Rhetoric

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate minor: rhetoric and persuasion

Faculty: https://clas.uiowa.edu/rhetoric/people

Website: https://clas.uiowa.edu/rhetoric/

The Department of Rhetoric offers undergraduate courses that fulfill the Rhetoric requirement of the different colleges at the university, as well as courses that apply toward the areas of Diversity and Inclusion and Values and Culture; see GE CLAS Core in the catalog. It also provides individual instruction in its Writing Center and offers other undergraduate courses, graduate seminars, and an undergraduate minor.

Rhetoric for the GE CLAS Core

Rhetoric courses help students to develop skills in speaking, writing, listening, and critical reading. They also build competence in research and inquiry as well as in analysis and persuasion, starting with public controversies in their social contexts and generalizing to all forms of idea presentation, whether academic readings, everyday debates, media messages, or student papers. Writing and speaking skills are emphasized and developed.

All rhetoric classes follow specific department goals, but each instructor uses a unique set of texts and contexts to teach rhetorical concepts. Rhetoric courses are sometimes organized around a special topic, such as the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or sustainability, but the primary emphasis is always on responsible inquiry and analysis. Some course sections involve special activities, such as service-learning components, but the workload across all sections is comparable, with a fixed number of major assignments and a department-approved library of readings.

Student reviewing a paper.

During their first year at the university, students enroll in the rhetoric course indicated on their degree audit unless they are required to complete one or more prerequisite courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) as a result of their English proficiency evaluation.

Students planning to transfer to the University of Iowa should discuss rhetoric course equivalencies as soon as possible with the University of Iowa Office of Admissions.

Students who undergo formal evaluation by Student Disability Services and are found to have a learning disability in reading, writing, or speaking should request reasonable accommodations in order to complete rhetoric. Accommodations may be arranged by Student Disability Services in consultation with the Department of Rhetoric and individual instructors.