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Unit of study_

WRIT2002: Arguments that Change the World

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

What do great poets, preachers and politicians have in common? Using case studies of enduring persuasive texts from the pulpit to the courtroom to the concert hall, this unit introduces students to rhetorical hermeneutics as a method of interpretation. The unit extends their ability to interrogate and think critically about various text types and their affective qualities. It cultivates intensive and effective research and reporting practices, through which students develop discipline-based inquiry questions to effectively discover, invent, produce, and deliver their own arguments.

Unit details and rules

Unit code WRIT2002
Academic unit
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Writing Studies
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jedidiah Evans,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Close reading task
Written task
35% Week 07
Due date: 08 Apr 2022 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation Poster presentation
Oral presentation
20% Week 10
Due date: 04 May 2022 at 12:00
1000 words, 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO5 LO4
Assignment Individual reflection
10% Week 11
Due date: 13 May 2022 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO5
Assignment Analytical report
35% Week 13
Due date: 27 May 2022 at 23:39
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of outstanding quality, demonstrating an excellent standard of written English and of criticism, logical argument, interpretation of materials or use of methodology. Evidence of extensive independent - and where appropriate, collaborative - research and use of relevant primary and secondary sources, a thoughtful structure, substantial additional work and independent learning. Detailed and demonstrated awareness of professional appropriateness and cultural sensitivity. NB. This grade may be given to recognise particular originality, interdisciplinarity, or creativity.


75 - 84

Work of superior quality, demonstrating a command of language, sound grasp of content, efficient organisation and selectivity. Evidence of relevant research, additional work and independent learning. Appropriate use of relevant primary and secondary sources, a thoughtful structure, substantial additional work and independent - and where appropriate, collaborative - learning. Demonstrated awareness of professional appropriateness and cultural sensitivity.


65 - 74

A sound performance, competent and appropriate. Work that is well written and demonstrates good research skills. Demonstrates a clear grasp of the basic skills and knowledge. Evidence of independent research and use of relevant primary and secondary sources, a thoughtful structure, substantial additional work and independent learning. Work of good quality, showing more than satisfactory achievement. General clarity of expression and professional appropriateness and cultural sensitivity.


50 - 64

A satisfactory attempt to meet the demands of the assignment. Demonstrates understanding and command of basic skills, core knowledge, and appropriate primary and relevant resources. The assignment may have significant weaknesses (e.g. poor time-keeping skills, lack of engagement with chosen materials), or may not be wholly successful or coherent in terms of delivery or clarity of expression, but shows at least satisfactory achievement in more important aspects.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 02 The branches of rhetoric Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Introduction to research Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Critical analysis 1: inductive & deductive reasoning Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Song sample analysis / Close reading task (initial preparation) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Critical analysis 2: interrogating your text Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Ethos and credibility of your sources Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Epideictic arguments Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Epideictic features / Close reading task preparation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Affective influence: literary techniques, poetry, sound Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Virtual field trip / Critical analysis and close reading Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Judicial arguments Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
The forensic in your topic Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Deliberative rhetoric Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Poster preparation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Speech, orality, writing Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Writing speeches Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Ornamental rhetoric & apologia Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Poster presentation, teacher and peer review Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Political speeches and advertisements Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
2 minute thesis preparation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Persuasion or propaganda? Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Two minute thesis presentations Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 13 Conclusion Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Analytical report consultations Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board which will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify the rhetorical techniques and appeals on close reading of influential texts (including speeches, songs, philosophical and religious doctrines)
  • LO2. evaluate persuasive texts in relation to the historical, geographical, cultural, political and social contexts in which they were produced
  • LO3. plan for and meet goals and deadlines, both independently and as a team member
  • LO4. demonstrate advanced skills in research and analysis to link information in an original way
  • LO5. apply the concepts and theories of rhetorical reasoning and argumentation in evaluating discussions on current issues and defend an ethical and logical argument effectively in various mediums (oral, visual, and written).

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Lecture and seminar content updated and modified. Dates changed to match calendar. Assessment dates changed to account for extra working time.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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