Lehigh University English 2

Learning Objectives for Students

  • Improve your rhetorical capacities: You will learn to meet the needs of academic and public audiences and to understand the basic conventions of various genres by analyzing and adapting to varying rhetorical situations.
  • Develop Information Literacy Skills: You will practice locating, evaluating, and ethically and persuasively using primary and secondary research materials. Research will become a habit of mind for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating.
  • Refine your facility with argument: You will learn to write various types of arguments (some combination of position, exploratory, definition, evaluation, causal, and policy arguments) while developing an understanding of the logic of these arguments.


English 2 Course Design


Essential Elements of English 2:

  • Students should have instruction on and practice in different types of arguments (some mix of causal argument, policy argument, definitional argument, position argument, exploratory argument).
  • Students should learn about (and practice writing) persuasive arguments as responsive to complex rhetorical situations. They should spend time thinking about audience and how to appeal to different audiences.
  • Students should undertake research as a process, and they should have significant opportunities to practice locating, evaluating, and ethically and persuasively using research materials.
  • Students should complete one multimodal project (weighted as the instructor sees fit, perhaps as part of a group)


Writing Requirements:

  • 20-pages minimum of argumentative writing. Here is one way we recommend distributing the writing requirement:
    • 2 mid-length papers, some research element encouraged (4-5 and 6-8 p.)
    • 1 major research paper (8-10 p.)
    • 1 multimodal project with reflection paper (4 p.)
    • Short papers dispersed throughout the semester are recommended


Suggested Sequenced Structure:

This is how the sequence of assignments might look using the traditional 4-unit model; however, instructors may choose to restructure the course at their discretion.


Unit 1:

  • short paper at instructor’s discretion
  • 4-5 page paper: instructor may require a specific type of argument (e.g., definitional argument, evaluative argument) or may offer other options, such as analysis.

Unit 2:

  • short paper at instructor’s discretion
  • 6-8 page paper: instructor may require a specific type of argument (e.g., causal, policy etc.) or may offer options, such as analysis. (You may want to build in some research requirement here).

Unit 3:

  • 8-10 page researched argument: longer papers like these typically include a few types of arguments

Unit 4:

  • Multimodal Project
    • Must still make an argument, but to a different audience and in a different mode: short video, podcast, web page, blog, comic, advertisement, poster, PSA, etc.
    • 4 page reflection paper justifying strategies in light of the chosen audience.