The course aims at providing students with the methodology to analyze linguistic tools that create persuasion and to build effective argumentative texts. To this purpose, the basic components of language and communication will be described, and the different dimensions of linguistic variation will be highlighted. The most important figures of speech will be analyzed and classified. Basic elements of argumentation theory will be introduced, with special reference to advertising and journalistic texts.
teacher profile | teaching materials


This is an introductive course to the study of the role of language in communication, and to the persuasion strategies, that can help to uphold and confirm one’s own opinion. The course is composed of two parts. The first module involves the analysis of the linguistic units in order to better understand how language works in communication. In the second part, the major landmarks in the development of the debate between dialectics and rhetoric will be mentioned, and the basic elements of argumentation theory as well as the most relevant figures of speech will be analyzed. In addition to theoretical notions, practice exercises will coach students to recognize persuasion strategies in the texts, with special regard to the advertising and journalistic ones.

Core Documentation

1st part
- Fiorentino, Giuliana, La lingua nella comunicazione. Corso di linguistica generale, Le Monnier Università, Milano-Firenze, 2020 (capp. 1-2, 5-9).

2nd part
- Mortara Garavelli, Bice, Il parlar figurato. Manualetto di figure retoriche, Laterza, Bari-Roma, 2011.
- Lo Cascio, Enzo, Persuadere e convincere oggi. Nuovo manuale dell'argomentazione, Academia, Milano, 2009 (capp. 1-5, 7, 11-12; del cap. 12 solo §§ 12.1, 12.6-12.7).

Type of delivery of the course

The exams will be written, and will include exercises and open questions.

Type of evaluation

The exams will be written, and will include exercises and open questions.