University of Calgary
Faculty of Communication and Culture
Communications Studies (COMS) 591.03
Winter 2006
Wednesday 14:00-16:50, SH 0157

Instructor: Dr. Robert M. Seiler
Office: SS 308 / 220-4842
Office hours: by appointment


This course was designed as a seminar for senior communications studies students. This section offers students the opportunity to view communications studies through the prism of a particular concept, namely, Persuasion. Thus, this course explores the major theories of Persuasion, as they operate in the five primary modes of communication (the linguistic, the iconic, the musical, the social/gestural, and the logical/mathematical), and gives students an opportunity to apply the knowledge they have already acquired to practical situations. Accordingly, the assignments assist students in the process of bringing together theory and practice.



Cialdini, Robert B. 2001. Influence: Science and Practice. 4th edn. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Book of Readings for Communications Studies 591.03 (Winter 2006). Additional course materials will be posted on the COMS 591 Web site, available at


  1. Class Presentation, worth 30%, broken down thus:

    Proposal and preliminary bibliography, worth 10% Due: No earlier than January 18th
    Presentation in class, worth 20%; Variable: TBA

  2. Term Paper, worth 35%. This paper is due March 29th

  3. Class Participation, worth 10%

    Students must be prepared to make a significant contribution to class discussion, based on the readings assigned for the day. They are also expected to participate in the question period following each student's presentation.

  4. Take-home final exam, worth 25%

    Students must receive a passing grade on the final exam in order to pass the course.

Please note:

Campus Security will escort individuals day or night: call 220-5333 for assistance. Use any campus phone, such as the emergency phone or the yellow phone located at most parking lot pay booths.