The Power of Persuasion
Assignment 1: Laying the Foundations for Making a Case
Due: Week 3
Skill(s) Being Assessed: Problem Solving (Information Literacy)
Criteria for Success: In this assignment, you will:
- Define a topic for a persuasive proposal, and explain the importance of the topic to you within the context of the scenario and your own life/career.
- Describe the potential audience for a persuasive proposal and the importance of the topic to the audience within the context of the scenario.
- Identify five credible sources, including one opposing source, relevant to your chosen topic.
- Summarize each source, including the who, what, when, where, and why. Summaries are clear and concise (1–2 complete sentences each).
- Describe how each source would be used to support the persuasive argument, including an analysis of the credibility and relevance of the source.
- Discuss how the selection of effective, purposeful sources represents a variety of perspectives and an ethical approach to research.
- Produce writing that is clear and well organized and applies appropriate SWS style. Writing contains accurate grammar, mechanics, and spelling.
What to Submit / Deliverables: A completed Assignment 1 Template (downloaded from the Webtext), and completed as a Microsoft Word document.
What is the value of doing this assignment? In your personal, academic, and professional life, you will encounter countless situations where you will need to convince family members, friends, coworkers, committees, and other audiences to adopt new policies, consider different processes and perspectives, or make changes that will impact others. Being able to convince others will allow you to have a voice in your own life and impact the lives of others. In order to do this, you will need to develop strategies for persuasion. You will be more convincing if you are able to provide credible evidence to support your point. Having valid and credible evidence to support your arguments plays a large role in how persuasive you are, how others receive your information, and the credibility you can build for yourself.
In this assignment, you will also have the opportunity to practice your problem solving skill by locating and analyzing sources for validity and credibility. You will analyze how information is used to persuade audiences to adopt or change perspectives and also examine ethical considerations. You will then build upon the information you have gathered and analyzed to plan and write a persuasive proposal in Assignments 2 and 3. Additionally, the information literacy strategies you are practicing can be applied to any source you encounter in the course of your daily life. By understanding how to identify what a source is really saying, you can search for the subtle ways in which it is trying to persuade you. Also, when you understand how to tease out the true meaning of a source, you can better equip yourself to determine if it will be of use to you as you communicate with and attempt to persuade others.
Further, you will continue to develop your innovation skill by brainstorming and considering different solutions for your proposal. You will have the opportunity to select a topic that has some meaning for you and clearly articulate your goal in putting together a persuasive proposal. Having clarity around the topic and goal of your persuasive communications can help you better identify evidence to support your argument. When you are transparent and ethical about your proposal and provide valid evidence, you will have a better chance of making a real impact in the world.
Your goal for this assignment is to: Build your problem solving skill by locating credible and valid sources of evidence and analyzing how those sources can be used to support a persuasive argument in an ethical manner. This assignment will help you define the topic and initial sources of evidence that you will use in Assignments 2 and 3.
Steps to complete: In Week 3, submit your assignment in Blackboard by following these steps:
STEP 1: Review the scenarios below, which you were introduced to in Week 1. If you have not already, choose the scenario you will use as the basis of your assignment. Then, review Assignment 1 in the webtext.
If you are wondering which scenario would be best to choose, think about concerns, issues, or projects that you are passionate about in your own life and career. For example, if you keep coming back to how the empty lot on your block would make a great community garden space, you may want to consider choosing Scenario 1. If your workplace is experiencing a delay in receiving supplies, and you want to explore a solution to this problem, you may want to consider choosing Scenario 2.
Scenario 1: You are trying to convince a community group or municipal committee to provide funding for a particular event or initiative to benefit the area (you may also take the stance of asking for a particular policy to be changed). How will you persuade the committee to change their minds?
Example Topics for Community Proposals
- Converting existing space into a new park, garden, playground, or community center.
- Funding for a celebratory cultural diversity event.
- New recycling or conservation program.
- Fundraising event for a particular program or cause you support.
- Preserving a cultural monument or artifact.
- Instituting or removing a community curfew.
- Transportation options (e.g., bike lanes, bike sharing, other options to reduce traffic).
Scenario 2: Your office, department, or company has a problem (perhaps as simple as training, purchase of supplies, flexible scheduling, off-site working, criteria for filling a position, or any number of other problems). Several solutions have been proposed, but none have proven satisfactory. You have analyzed the problem and developed what you think is a good solution. How will you convince the committee in charge of solving the problem to accept your solution?
- Training employees in new software or a new process.
- Budgeting issues to cover supplies or travel.
- Flexible scheduling.
- Off-site working.
- Criteria for filling a position or finding the right employee for a particular position.
- Reducing turnover or improving employee satisfaction.
- Data privacy or monitoring.
- Fitness at work.