Route: A View From the Unimodel." Psychological Inquiry 10: 2 (1999): 83–109.


Week 12 (12APR10): Argument and Persuasion [Magid]


Ajzen, I. "Dual-Mode Processing in the Pursuit of Insight Is No Vice." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 110–112.


Bohner, G., and F. Siebler,. "Paradigms, Processes, Parsimony, and Predictive Power: Arguments for a Generic Dual-Process Model." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 113–117.


Chaiken, S., K. L. Duckworth, and P. Darke. "When Parsimony Fails." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 118–122.


Eagly, A. H. "The Processing of Nested Persuasive Messages." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 123–126.


Petty, R. E., S. C. Wheeler, and G. Y. Bizer. "Is There One Persuasion Process or More? Lumping Versus Splitting in Attitude Change Theories." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 156–62.


Wegener, D. T. and H. M. Claypool. "The Elaboration Continuum by Any Other Name Does Not Smell as Sweet." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 176–81.


Kruglanski, A. W., and E. P. Thompson. "The Illusory Second Mode or, the Cue Is the Message." Psychological Inquiry 10.2 (1999): 182–193.


Week 13 (19APR10): Feminism and Argument [Fox]


Gilbert, Michael A. Coalescent Argumentation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.


Week 14 (26APR10): Visual Argument [Gardner & Gigante]


Birdsell, David S., and Leo Groarke. "Toward a Theory of Visual Argument." Argumentation and Advocacy 33 (summer 1996): 1-10


Blair, J. Anthony. "The Possibility and Actuality of Visual Arguments." Argumentation and Advocacy 33 (Summer 1996): 23-39.


Blair, J. Anthony. "The Rhetoric of Visual Arguments." In Defining Visual Rhetorics, ed. Charles A. Hill, Marguerite H. Helmers, 41-61. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2004.


Lake, Randall, and Barbara Pickering. "Argumentation, the Visual, and the Possibility of Refutation: An Exploration." Argumentation 12 (1998): 79-93;

Groarke, Leo. "The Pragma-Dialectics of Visual Argument." In Advances in Pragma-Dialectics, ed. F. H. van Eemeren, 137-151. Amsterdam: Sic Sat/Vale Press, 2002.

Roberts, Kathleen Glenister. "Visual Argument in Intercultural Contexts: Perspective on Folk/Traditional Art." Argumentation and Advocacy 43.3 (2007): 152-163.

Week 15 (03MAY10): Participant Presentations and Discussion [Gigante, Magid, Marconi, Plymouth, Synk]


Week 16 (10MAY10): Participant Presentations and Discussion [Camper, Chiang, Fox, Gardner, Rossmiller]


Week 17 (17MAY10): Submit revised Scholarly Essay to Instructor (by 6:30 pm)