Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Bell, Lisa
Discipline and Number
COMM 4314 Section 001
MW Time 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Course Title

Description of Course:

Persuasion lies at the heart of our personal and professional lives, appearing whenever a communicator attempts to change an audience’s knowledge, attitudes, or behavior – whether the goal is to sway a single person, convince a small group in a meeting, influence an entire organization, or win over the public. This course will equip you to be both an effective and ethical practitioner of persuasion and also a critical and savvy consumer of persuasion. The course will survey research, theory, and practice from interpersonal and rhetorical perspectives of persuasion, argumentation, social influence, and compliance gaining.

Students who successfully complete COMM 4314 will develop the ability to:
• Enhance their credibility though persuasive appeals that adhere to professional and ethical norms.
• Understand the dynamics of attitude formation and variables likely to influence attitudes.
• Analyze opportunities for influence and implement effective strategies for building support.
• Adapt persuasive messages to different audiences, media, and constraints.
• Analyze the ethical quality of a persuasive message, whether critically assessing someone else’s message or determining how to craft an original persuasive appeal.

COMM 4314 carries no formal pre-requisites for enrollment, but you should be prepared to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills expected of upper level college students.

Required Texts:


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Although the specific mix of assignments has yet to be determined, COMM 4314 typically includes exams, a critical analysis paper, collaborative work, and a presentation.

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