Skip to main content

Communicating Effectively: Free Expression, Civic Argument, and Public Advocacy

Program(s): Immersion

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  Communication shapes our lives – personal, professional, and political. Communication skills are also highly correlated with college and professional success: critical thinking, argument, writing, perspective-taking, and research skills are all foundational to a liberal arts education and life beyond college. The objective of this course is to help students develop these essential skills through an introduction to the principles and practices of public discourse: advocacy, argument, and speaking. Over the course of three weeks, students will research, build, and present a persuasive case on a civic issue. Through exercises, workshops, and assignments, students will study and apply theory and develop essential research, critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills. With the increasing use of remote technologies in interviewing, business, and politics, this course provides an opportunity for students to actively apply and build theory and practice in effective professional online communication. The University of Chicago has long been a prominent proponent of free expression, which depends on the ability to engage in productive public discourse and on the ability to open up public space so that others can also speak freely. This course extends that tradition by preparing students to actively engage in the public sphere.     

Daily Course Expectations

  • 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)
  • 1 required synchronous session per day: 9:00 A.M to 10:20 A.M CST
  • 1 required duplicated workshop: 7:30 - 8:50 A.M. CST OR 10:30 -11:50 A.M. CST

Course Considerations

Discussion Intensive

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Start Date

July 13

End Date

July 29

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Leila Brammer

Secondary Instructor

Academic Interest

Humanities (e.g., arts, philosophy)
Examining Culture and Society
Writing and Literature

Class Specifics

Course Code

PARR 11300 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks