Persuasion tactics are essential for politicians to win votes and support for laws/policies
that they want to pass. Because we are close to a presidential election year, there are many
opportunities to see and hear speeches from candidates that use a variety of persuasion
tactics. For your first paper, you are to listen to one democratic and republican presidential
candidate’s speeches. Some of these are available on YouTube or on major news sites (if you
have problems locating any, please let me know).
Your task: watch/listen for two things: persuasion tactics and claims that the candidates make,
either about their own record or about their opposing party. There will be many claims, but for
this assignment you are to get at least 5 for each candidate on both sides. You are to then
check on the validity of these claims using a non-partisan fact-checking source. You can use
one of the following:,, or
After you have checked on the validity of the claims made by each candidate, you are to write a
3-4 page paper (not including title page and reference page- 5 sources required) about the
persuasion tactics used by each candidate, the audience and how this affected what the
candidates may have spoken about, how valid each candidate’s claims are, and your perceived
intent that these claims were to have on their audience.
In your paper, address the following questions: What impact were the claims made by each
candidate aimed to have? Did the particular audience they were addressing matter? Do you
think they would have taken another tactic with another audience? How could each candidate have
been more effective with a different audience? What types of emotions were the candidates
trying to evoke in their audience with the claims you selected? What impact do you think this
had on their persuasibility? What “source” factors do you think each candidate has that make
them persuasive? What “message” factors did they use and do you think they were effective?