• Class Number 7617
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Sonia Pertsinidis
    • Dr Sonia Pertsinidis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course revives the study of the ancient art of persuasion (or rhetoric) for the twenty-first century, educating students in the skills necessary to become more persuasive communicators. Beginning with a study of the fundamental elements of ancient rhetoric as set out by Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, we will examine some of the most famous examples of persuasive speech from the ancient world, including the appeal to Achilles in Homer’s Iliad, Socrates' Apology, and the speeches of Cicero. We will then apply our knowledge of rhetorical style to an analysis of famous examples of persuasive discourse and writing from the modern era, such as Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", John F. Kennedy's "Inaugural Address" and the speeches of Winston Churchill, Sir Robert Menzies and Paul Keating. The course will examine the role of persuasion in modern politics, advertising and marketing and there will be opportunities for students to practise their skills in persuasive writing and discourse.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. formulate structured, persuasive, clear and fluent forms of spoken discourse;
  2. construct and recognize logical, reasoned arguments in written discourse;
  3. analyse different methods of persuasion, including media, advertising, and political discourse;
  4. acquire a high-level of precision and style in oral and written communication; and
  5. develop an understanding of the role of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome and the influence of ancient rhetoric on modern discourse. 

Required Resources

Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric (transl. H.C. Lawson-Tancred), Penguin, 1991.

E. Corbett and R. J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (4th ed.)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Real Rhetoric versus ‘Mere’ Rhetoric; the Development of Classical Rhetoric and its Influence
2 The Sophists and Speech Training; Socrates and Plato
3 Aristotle’s Rhetoric; the Kinds of Speech and the Parts of Speech
4 Style and Figures of Speech; Preparation, Memory and Delivery
5 Cicero and Roman Political Rhetoric
6 Quintilian and Roman Education First Speech delivered and submitted
7 The Rhetoric of War: Hitler and Churchill
8 'I Never Will be Silent': Great Female Orators of the Modern Era
9 American Political Oratory Research Essay due end of week 9
10 Australian Political Oratory
11 Rhetoric and Law; Persuasion in the Courtroom
12 Rhetoric in Marketing and Advertising; Rhetoric Today Second Speech delivered and submitted Final exam held during exam period

Tutorial Registration

Registration for tutorials is required - please refer to the Wattle site for details

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
First Speech 15 % 1,2,4,5
Research Essay 30 % 2,3,4,5
Second Speech 25 % 1,2,4,5
Final Exam 30 % 2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

First Speech

Nature of Task: A key component of this course involves studying different kinds of speeches, the parts of a speech, various stylistic devices, and techniques of memorization and delivery. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in a practical way by preparing and delivering a short speech on a designated topic. This is an opportunity for the student to gain peer and lecturer feedback on their speech writing and oral communication skills.

Weighting: 15%

Word Limit: 600 words

Duration: 5-6 minutes

Release: Beginning of Week 6

Due date: End of Week 6

Estimated return date: Within 2 weeks

Assessment Criteria: Students will be assessed on the composition and content of their speech as well as their performance and delivery.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Nature of Task: Students are to research and write an essay on an aspect of classical rhetoric. This is an opportunity for the student to construct and recognise logical, reasoned legal arguments and to critically analyse different methods of persuasion.

Weighting: 30%

Word Limit: 2500 words

Release: Beginning of Week 2

Due date: End of Week 9

Estimated return date: Within 2 weeks

Assessment Criteria: Students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of competency in research and analysis. Students will be assessed on their ability to develop a structured and persuasive argument and to comply with the university's requirements regarding citation and referencing.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Second Speech

Nature of Task: Students are to prepare and deliver a longer speech on a self-selected topic. This is an opportunity for the student to apply their knowledge in a practical way and to gain peer and lecturer feedback on their improved speech writing and oral communication skills.

Weighting: 25%

Word Limit: 1000 words

Duration: 10 minutes

Release: Beginning of Week 12

Due date: End of Week 12

Estimated return date: Within 2 weeks

Assessment Criteria: Students will be assessed on the composition and content of their speech as well as their performance and delivery.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Final Exam

Nature of Task: Final examination during the examination period. The exam is designed to test students' learning and understanding of the readings and key topics covered in the lectures.

Weighting: 30%

Word Limit: 1000 words

Duration: 1 hour

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Sonia Pertsinidis

Research Interests

Dr Sonia Pertsinidis

Monday 14:00 15:00
Monday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Dr Sonia Pertsinidis

Research Interests

Dr Sonia Pertsinidis

Monday 14:00 15:00
Monday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions