Writing and Rhetoric courses introduce students to principles of academic discourse and ethical argumentation. Students are taught how to frame a claim, conduct research, provide evidence, consider alternative views, and write in language appropriate to the intended audience. We teach these as necessary constituents of academic writing and as ethical practices—the foundations of responsible public discourse.

Consistent with the mission of Notre Dame, we propose that these skills be taught within the context of Catholic social teaching, meaning that students in our classes may study the rhetorics of issues such as the dignity of the human person, the option of the poor and vulnerable, and the rights of workers.

Writing and Rhetoric in this way offers Notre Dame students a rich conversation, one with its own vocabulary of terms and concepts, that prepares them for academic life and raises questions about what it means to be a moral citizen.