This course examines the rhetorical dynamics of three distinct forms of public controversy: controversies over factual claims (e.g. does the phenomenon "global warming" exist?), controversies over value claims (e.g. aesthetic or moral evaluations as in "that is a good film" or "that type of behavior is evil"), and controversies over policy claims (e.g. "the United States should invade Iraq"). In the process of examining these controversies, students encounter the two central aspects of the humanistic tradition of rhetorical education: argumentation and effective oral and written expression. Students engage in a variety of activities and exercises and prepare a number of projects designed to develop their fluency in written composition and oral expression and refine their ability to argue in a variety of contexts (e.g. academic, civic).