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RHETORIC AND/ VS.

DEMOCRACY

THE ASSIGNMENT!
Your task in this paper is to write a carefully reasoned and well
supported essay, based upon your interpretation of Plato’s
Gorgias, in response to the following question:

Is the practice of rhetoric good for democracy or


bad for it? And why?
Your essay should have two parts:
• In the first part, you’ll explain your argument and the
reasoning behind it by reference to Plato’s Gorgias. Here,
as you explain whether and to what extent you agree or
disagree with Socrates, you’ll define your key terms and
make your major arguments.
• In the second part, you’ll support your arguments by
applying them to a contemporary example. You’ll select
an instance of current rhetorical discourse and show how it
bears out the arguments for or against rhetoric that you
made in the first part of the essay. You may use any of the
speeches we examined in Module 2 or, if you like, you may
IMPORTANT DATES AND DETAILS!
choose a different example, provided that you can supply
me with a link to or transcript of the text (and provided
 Your essay should be between 1200 and 1500 that the text is in English).
words long.
Be certain to ground ALL of your claims — in both parts of the
 Please post to Google Docs a copy of your THESIS essay — in an analysis of quotations from the relevant texts.
PARAGRAPH by class time on Tuesday, February 15 And be certain to CITE the sources of your quotations in MLA
(TR section), or Wednesday, February 16 (MW style. You can find a good guide here:
section). http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
 Your first full draft is due on Google Docs by class (For citation purposes, treat our embedded copy of the
time on Tuesday, February 22 (TR class), or Gorgias as an electronic source and cite it on your Works
Wednesday, February 23 (MW class). Cited page as follows:
Plato. Gorgias. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Web 4 July 2010.
<http://www.scribd.com/doc/33888328/Gorgias>