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Argumentation and Persuasion


Admission Requirements

A BA-degree in Nederlandse taal en cultuur or another linguistically oriented BA-degree


Recent years have shown increasing polarization in public debate and a prominent role of digital media in this debate. Both developments call for analytical concepts that go beyond the traditional tools offered by theories of argumentation and rhetoric. In this seminar we start with a very short review of the traditional pragma-dialectical method of analysis and evaluation, and the most important analytical concepts from rhetoric. Next, we will study and discuss a selection of recent attempts made by scholars from different theoretical backgrounds to capture the intricacies of contemporary public discourse. We will deal with new insights into, for instance, fallacies, argumentative patterns, and commitment to implicit premises and standpoints, and study the role of these concepts in activity types such as YouTube influencer videos, conspiracy theories, and defenses against being cancelled. In this course you will become a skilled analyst of argumentative discourse in various settings, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed for its evaluation.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students are able to:
1. Report, both orally and in writing, on recent developments within argumentation studies;
2. Draft a relevant research question that is based on a literature review, and examine this question in a written text in a systematic way;
3. Prepare and provide, together with other students and according to specified instructions, a one-hour class workshop on the topic of that week;
4. Lead a class discussion and provide constructive feedback to the presentations and remarks of fellow students.

Extra course objective for ICLON students:

De student heeft er blijk van gegeven te kunnen reflecteren op het thema van de cursus in relatie tot het curriculum op het v.o.


The timetables are available through My Timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method an weighing

  • Presentations, assignments and participation: 30%

  • Written reflection + oral examination: 70%

Your written reflection and oral examination grade should be 5.5 or higher, and the weighted average of your grade should also be 5.5 or higher.

Students of the research master Linguistics should write a more elaborate reflection and take more sources into account.


There is one resit opportunity for the written reflection and/or the oral examination; there is no resit for the other assessment components.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A list of readings will be provided in Brightspace
You can find there how to prepare for the first meeting.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


Not applicable