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 ACC 320 - Persuasion in Social Discourses


This course on persuasion in social discourses takes you through classical rhetoric to cognitive neuroscience. It has a number of aims. The main one is to make students critically aware of persuasion strategies that circulate in a number of everyday social discourses, including newspaper discourse; advertising; political, legal and institutional discourses. This ‘making aware’ will involve introducing students to a number of communication, rhetorical, linguistic and social psychological theoretical frameworks that underlie the process of persuasion and by making them aware of the dual perspective of both the persuader and the persuaded. By the end of the course, students will not only be able to identify and analyze persuasion in a variety of multimodal discourses in the world around them, but they will also have the tools to create and deploy persuasive discourse themselves while being forever questioned by that moral imperative of what is ethical, what isn’t, when and where does it apply, and why.

In the second half of the semester, you will all be working on a research project in small groups. There is plenty of space in the program for you to come up with your own ‘persuasion in society’ topic. You will also experience what it means to go through a qualitative research cycle: research design, method selection, data collection and interpretation, writing up, presentation, etc.


Rhetoric & Argumentation


The following course is required in order to take this course:

  • ACC 120 Introduction to Rhetoric and Argumentation