AP/MODR1770 6.0 O: Techniques of Persuasion

Offered by: MODR


Fall 2019






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.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Francisco Gomez-Holtved

Office Location: S401Ross Building
Phone Number:  (416) 736-2100 Ext. 66449
Office hours: Thursday 12:00 - 1:00

    Expanded Course Description

This course is an introduction to critical thinking whose objective is to give students the skills needed to analyze arguments in a critical and systematic fashion. The theory underlying these skills will be put into practice through group work done in class, where you will be assigned a variety of exercises that will allow you to develop and apply the techniques you've been taught until you master them. Throughout the term we will apply what we've learned to arguments found in a variety of disciplines (ethics, politics, the cognitive sciences etc) and expressed through a variety of platforms (social media, film etc).  We will cover such topics as (but will not be limited to) euthanasia, torture and problems arising from technological change. In other words, you will be dealing with arguments found in the 'real world'. The techniques presented in this course provide a good training in intellectual self-defence, by showing you how to organize your thoughts in a coherent fashion, and present work that is well structured and well written. In this way you will be able to argue more persuasively for whichever position you take on any of the topics we will be exploring, and not be misled by fallacious modes of reasoning.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Critical Thinking: Argument and Argumentation (2nd edition) by Jean Saindon and Peter Krek

    Weighting of Course

Argument mapping test: 10%; Argument evaluation test: 20%; Fallacies test: 20% Short Paper 1: 10%;  Short Paper 2: 10% ; Argumentation Assignment: 20%. Submissions 10% (Group work done in class and uploaded to Moodle).

    Organization of the Course

For each of the assigned modules in the textbook, you will be working through assigned exercises in the corresponding modules of the study guide.



Argument mapping test: Sept 27.

Modules 1 to 3 in the textbook.


Argument evaluation test: Nov 1.

Modules 4 and 5 in the textbook.


Fallacies test: Nov 29.

Module 7 in the textbook


Short Paper 1: Drafts on Feb 14, due Feb 24.

Modules 6, 8 and 9 in the textbook.


Short Paper 2: Drafts on March 13 due March 16

Modules 6, 8 and 9 in the textbook


Argumentation Essay: Drafts on April 3 due April 6:

Modules 10 and 11 in the textbook



Weekly Submissions:

Group work based on exercises done in class and uploaded to Moodle.

    Course Learning Objectives

You will learn how to diagram argument structure, identify deductive and inductive arguments, analyze common fallacies, critically assess extended texts and write a position paper.

    Relevant Links / Resources