• Offered by ANU College of Law
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History , Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Sonia Pertsinidis
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

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 in a range of contexts, including legal. 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, law, advertising and marketing and there will be opportunities for students to practise their skills in persuasive writing and discourse. Students will have opportunities to analyse the rhetorical techniques deployed in legal judgments and guest lecturers will specifically address the art of persuasion in the legal context, particularly with respect to advocacy in court.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. formulate structured, persuasive, clear and fluent forms of spoken discourse in general, and legal discourse in particular;
  2. construct and recognize logical, reasoned legal arguments in written discourse;
  3. critically analyse different methods of persuasion, including media, advertising, political and legal discourse;
  4. apply a high level of precision and style in oral and written legal communication and reflect on its effectiveness in different contexts;
  5. evaluate the role of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome and the influence of ancient rhetoric on modern discourse.

Other Information

Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive basis with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the Law Course Search . Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.

Indicative Assessment

  1. First speech (15) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  2. Research essay (30) [LO 2,3,4,5]
  3. Second speech (25) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  4. Final Exam (30) [LO 2,3,4,5]

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Workload

Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Bachelor of Laws (ALLB) and have completed or be completing five 1000 level LAWS courses; or Juris Doctor (MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed CLAS3000 Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion in the Ancient and Modern Worlds

Prescribed Texts

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
34
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7066 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 Online or In Person N/A

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