This course is designed for both the student interested in developing a more thorough critical apparatus of argumentation and the student interested, for professional or scholarly reasons, to develop more effective arguments. The course presumes that argument is a fundamental form of human communication, and that finding, analyzing, and producing arguments are activities central to our professional and public lives. Students will study argumentation theory, and will test that theory against the arguments we find within a public controversy surrounding an important social issue. This theory building should provide us with a framework for evaluating and critiquing the effectiveness of arguments in context. In addition, students will identify and define problems as the initial step toward developing arguments of their own. Students' assignments will include written analyses of arguments within a controversy and written arguments that clearly define and address problems.