AP/MODR1770 6.0 A: Techniques of Persuasion

Offered by: MODR


Summer 2019




ONLN (Fully Online)


Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, persuasive writing, and strategic argumentation. Examples are drawn from various forms of persuasion including advertising, propaganda and political argument. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1730 6.00, AP/MODR 1760 6.00. Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities OR Social Science.

Course Website

Many courses utilize Moodle, York University's course website system. If your course is using Moodle, refer to the image below to access it.

    Getting Started with your Fully Online Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to review the Next Steps website.

The Next Steps website explains how to start your fully online (ONLN) & blended (BLEN) course(s) with start up information including computing requirements, course website access instructions and links to course outlines & course websites. Students are also encouraged to review the Student Guide to eLearning at York University.

Moodle course website access starts within the first week of the term. For late enrollees it takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access the Moodle websites once the semester has started. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week of the semester. Get familiar with Moodle by reviewing the Moodle Student Resources Page.

For enrolment matters and academic related questions, please contact the affiliated LA&PS School/Department. For eLearning support please contact eLearning Services, LA&PS.

Moodle and computing support can be directed to askit@yorku.ca or visit the Student Computing website

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Linda Carozza


Office Location:  S401 Ross

Phone Number:  (416) 736-2100 Ext. 66449

Office Hours:  By appointment only

    Expanded Course Description

The general purpose of all the Modes of Reasoning courses (MODR) is to equip students with critical thinking and reasoning skills, which are invaluable to academic studies, a professional career, and life generally.


This course is an introduction to a series of reasoning skills, concepts, and techniques from a multidisciplinary stance. With content from the fields of philosophy, psychology, sociology, and conflict resolution, students are guided to: read or listen to others' ideas with an engaged mind; think critically about those ideas; develop strong arguments and ideas of one's own; and, verbalize those ideas clearly and concisely, orally and in writing. We apply various theories and skills to the analysis of timely arguments in popular science, the legal realm, politics, and ethics (to name a few), that are found in the mass media (e.g. newspaper columns, blogs, advertisements, social media, documentary films, Ted Talks, etc.).

    Required Course Text / Readings

Good Reasoning Matters! (5th Ed.) by Groarke & Tindale

    Weighting of Course

Participation – 10%

Quizzes – 25%

Argument Letter – 20%

Fallacy Presentation – 15%

Critical Essay – 30%

    Organization of the Course

Weekly course material (e.g. video lectures, handouts, web links, discussion forums, etc.) will be posted online on Wednesdays. Remember, this is an accelerated course. If you took this course on campus, then you would be required to attend two 3-hour lectures weekly. The content displayed each Wednesday reflects this time commitment. This is an asynchronous course - you don’t have to log in to Moodle at a specific time each week, but you do need to keep up on days/times weekly that are convenient for you. Here’s why: Techniques of Persuasion is a practical course. To become strong at any skill, practice is needed. Accordingly, there is an emphasis on continuous engagement in the course. If you are planning a vacation, work full time, or will be engaged in any other events this summer that prevent you from logging onto Moodle weekly, you are strongly urged to rethink whether you should enrol in a SU-term course.

    Course Learning Objectives
  • Reading Comprehension
    • active reading; deconstructing others’ ideas; reading between the lines
  • Critical Thinking Skills
    • critically evaluating what we hear and read; rational decision-making; being aware of cognitive and illegitimate biases (self bias and others’ bias); understanding the environment that surrounds communication
  • Critical Reasoning Skills
    • analyzing arguments for cogency; presenting strong arguments
  • Awareness of Persuasion Techniques
    • recognizing manipulative persuasion; developing persuasive tactics, ethically
  • Writing Skills
    • improve general writing skills (grammar, writing style, thesis development, etc.); essay organization; writing persuasively; improving self-editing techniques
  • Personal Development
    • hone the disposition of a competent layperson (the ability to engage in civil discourse, even if one isn’t an “expert” on that topic); clarity and confidence when presenting views
    Relevant Links / Resources