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

Program(s): Immersion

This course is nearly at capacity. We strongly recommend you consider at least one alternative course option for your application.

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.

See sample syllabus here.

Remote or Residential

✓ Residential Course


Course Considerations

Thanks to the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse, additional need-based grant funding is available for talented students who are selected for enrollment in this course. To be eligible, students applying to this course must complete a financial aid application as part of their application.

Discussion Intensive

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Start Date

July 05

End Date

July 21

Class Details

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

Class Duration (CST)


3:00 P.M.


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks

HS Orientation Date

July 03
July 04