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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS)

CAS 138T (GWS) (ENGL 138T) Rhetoric and Civic Life II (3) This course builds rehtorical skills in oral, written, visual, and digital contexts and introduces deliberation and advocacy in civic and disciplinary spheres.

CAS (ENGL) 138T Rhetoric and Civic Life II (3)

ENGL/CAS 138T, Rhetoric and Civic Life II, expands knowledge and aptitudes built in ENGL/CAS 137H by asking students to use rhetorical skills and principles to develop strategies for persuasion and advocacy in the context of civic issues. The course continues the multimodal emphasis--the focus on oral, written, visual, and digital communication--used in 137H and adds new components as well. Students will develop a repertoire of communication skills through hands-on practice at composing and delivering speeches and essays, and they will work with digital media to create multimedia texts, podcasts, and websites. Students will reflect on these different modes as themselves rhetorical choices. The course's civic and ethical components take center stage as students learn how to deliberate important public issues thoughtfully and with civility and respect. They will learn the difference between persuasion and advocacy and develop strategies for both in the context of pertinent local, national, and global issues. They will participate in a public deliberation forum on topics they generate and vote on. The forum will be organized to allow small deliberative action groups as well as large forum-style meetings. The course focuses on ethics in many contexts—e.g., community action and public deliberation; ethics of persuasion; ethical controversies in the disciplines. Students will be encouraged to explore percolating disciplinary interests and to share knowledge in online disciplinary communities. Students will work throughout the semester to design and build a final electronic portfolio that represents their academic work with an eye to their imagined professional futures. The portfolio assignment is designed to permit assessment of learning outcomes and encourage students to move toward qualifying for the College of the Liberal Arts Excellence in Communication Certificate (, a mechanism which helps students hone their communication abilities throughout their Penn State careers by creating and perfecting an online portfolio.

General Education: GWS
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2012
Prerequisite: ENGL 137H orCAS 137H

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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