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The course presents the major theories of persuasion and teaches students how to apply them in interpersonal communication, business, and civic arenas.  Key topic areas include credibility, audience adaptation, persuasive analysis, persuasive speech, motivation, social campaigns, and manipulation.



  • Explaining and applying major persuasive theories.
  • Identifying persuasive verbal and nonverbal behaviors in speeches.
  • Describing how persuasion is used in the political process.
  • Defining and identifying fallacious arguments in the media.
  • Using critical thinking to write a persuasive speech which includes arguments that support a controversial position that is relevant to organizations and business.
  • Creating and identifying logos, ethos, and pathos arguments applying Aristotle’s Theory.
  • Using arguments which are supported by credible sources.
  • Developing emotional arguments to persuade audiences.
  • Using logic to support a position on a controversial topic.
  • Exploring methods of audience analysis and adaptation.
  • Using critical thinking skills to apply the stages of a campaign to a social movement.
  • Using analytical and critical thinking skills to analyze the persuasive messages in a campaign.
  • Using critical thinking skills and technical skills to locate and analyze persuasion in speeches and published material.
  • Discovering how demographics are used to target specific audiences in persuasive settings.
  • Describing and discussing the process of manipulation—unethical persuasion.
  • Identifying the characteristics of manipulators.
  • Using information literacy skills to research persuasive material.

Course Syllabi

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