This course "draws on different rhetorical perspectives to read, analyze, and produce public discourse in diverse media for a variety of audiences and purposes." So my first question is: What IS "rhetoric"? or What would a "rhetorical perspective" be?
One way of approaching these questions is to consider a specific example. One of the specific examples (which I'll call "Case Studies") we'll look at is what is typically referred to as "Gun Control." We'll consider a cultural and historical context that includes Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the 2011 shooting in Tuscon, as well as the recent shooting in Connecticut. For the moment, consider this: "NRA Clear on Gun Debate Stance."
The important thing to remember with this (and any) example is that we (in this course) are not concerned with the issue itself; in other words, we are not concerned with the question "should we have stricter gun control laws?" or "should teachers be armed?" Instead, we are concerned with public discourse about the issue; how do different people talk about the issue? what are the different arguments they make, and how do they make them? What can we say about the language they use? And what perspectives are absent or missing?
What other examples of public discourse about a specific issue are you interested in discussing, and why?