Spring 2024 - ENGL 375 D100

Studies in Rhetoric (4)

Class Number: 4882

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units or two 200-division English courses. Recommended: One of English 199, 199W, or 214.



Advanced study in the theory and/or history of rhetoric. The course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught, though students who obtained credit for English 375 prior to Summer 2015 may not take this course for further credit.


Making an Issue: How Writers (and Speakers) Shape Controversy

For generations, argument handbooks have treated controversy as a force of nature, chaotic and unruly, and handbooks as a civilizing force, supplying the order and rationality necessary for resolution. Despite these efforts, controversies rage. Producing more argument handbooks seems unlikely to solve the problem. Controversy is a social and discursive phenomenon. It is an integral part of social life, something we create, negotiate, and leverage in text and talk for a variety of ends, sometimes with a great deal of planning and sometimes with little. It is not "out there" somewhere far away, detached from the ways we write and talk about it. Resolution is not its natural end, nor even one sought by many participants. In the course, we ask how writers and speakers help to shape controversy in talk and text, connecting ideas from the rhetorical tradition with discourse analysis research. Students will gain experience in the technical analysis of academic, public, and professional writing and speaking.


  • Analysis 40%
  • Essay 40%
  • Drafts 10%
  • Participation 10%



Selected articles, available on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html