University of Notre Dame

Writing and Rhetoric

Notre Dame’s Writing and Rhetoric courses are where you will learn the art of argument and gain the persuasive ability to make a point with proper organization, evidence, logic, and style. Academic writing is an ongoing conversation with a long history: Writing and Rhetoric will prepare you to enter into this rich world of intellectual inquiry and rhetorical tradition as an outstanding communicator and an ethical and critical thinker.

The three Writing and Rhetoric options offered to first-year students are each built on the values of responsible public discourse and Catholic Social Teaching, challenging students to uphold a civil, ethical, and moral ideal that encompasses the rhetorical virtues of honesty, knowledge, rationality, tolerance, wisdom, and intellectual courage.

WR 13100, Writing and Rhetoric, is designed to help you learn how to identify an issue among conflicting points of view and craft an argument based on various sources of information. The course stresses the identification and analysis of potential counter-arguments and aims to develop skills for writing a research proposal, for conducting original research, and for using print and electronic resources from the library.

WR 13200, Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric, offers you a unique community-based opportunity to learn skills and strategies for effective research and written argumentation by investigating social justice issues and performing community service. In partnership with Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, your instructor will connect you with approximately 10-15 hours of local community service over the course of the semester. Students in this course are asked to integrate their service experiences into readings, research, writing, and discussion about the meaning of community, citizenship, and social justice in contemporary America.

WR 13300, Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric, will engage you in the digital culture and new media that have so dramatically impacted today’s reading, writing, and research practices, teaching you to apply rhetorical principles across a variety of media such as blogs, wikis, and videos. Students in this class learn both print-based and screen-based literacies that address the complex realities and challenges of composing ethical, reasonable, and well-crafted arguments in the 21st Century.

Your First Year Advisor can help you determine which of these courses will best meet your overall academic needs as you learn the skills needed to enter into the discussion of some of the most pressing questions of our time.

Work produced in these classes is eligible for nomination for the McPartlin Award or the Snite Museum of Art Essay Award, and for possible inclusion in Fresh Writing, Notre Dame’s journal of award-winning first-year essays.