Michigan Ross School of Business
Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication

University of Michigan Persuasion Courses


Persuasion is part of many disciplines. Aspects of its study appear in courses across several University of Michigan departments. Some of those courses appear here. We will augment the list as more information becomes available.

  • “Advertising Rhetoric”

    Jeffrey Heath, professor of linguistics, teaches Linguistics 305. Students consider how verbal and visual advertising messages are interpreted by consumers in their cultural context. They learn to analyze them taking into account the inherent contradictions in most advertising. For example, consumers want safe, roomy, comfortable cars that are also compact sporty and exciting. Creative projects as well as papers and exams are part of class requirements. The course is designed for students with no art background with junior standing or above; it is not open to students from the School of Art and Design.

    > Sample syllabus and more information (PDF)

  • “Visual Persuasion”

    Karen Markey, professor in the School of Information, teaches SI 557. The course considers the contribution of visual images to persuasive communication and the characteristics that distinguish visual images from other forms of communication. Students examine visual persuasion in everyday life, learn how to manipulate it to deliver a persuasive message and discover how it influences behavior. They also learn strategies to protect themselves from unwanted messages conveyed by images, and how to use persuasive imagery responsibly in their own creations.

    > Sample syllabus and more information

Dyson's Market Success

By applying physics concepts and saying "goodbye to the bag,” Dyson's eye-catching, modern, vacuum cleaner design won it market success.

Dyson vacuum 1983