Principles of Persuasion and Argumentation

Final Writing Assignment For this assignment, you will compose a letter designed to recruit IDC students to join one of three unpopular student organizations and to support its agenda.  The organization which you will write about is assigned to your according to your last name. There will be no changes. 1.The STALP Collective STALP (Students Tired of Annoying Laptops) is dedicated to the prohibition of laptops anywhere on the IDC campus.    Students with last names starting with the letter A-G 2. CAFC  The Caucus for the Abolition of Free clothing attire. The Caucus seeks to eliminate distractions in college classrooms by requiring the IDC to wear IDC uniforms. H-R 3. MAFD The Male Female Divided wants IDC to separate male and female students in all classes on campus.   S-Z There will be two components to this assignment: Recruitment Letter Commentary/analysis Your recruitment letter must include six (6) different persuasive strategies discussed in the lectures and readings.  You can use tactics you studied elsewhere but they will not be counted. Each strategy must be used in the service of encouraging students to join the organization and/or endorse its cause.   In addition to your recruitment letter, you will also submit a commentary describing and analyzing the different strategies you used in the recruitment letter.   Papers should be submitted by Aug 21st, 12pm on Moodle Submissions are accepted ONLY as a WORD file. Papers submitted as a PDF will not be read.  ASSIGNMENTS TURNED IN LATE WILL BE PENALIZED 20% ON THE FIRST AND EACH SUBSEQUENT DAY THAT IT IS TURNED IN LATE.   The next page describes a series of requirements for the paper assignment.  Failure to satisfy these requirements will result in point penalties.  Please ask Sharon or Julia well in advance (NOT the night before the assignment is due!) if you have any questions about these requirements.  Also, failure to abide by the academic honesty policy described in the syllabus and maintained by the IDC will result in a grade of zero on the assignment and referral to the Dean of Students. Assignment Requirements The paper submitted must be in a WORD format. PDF will not be accepted. The paper will be submitted to the moodle.  You must use the following format for the recruitment letter and the commentary:  12-point Times New Roman font, half-spaced (NOT double-spaced) with narrow margins on all sides.   You must write about the organization assigned to you. There will be no switching. You must portray yourself as a recruitment officer – not the President, VP, etc. – of the organization described in your letter.  As a recruitment officer, you are not authorized to offer any rewards or bribes (gifts in the form of sports tickets, free meals, etc.) to people as an incentive to join the organization, nor are you allowed to make up fictional incentives (e.g., CAFC IDC members will have the opportunity to join a field trip to visit Rome and meet the Pope in the Vatican).  Your letter should focus exclusively on the merits of joining the organization based on a commitment to its cause. The recruitment letter must be no longer than 2 pages; the commentary must be no longer than 3 pages.  There is no lower page number boundary; however, if we think your letter or commentary is too brief to get the job done, we will count off. Your recruitment letter must include at least 6 (six) DIFFERENT strategies discussed in the lectures and/or readings.  You may use any strategy we have discussed EXCEPT for balance theory (which is too obvious) or deception (which isn’t persuasion per se) or granfalloon.  The deception here includes also “throwing a thrown ball”—if you promise something that you cannot fulfill. If you are not certain whether the strategies you’ve used are “different,” it is your obligation to contact us well before (NOT the night before) the assignment is due to find out.  If we deem two or more of your strategies not to be sufficiently different, you will get credit for only one.  You must use at least one persuasive appeal/strategy related to the source and at least one related to the heuristic of consistency and commitment. Persuasive appeals/approaches/tactics that were not discussed in our course—will not be counted.    Your commentary must identify each strategy/appeal (e.g., a door in the face, foot in the door, attractiveness, goodwill, authority, common ground, scarcity, social proof, strong language, etc.) used in your letter and describe the specific purpose(s) the strategy was used to achieve.  At a minimum, your description of each strategy should consist of at least two complete sentences.  You should start with a short theoretical explanation of each theory and tactic (e.g., what is the principle behind the door in the fact/scarcity/ etc and why it is persuasive. Then you need to explain how and why you applied this principle in your paper.  Your explanation needs to be specific and not vague. It is not sufficient to explain that you used the principle of liking because likable people are persuasive. You need to explain how you tried to achieve liking – by appealing to the audience’s common ground, or by choosing an attractive source, etc. Once again, if you chose an attractive source, you need to explain why attractive sources are likable and persuasive and how you tried to achieve that in your paper.    You may not lie under any circumstances.  Lies include falsifications and/or distortions of the truth about the student organization (e.g., Cell phones emit healthy radiation).  Also, you may not offer recruits bribes in any form (tickets, discounts, free food, etc.) as an incentive for joining the organization.  Lies here include using “a low ball.” Appeals on the grade given to you are accepted a week after you receive your grade and no longer than two weeks after you receive your grade. In other words, you have a week to appeal your grade. Grading Rubric We will use the following rubric to evaluate and grade your letter + commentary.   Assignment Component Possible Points Obtained Points Spelling, Grammar, Coherence Are the letter and commentary written in grammatical, coherent English sentences?  Has the assignment been spell-checked? 16 Strategy 1 Example / Commentary Is the example an acceptable instance of the strategy?  Is it different from the other strategies used?  Is the strategy correctly identified and adequately explained in the commentary? 14 Strategy 2 Example / Commentary 14 Strategy 3 Example / Commentary 14 Strategy 4 Example / Commentary 14 Strategy 5 Example / Commentary 14 Strategy 6 Example / Commentary 14 Lies/Deception/Bribes (-3 pts per instance) Total Score 100

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