Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

WRIT 102   Introduction to Rhetoric in the Liberal Arts Tradition
RestrictionsNo 2024 2023
DistributionHuman Thought and Expression
Core AreaNone

Artes liberales--the liberal arts--those arts that are proper for a free citizen, according to Cicero. These arts numbered seven in the medieval curriculum, the language arts--grammar, logic, and rhetoric--constituting the first three or trivium. While the trivium has all but disappeared in today's college curriculum, increasingly scholars across the disciplines are discovering the integral role rhetoric plays in equipping citizens for effective participation in a democracy. Drawing upon the liberal arts tradition, the aim is to cultivate students' capacity for eloquence through inquiry. To foster this human impulse to inquire, students will engage in a number of inquiry projects that will ask them to reflect on their personal experiences, to analyze the forces that shaped those experiences, and to look critically at the way that social and cultural identity is formed. In conjunction with the three inquiry projects, students engage in an intense amount of work on rhetorical invention (the discovery of ideas for writing), composing a workable draft, reading and revising the draft, and rereading and editing it for fluency in grammar, punctuation, and style. The course fulfills the writing requirement.