Persuasive Argumentation for Lawyers – GOVT 476

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course will introduce undergraduate students to the basic principles and skills of advocacy in the American courtroom. Students will study principles of analysis, reasoning, evidence, organization and presentation needed to develop and offer legal arguments. The course will cover both pre-court preparation of legal arguments as well as the skills of identifying evidential issues and then creating persuasive arguments to support legal theories.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course is to expose the student to the introductory skills and techniques necessary to perform in a courtroom. The student will learn how to analyze, prepare, and present legal theories at the trial and appellate court levels. It is important for each student in the School of Government to understand the fundamental steps in pre-trial and trial preparation, how to identify legal issues, and the skills necessary to create persuasive arguments.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation in Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 classmate’s thread. Each reply must be at least 125 words. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in Bluebook format.

Activity Assignments (4)

After reviewing the Learn material provided for the assigned Module: Week, the student will complete a corresponding activity in which he or she will respond to prompts, supporting his or her answers with information from the Learn material and at least 2 scholarly sources. Responses must be well organized, use proper grammar, and follow current Bluebook format. Each Activity must be no longer than 2 pages.

Field Experience Paper Assignment

The student will write a 4–6-page research-based paper in current Bluebook format that focuses on a field experience. The paper must include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Quizzes (2)

Each quiz will cover the reading material for the assigned module: week and may incorporate material from prior modules: weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain 7 essay questions. The time limit for each test will be 2 hours.