You will prepare a short (approximately 5 page, maximum of 6 page) paper that uses core principles discussed in this class to carefully, thoughtfully, and critically analyze a case of persuasion. You will discuss what you believe was effective about this persuasive artifact, what you believe was ineffective, and conclude with suggestions on what could be done to enhance persuasive influence. It is not sufficient, however, to simply state your opinion about these things; your writing must carefully integrate evidence to support the critical assertions you make.
Before you begin – Select a theory as your topic
Your paper should focus on ONE core concept from this course, and the body of your paper will be organized around this topic (NOT organized around your persuasive artifact). You should start by selecting ONE of the following topic areas:
Social Judgment Theory
Constructivism / Cognitive Complexity
Connotation, Denotation, and Ultimate Terms
Powerless language and persuasion
Power (French & Raven)
Message Design Logic (O’Keefe)
You will absolutely need to narrow your selected topic further. Each of the topics listed above are composed of numerous sub-topics – they all have “parts.” You will need to carefully select a set of sub-topics that will become the paragraphs in the body of your paper.
You will need to research further your selected theory beyond what is covered in your textbook. The best place to start looking is here: Oviatt Library Guide to Communication ResearchLinks to an external site.
You must use an absolute minimum of three, credible, academic sources to support your discussion of this theory in addition to using the basic content of your textbook. If you are whether your source is credible and appropriately academic, I strongly suggest that you check with me very early in your writing process, well in advance of the assignment deadline.
This means that I should see source citations in the body of your paper that correspond to an absolute minimum of for entries in the list of references at the end of your paper (your textbook plus three additional sources that you have located)
Keep in mind that if you are attempting to earn a grade higher than a “C,” you would need to go beyond the absolute minimum assignment requirements, integrate more and stronger source material into your paper, and produce work that is more “outstanding.” I would think that 3 or more additional academic sources would be a good move in that direction.
Next: Select an artifact
Important: You are required to select an artifact different than the one you used for your first analysis paper. You may not use the same artifact a second time.
Persuasion itself is not a “thing” – it is a communicative process that is fleeting, cognitive, and happens in the moment. However, persuasion may also leave some sort of enduring record, such as a video recording, photograph, audio recording, or documents; these tangible records of persuasion are called “artifacts,” and will be what you analyze for this paper.
Select some sort of persuasive artifact to serve as the basis of your analysis. Do not attempt to use “borderline persuasion” for this assignment. You should use an artifact that meets all or nearly all of the criteria for “pure persuasion.”
This assignment will work best if you select something concrete, specific, and fairly concise. For example, you should NOT attempt to analyze “presidential campaign persuasion.” That is far too vague and general. Instead, you could pick a specific speech on a specific topic by a specific presidential candidate.
I strongly suggest that you discuss with me your plans for the artifact you will use so that I can help ensure that you are headed in a productive direction with your work.
You do not need to include a copy of this artifact with your paper, however, you must provide a sufficient reference so that if I want to retrieve and examine your artifact myself, I will be able to do that using the reference information you provide. Your artifact must be cited in the body of your paper AND entered in the list of references at the end of your paper. If it can’t be cited and referenced, it probably does not meet the assignment requirements.
Your paper must conform to APA 7th Edition style. This is a good resource: Guide to APA Style (Links to an external site.). An abstract is not required for this paper, but a properly formatted title page at the beginning of your paper is.
As in all of my classes, since this is a course in communication, how you communicate your ideas in this paper (i.e., grammar, spelling, proofreading, clarity, style, referencing, etc.) substantially influences my evaluation of your work. If your paper does not demonstrate university-level writing proficiency, your paper will receive no credit.
Your paper will probably end up being around 5 pages, should be double spaced,
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