COMM 339 -- Persuasion 

Dr. Lee McGaan  

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Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016



This assignment requires you to  A.) consider what constitutes ethical behavior by individuals (including yourself) in complex communication settings,  and B.) find connections between your position and the core values of communication and/or American culture that many professionals believe should serve as the basis for persuasion ethics.


For this assignment you should --

  • Write a short paper (2-4 double-spaced pages containing a clear thesis and the usual introduction, body and conclusion) that analyzes the ethical problems presented in ONE of the ethics cases available for this assignment.

  • In your paper,

    • Identify what is the ethical problem or issue. 

    • Provide a clear statement indicating what you believe the person who must make an ethical decision in the case should do (that person's name is highlighted in yellow and underlined in the case)

    • Provide support and justification for your position (thesis)

    • In order to justify and support your position use at least one of the two Ethical Traditions we discussed in class using several of the criteria listed under one or both of the perspectives. (see Persuasion Ethics)
      [ Section 2 - you may justify your answer by using at least one of the three frameworks (consequentialist, deontological, or virtue ethics) presented by Isabel Fay instead of the two ethical traditions, if you wish.  Otherwise, you may use the two traditions as noted above.


Grades will be based on ...

  1. The thoughtfulness of your analysis, including the clarity of your thesis, and the clarity and specificity of your guidelines for action;  

  2. The correct use of terms and concepts from the ethical perspectives we discussed in class that you use in your essay as providing support/justification for your guidelines; and 

  3. The overall quality of your writing (e.g. coherent paragraphs, correct mechanics of writing, etc.)  

Grades will  NOT be influenced by the particular ethical standards (from the two traditions) you use or by the specific conclusions you advocate and support in the paper.  However, if your essay primarily justifies the conclusion you propose in terms of how actions will help the person in the case "get his/her way," then you will not be dealing with ethics and your grade will suffer.  As always, proofread and correct errors.  Impress me with what a credible student you are!


Paper Due:  Friday, September 9

Last updated 9/1/2016