How do arguments work? What are the purposes of argument? What distinguishes arguments from other forms of discourse? What are criteria for sound and/or effective arguments? This course poses these questions as a way to explore dominant perspectives on argument. While the course auditions a number of perspectives, it consistently emphasizes argument as a part of a communicative transaction among (and within) interlocutors who operate in a rhetorical situation. In the class, students analyze and produce arguments as a way to learn to discriminate among the dominant argumentation perspectives and as a way to improve their own knowledge and skill as arguers. The class examines many "real world" examples of argument such as those for and against government arts funding, and asks students to share many of their own examples from other debates for the class to analyze and discuss. In our analyses, we test some of the most common methods for visualizing and diagramming arguments. During the final part of the class, students investigate some of the current challenges to the traditional analytic approach to argument: visual argument, gendered argument, argument preconditions. Students will be responsible for a number of short argument analyses based on readings and will turn in two papers that will allow them to demonstrate their abilities to analyze and to compose arguments.