Core 102 – Introduction

CORE 102 will reinforce the writing skills that were emphasized in CORE 101. At the same time, the course will formally introduce research, oral communication, and critical thinking skills that will be important for your academic and professional success.

In CORE 101, your instructor may have expected you to speak as a part of your class participation. CORE 102 will step up oral communication expectations by asking you to develop and deliver a speech that probably will be more structured and longer than any of the speeches or comments that you were asked to make in the earlier course. You also will be asked to carefully examine another person’s speech. To help you on both these assignments, the Handbook includes advice on public speaking.

In CORE 101 you probably were asked to write using sources that your instructor assigned you to read. Now, you will be guided toward locating reliable sources appropriate for developing and supporting an argument. You will demonstrate that you can locate such sources through effective use of the search tools and techniques covered in the Handbook.

In CORE 101, when you were challenged to support a thesis statement, you were taking the first step toward the study of good reasoning. Now, for CORE 102, the Handbook introduces concepts that will allow for a closer look at the reasoning in arguments. You will apply these concepts to critiquing arguments, but also to creating one.

These ongoing and new skills are reflected in the list below from the official university syllabus for CORE 102. There, the course is described as one in which students learn about

  • the rhetorical principles* that inform successful oral and written communication;
  • key concepts in argumentation including informal fallacies;
  • research as inquiry, using both print and digital sources to gather information on a topic;
  • evaluation of the quality of information; and
  • use of information as evidence to support arguments.

In order to accomplish these goals, you will complete four major projects:

  • a narrative about your research,
  • an argument based on that research,
  • an analysis of a speech given by someone else, and
  • a speech that you will develop and deliver.

The CORE 102 section of the Handbook is organized by these projects. The first part is devoted to the Research Narrative, the second to the Researched Argument, the third to the Speech Analysis, and the fourth to the Informative Speech.

*rhetorical principles: When you set out to use language to influence listeners or speakers, you want to make use of rhetorical principles—that is, you want to be aware of what communication methods will be the most effective. This means thinking about what will work for a particular message delivered to an actual audience in a specific context.

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