Rhetoric and Civic Life (RCL) is a year-long honors course offering comprehensive training in oral, written, visual, and digital communication. It unites these various modes under the flexible art of rhetoric and uses rhetoric both to strengthen communication skills and to sharpen awareness of the challenges and advantages presented by oral, written, visual, and digital modes.
RCL I focuses particularly on two critical academic capacities: analyzing and contextualizing. In this semester, students learn to rigorously examine the rhetoric surrounding them, compellingly present their findings in various modes, and thoughtfully contextualize their research. RCL II trains students in persuasive and public discourse, offering opportunities to practice a broad spectrum of communication skills such as deliberation, policy brief writing, and advocacy. Each class transforms into a “think tank” and tackles the pressing issues of our day.