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College of Law

Advanced Persuasive Writing

Course Number: 6925
Professor: Michael R. Smith
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Spring
Required: No
Prerequisites: LAW 6160 and LAW 6260, and completion of first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: None

Course Overview: Advanced Persuasive Writing is a graded three-hour course. This course covers advanced strategies in persuasive writing and builds on the introductory persuasive writing instruction provided in the Appellate Advocacy. The course approaches persuasive writing from a theoretical as well as a practical standpoint. In terms of a theoretical perspective, the course covers persuasive writing strategies that are expressly based on theoretical principles of other disciplines, such as literary theory, classical rhetoric theory, and psychology theory. A tremendous amount of research and scholarship has been undertaken in these and other disciplines regarding aspects of human nature that are important in understanding the process of persuasion. Accordingly, lawyers as persuasive writers have much to learn from these disciplines. The strategies covered in this course are based on some of the theoretical principles reflected in the work of these disciplines.

From a practical standpoint, the strategies covered are concrete and relevant to the practice of law. That is, although the course covers the theoretical principles underlying the strategies, the course is not exclusively theoretical. The strategies generated from these principles are specific and concrete, and directly applicable to the day-to-day writing of practicing lawyers. Thus, the course combines theory with practicality.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format:
Written Assignments: Your final grade in this course will be based on several graded short writing assignments. Some of these graded writing assignments will be Group Assignments that will be completed by groups of 2 to 4 students. Other assignments will be Individual Assignments that will be completed by students working on their own.
Type of Exam:
Basis for Grading Student Performance:
Other Comments: This course may be used for experiential learning credit.

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