AP/MODR1770 6.0 M: Techniques of Persuasion

Offered by: MODR


Winter 2022




BLEN (Blended online and classroom)


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 Start Up

Course Websites hosted on York's "eClass" are accessible to students during the first week of the term. It takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access your course website. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week. To log in to your eClass course visit the York U eClass Portal and login with your Student Passport York Account. If you are creating and participating in Zoom meetings you may also go directly to the York U Zoom Portal.

For further course Start Up details, review the Next Steps webpage.

For IT support, students may contact University Information Technology Client Services via askit@yorku.ca or (416) 736-5800. Please also visit Students Getting Started UIT or the Getting Help - UIT webpages.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Course Instructor Contact: Linda Carozza / lcarozza@yorku.ca

Virtual office hours: Zoom will be used for virtual office hours. Further information will be made available in eClass.

    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.).

Students should leave this course with theoretical knowledge, practical skills (listed below), and general awareness about persuasion tactics used within our culture.


    Required Course Text / Readings

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

Note: It needs to be the 5th edition.

All other material provied on eClass course site.

* This text will be available as a virtual rental through the course site. See the York University bookstore, or any book supplier, for a hard copy.

    Weighting of Course

Participation – 10%

Online Quizzes – 25%

Critical Analysis Project (team) – 40%

Argument Assignment – 25%


More specific information about assignments will be provided in eClass.

    Organization of the Course

Times and locations: This is a blended and accelerated version of MODR 1770  – we are meeting on campus on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the rest of the course will be delivered on eClass. There are 6 hours of lecture per week during the Winter term. On Tuesdays we meet on campus for a combination of lecture, taking up textbook exercises, and participation assignments. On Thursdays material and exercises will be posted on eClass, as per the “Course Schedule” (this is a separate document accessible in eClass). You need to keep up with this course, even though the pace is quick. Here’s why: MODR is a practical, skills-based, course. The concepts and skills build off of each other. Also, to become strong at any skill, practice is needed. Accordingly, there is an emphasis on continuous engagement in this course.


    Additional Information / Notes
Additional Information:

Submitting assignments on time

•     Expected academic performance includes students not only completing assignments, but completing them on time.

•     If you miss a quiz, for which you have 6 days to complete, there will be no opportunity to write it at a later date, regardless of circumstances.

•     If you miss a participation task during the required week, there will be no opportunity to complete it at a later date, regardless of circumstances

•     For major assignments there will be a deadline, however all students will have a (short) extension window to submit an assignment later without penalty (i.e. if you have accommodations, are ill, someone passes away, etc. Each assignment’s instructions will have specific details.


Email/Message Guidelines:

•     Please limit e-mails or messages to personal issues that arise. They will receive a response within 24 hours, unless it is the weekend.

•     All other inquiries about course material, or assignments, can be made on the eClass Discussion Forum, in an office appointment, or during lectures on Tuesdays. If you email me a course question, I may copy and paste a standard message that asks you to post your question on the relevant forum. I will do this because your question is one that other students will have too, or that other students perhaps should have.

•     You can expect an answer to a forum message or email within 24 hours, unless it is the weekend.


To be successful in this course

•     You must attend lectures on campus and log on to eClass frequently

•     You should be completing coursework every week

•     You should be taking notes when you attend/review video lectures - always

•     You should be taking notes when you read the course material - always

•     Critical Thinking and Reasoning requires practice. The textbooks have chapter exercises that you should be answering in order to hone your skills.

•     For an updated and helpful website with tips and tools, for writing, time management, and other necessary tools and skills for university success, see:                         http://www.yorku.ca/spark/

•     Take care of yourself. Balancing the academic, professional, family, personal, and other aspects of your life can be challenging at the best of times. Aim to create some balance in your life. You want to be healthy and rested when you tackle a full year course in half the time.



•     Grades are posted on eClass.

•     Your official grade is posted by the Registrar once the term is over.

•     Final Grades are not negotiable. In order to ensure you earn the grade you want or need, in addition to the tips above, you are encouraged to ATTEND lectures regularly, use the Discussion Forum to ask questions on eClass, make virtual appointments to discuss material and your ideas, and engage in all assignments.



    Relevant Links / Resources