Given the role that rhetoric plays in public debate and civic life, this course and your assignments will be focused on the 2008 presidential elections. You will need to choose one of the major-party presidential candidates whose rhetoric you will follow throughout the semester. You also need to choose an area of focus for that candidate. For eg, if you choose McCain you need to narrow your research to one of the major issues that presidential candidates discuss. Consider:

So, for example, you will spend the semester exploring Obama's rhetoric surrounding immigration or McCain's rhetoric surrounding Iraq. We will try to organize so that half the class studies Obama and the other half studies McCain. So as not to entirely shun 3rd party candidates and non-presidential elections, I will include these folks as in-class examples.

ALL of your papers and presentations (except for the group work assignment) will focus on this candidate and his/her rhetoric so make sure it's something you are somewhat invested in.

The major assignments are as follows: