AP/MODR1770 6.0 D: Techniques of Persuasion

Offered by: MODR


Summer 2021






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 eClass (Moodle), York University's course website system. If your course is using eClass (Moodle), refer to the image below to access it.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Course Instructor Contact:  David Stamos / dstamos@yorku.ca

    Expanded Course Description

Times and locations:

Please note that this is a course that depends on remote teaching and learning. There will be no in-person interactions or activities on campus.

Expanded Course Description:

This is a skills-based course which focuses on skills that are essential for most of your university courses (and consequently can be expected to raise your grades in those courses). Specifically this means: conceptual analysis, fallacy analysis, argument structure analysis, premise analysis, essay style.


    Additional Requirements

echnical requirements for taking the course: I don’t use Zoom. All you’ll need is a regular computer with which you can access Moodle and with which you can download my teaching videos. Interaction will be through Moodle Chat and email. I keep it all very simple.


Here are some useful links for student computing information, resources and help:

Student Guide to Moodle

Computing for Students Website

Student Guide to eLearning at York University

To determine Internet connection and speed, there are online tests, such as Speedtest, that can be run.]

    Required Course Text / Readings

1) S. Morris Engel (2000). With Good Reason. 6th edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s. ISBN 978-1457695957


This source allows you to rent or purchase the book. The book is required for the second quarter of the course.


2) Chris MacDonald and Lewis Vaughn (2016). The Power of Critical Thinking. 4th Cdn. edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-901868-0. Do not use a different edition.

OR: Chopped ed. ISBN 978-0-19-901536-8

This chopped edition saves you money. It will be available in the bookstore as: York University Custom Edition: The Power of Critical Thinking. Chris MacDonald and Lewis Vaughn.

This book is required for the second half of the course. Make sure you buy the edition made for this course. Other editions will be not applicable.

    Weighting of Course

Fallacy Test          15%

Assignments (3)    65%

Participation          20%

    Organization of the Course

This course is partly asynchronous and partly synchronous.

It is asynchronous because the lecture videos and the homework videos are posted to Moodle typically the night before the official class time and you can watch them whenever you want. (The Participation grade might include downloading the videos on the day for which the videos are issued.) Also, homework is given a 24-hour window of submission and major assignments are also given a 24-hour window of submission (after which the latter are late).

It is synchronous because the Fallacy Test will be held online within the three-hour period scheduled for the class—Tuesday OR Thursday 2:30–5:30—as well as the Moodle Chat sessions (which are optional).

    Course Learning Objectives

The ability to apply to other courses what is learned/acquired in this course.

    Additional Information / Notes

As this is primarily a skills-based course, not primarily a knowledge-based course, much of our time is spent on applications and practice. This is why the partici­pation grade, which is based on homework (and possibly also on when you download the videos), is 20%.



Course policies:


With regard to my videos, please note that 1) the recordings are to be used for educational purposes only and as a means for enhancing accessibility; 2) students do not have permission to duplicate, copy, and/or distribute the record­ings outside of the class (these acts can violate not only copyright laws but also FIPPA); and 3) all recordings are to be destroyed after the end of classes.

    Relevant Links / Resources