English Linguistic and Argumentation Skills II is aimed at helping students develop the skills needed to write a variety of legal research texts and to present on legal research. Building on the topics and materials dealt with in English Linguistic and Argumentation Skills I (ELAS I), the course provides instruction in the structural and stylistic elements of legal research writing, dealing with the specifics of such formats as the judicial opinion and the language of statutes and regulations. Students are also provided instruction in the language of rhetoric and the linguistic considerations of the expression of legal logic and advanced argumentation. They are further provided instruction and training in the presentational and performance aspects of presenting research and complex argumentation.
English Linguistic & Argumentation Skills II covers the following topics:
- Text structure: Moving beyond the basic argumentative essay, the course focuses on a variety of writing products with their specific styles and structures with the integration of various types of legal writing into a coherent legal research paper as a central concern. Specifc attention is given to such formats as the judicial opinion, the discussion and synopsis of legal cases and the linguistic nature of statutes and regulations.
- Students will learn to apply rhetorical techniques to argumentation. Students will learn to critically discuss and incorporate various types of resources into texts and will be instructed in the specific linguistic intricacies of these resources.
- Students should be able to put forward complex issues of legal debate and provide satisfactory textual resolution of these issues through the application of clearly expressed legal logic, the effective use of rhetorical mechanisms, and the integration of a variety of legal resources into a coherent text. In support of this, students will also receive instruction in a number of issues of advanced grammar and composition.
- Oral proficiency: Building on the work done in English Lingustic and Argumentation Skills I, students will be instructed in advanced presentation and performance for academic purposes .
Teaching and assessment methods: The course will consist of 18 lectures in total. During 12 weekly interactive seminars, students work primarily on improving their writing skills (structure, style and accurary). In the other 6 seminars, which run parallel to the weekly seminars, students work on improving their skills at presentation and academic public performance.
All seminars are taught in small groups (approximately 20 students) in order to make the seminars as interactive as possible. Students are required to actively participate in the discussions with both instructor and each other and give peer feedback on writing products and spoken expressions. On a number of occasions, students receive personal teacher feedback on their writing assignments.
Reading and reference materials will be provided in class and on the Blackboard site for the course.
The final assessment for this course consists of a paper (70% of the final grade), and a presentation (30% of the final grade).
NOTE: English Linguistic and Argumentation Skills II is taught in conjunction with Perspectives on Law. The final paper for ELAS II is also to be submitted as the final paper for Perspectives on Law. It should further be noted that there will be opportunites to discuss the writing assignments set for Perspectives on Law in ELAS II.