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Advanced Persuasive Writing

This experiential course combines theory and practicality to cover advanced strategies in persuasive writing and build upon the instruction provided in Legal Research and Writing. The theoretical aspect of the course will focus on principles of persuasion drawn from several disciplines, such as classical rhetoric, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and literary theory. Topics studied may include the rhetorical foundations of legal persuasion and credibility; the role of stock structures, visual imagery, and literary or cultural allusions in legal analysis and argument; leveraging storytelling and narrative coherence; and using document design and other visual techniques persuasively. The practical aspect of the course will involve the application of the covered principles to litigation-oriented documents. Students will analyze the persuasiveness of various examples of attorney communications, such as briefs, letters, and judicial opinions, and create their own versions of these documents that incorporate the principles we discuss. Thus, students will learn a number of strategies and techniques, and practice implementing them, to become more persuasive writers. The course will involve a combination of lecture, discussion, in-class exercises and workshops, and individual student-teacher conferences outside of class. Grades will be based on several writing and editing assignments of various length, as well as students’ participation in class discussions and fulfillment of course requirements. There will be no final exam. 


Fall 2019


Michael Sackey

Academic Area(s)


Experiential Courses