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Words Change the World: An Introduction to the Power of Rhetoric (Ages 12-15)

"Rhetoric" is the art of speaking and writing persuasively, an ancient art form that continues to shape our culture today. In this course, Learners will be introduced to the basic traps and tricks that make or break a solid argument.
Zachary Desmond, MFA
3 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 5 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
85 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does a "One-Time" class work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience

Learners will reflect on their own experiences of being persuaded by others, and share why they thought those arguments were effective. They will identify and practice using three Rhetorical Devices: "Metaphor," "Repetition," and "Musicality." They will learn the basic elements of an Argument, how to identify a "Conclusion" that is supported by one or more "Premises," as well as any "Assumptions" that invoke unspoken premises. They will be able to identify arguments that use five Logical Fallacies: "Ad Hominem," "False Dilemma," "Begging the Question," "Non-Sequitur," and "Appeal to Authority." Finally, learners will get to demonstrate their new knowledge by playing a game and crafting their own well-reasoned and rhetorically rich arguments to share with their peers. 
Zachary is a Playwright, Essayist, Poet, Performer, and Philosophy Major currently chasing his Masters' in Drama at the Juilliard School in New York City. He is a member of the long-form improvisation duo, Zack & Zeke, a proud former instructor for the Island Institute of Alaska's Story Lab program, and a winner of the John Stix Prize awarded to a drama student who excels in the curiosity and imaginative process necessary for ensemble acting work. 
There will be no homework, but at the conclusion of the class, learners will be encouraged to research and select any speech that is meaningful to them in some way and bring it to a subsequent "Words Change the World" course. 
Pen or pencil Paper A willingness to speak
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
There will be an informal assessment at the end of the course determining if your learner has a sufficient grasp of the introductory material to proceed forward into subsequent "Words Change the World" courses. 
1 hour 25 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.


Zachary Desmond, MFACreative Writing, Persuasive Speaking, and Imaginative Play
3 total reviews
4 completed classes

About Me

My name is Zack and I am a professional writer, performer, and life coach. I teach a variety of classes on writing and speaking persuasively. I really enjoy sharing the sense of power and autonomy that comes from learning to integrate your... 
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