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Course Spotlight

Journalist Robyn Doolittle (right) talks to Dr. Colleen Derkatch's Language of Persuasion class.

ENG 520 The Language of Persuasion








Toronto Star writer and Ryerson alumnus Robyn Doolittle visited Ryerson in Spring 2014 to speak to Dr. Colleen Derkatch’s Language of Persuasion class about the media rhetoric on Rob Ford. Doolittle is credited with breaking the Ford “crack scandal” of summer 2013, and her recently-published book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story describes her introduction to the now-infamous video and the ensuing aftermath for Ford, The Toronto Star and the city.

Doolittle’s talk highlighted both The Toronto Star's and Rob Ford’s rhetorical strategies to move, convince, and persuade their audiences. Dr. Derkatch guided the session, encouraging engaging and insightful dialogue between Doolittle and the class.

In The Language of Persuasion, students learn critical methods for the study of persuasion—the process through which we are induced, by various communicative means, toward certain beliefs and actions. Students learn procedures for examining how everyday “texts” such as TV shows, public events, news stories, scholarly articles, workplace interactions, and blogs make meaning and perform action in the social world. Doolittle’s visit demonstrated the relevance of The Language of Persuasion's study of the use of rhetorical techniques in cultural communication as a means to gain insight into our understanding of public issues facing Toronto.


Journalist Robyn Dooliitle visited an ENG 520 Language of Persuasion class to talk about politicial and media rhetoric relating to Toronto.

Journalist Robyn Doolittle (right) speaks to Dr. Colleen Derkatch's (left) Language of Persuasion class.