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Professor David Zarefsky, Ph.D.

Professor David Zarefsky
  • Northwestern University
  • Northwestern University
It’s my belief that the most ethical way to go about influencing other people is through argumentation, which respects their individuality, and respects their freedom, and seeks their free assent.

Dr. David Zarefsky is the Owen L. Coon Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, where he has taught for over 30 years. He earned his B.S., master's degree, and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. From 1988 through 2000, he served as the Dean of the School of Speech.

A nationally recognized authority on rhetoric and forensics, he is a past president of the National Communication Association (NCA) and recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award in 1994 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2001. On no fewer than 13 occasions, his outstanding lecturing skills have been recognized by the inclusion of his name on Northwestern’s Associated Student Government Honor Roll for Teaching.

Dr. Zarefsky has authored five books, edited three more, and published over 50 scholarly articles and reviews. He received the 1986 National Communication Association’s Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address for his book President Johnson’s War on Poverty: Rhetoric and History and the same award again in 1991 for Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate.

Testimonials

"Dr. Zarefsky's lectures are propelled with vigor and academic passion which assures one of teaching excellence and scholastic know-how."

31 Courses and Sets

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31 Courses and Sets

  1. Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition Sale

    Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    David Zarefsky
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $34.95 $69.95 $34.95$69.95
    Reasoning, tested by doubt, is argumentation. We do it, hear it, and judge it every day. We do it in our own minds, and we do it with others. What is effective reasoning? And how can it be done persuasively? This is equally a course in argument and in reasoning. This course teaches how to reason. It teaches how to persuade others that what you think is right. And it teaches how to judge and answer the arguments of...
  2. Abraham Lincoln: In His Own Words

    Abraham Lincoln: In His Own Words

    David Zarefsky
    Starting at $129.95 Starting at $129.95 $179.95 $129.95$179.95
    Precisely because Lincoln is a national hero and legend, we have lost sight of some of his depth and complexity. His noble words-the Gettysburg Address especially-have become so familiar that we have almost lost the power truly to hear them. By tracing Lincoln's path to oratorical greatness, these lectures restore a full sense of his true stature.
  3. (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Economics, 3rd Edition  Set

    (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Economics, 3rd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Strengthen your ability to argue your own views successfully with Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition. Then, take an equally comprehensive look at the field of economics in Economics, 3rd Edition, which gives you a sophisticated grasp of the fundamentals of economics.
  4. (Set) Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    Discover the accessibility of two profoundly important fields of human endeavor. Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, 2nd Edition, 2nd Edition makes the key concepts and triumphs of this calculus accessible to all nonmathematicians, while Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition strengthens your ability to argue your views successfully.
  5. (Set) History of the English Language & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) History of the English Language & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Discover a wealth of new ideas about how we communicate with each other. In The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition, investigate the remarkable history of English, from the prose of King Alfred in the Middle Ages to the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. In Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, learn how to reason, how to persuade others that what you think is right, and how to judge...
  6. (Set)  Your Deceptive Mind & Argumentation Set

    (Set) Your Deceptive Mind & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Critical thinking and effective reasoning are the foundation of modern civilization. Learn how to effectively reason, using the art of argumentation to your advantage with Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, and then follow that up with A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking to learn how to get the best possible solution or compromise.
  7. (Set) Books That Have Made History & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Books That Have Made History & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life presents you with some of the most essential writings in human history and shows how you can put them to use in a moral and ethical life. Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition is your comprehensive guide to the learning and methods that make argumentation both possible in, and essential to, your everyday life.
  8. (Set) The Philosopher's Toolkit & Argumentation Set

    (Set) The Philosopher's Toolkit & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    What is effective reasoning? How can you do it calmly, without discounting your emotions? And how can it be done persuasively? In The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room, you gain the tools to be more creative, logical, inventive, realistic, and rational in your thinking and in all aspects of your daily life. And in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, learn...
  9. (Set) Analysis and Critique & Argumentation Set

    (Set) Analysis and Critique & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
  10. (Set) Your Guide to Using English Set

    (Set) Your Guide to Using English

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $589.80 Starting at $589.80 $1,139.80 $589.80$1,139.80
    Get a lively and practical guide to effective uses of English in this course foursome that will help you be more logical, engaging, and persuasive in both speech and writing. In Writing Creative Nonfiction, explore the entire process of writing creative nonfiction, from brainstorming for the perfect idea to getting your final product noticed by literary agents and publishers. In Argumentation: The Study of Effective...
  11. (Set) Art of Critical Decision Making & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Art of Critical Decision Making & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Discover the secrets and skills to becoming successful in two important everyday activities in this engaging and practical two-course set. The Art of Critical Decision Making explores how people and groups make effective choices, and provides you with techniques to enhance the effectiveness of your own decision making. Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition teaches you how to reason, how to...
  12. (Set) Joy of Mathematics & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Joy of Mathematics & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    Gain invaluable insights into the practical applications of mathematics and reasoning. In The Joy of Mathematics, discover the utility of this exciting field in everything from science and finance to games of chance. Then, strengthen your ability to successfully argue your views in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition.
  13. (Set) Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft & Argumentation, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft & Argumentation, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Strengthen your ability to write stylistically and argue your views successfully with the guidance of two award-winning professors. In Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft, you gain unique insights into the nature of great writing and learn how to achieve some of that greatness yourself. In Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, you learn how to reason, how to persuade others...
  14. (Set) Story of Human Language & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Story of Human Language & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Expand your understanding of human language and the ways you can use it to effectively argue your beliefs. The Story of Human Language charts the exciting development of language from a single tongue to the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today, while Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition teaches you how to reason, how to persuade others that what you think is right, and how to...
  15. (Set) No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life & Argumentation  Set

    (Set) No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Get a closer look at existentialism and its role in the broader area of philosophical argumentation and debate with these two courses. Visit a fascinating school of philosophical thought that examined life's most fundamental questions of individual responsibility, morality, and personal freedom with No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life. Then, learn how to reason, how to persuade others that what you...
  16. (Set) Philosophy of Religion & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Philosophy of Religion & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Philosophy of Religion invites you to explore the questions of divine existence with the tools of epistemology, the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with what we can know. Afterward, strengthen your ability to argue your own views successfully with Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition.
  17. (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason  Set

    (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    How can you most effectively argue your point? How can you best understand the world around you? Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition teaches you how to reason and how to persuade others that what you think is right. Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World through Experience and Reason helps you cut through deception and faulty reasoning to get to the essence of a matter.
  18. (Set) Writing Creative Nonfiction & Argumentation  Set

    (Set) Writing Creative Nonfiction & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Take your writing to the next level with this practical two-course set that pays dividends on the page and beyond. Explore the entire process of writing creative nonfiction, from brainstorming for the perfect idea to getting your final product noticed by literary agents and publishers, in Writing Creative Nonfiction. And in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, learn how to persuade people...
  19. (Set) The Art of Conflict Management & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning Set

    (Set) The Art of Conflict Management & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
  20. (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond  Set

    (Set) Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition & Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    Hone your skills of reason and rational decision making in this two-course set that has powerful implications for your personal and professional life. In Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, you'll learn key insights on how to persuade others that what you think is correct, how to judge and answer the arguments of others, and how others will judge arguments of yours. In Games People Play:...
  21. No Excuses: Existentialism; Th Set

    No Excuses: Existentialism; Th

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,219.65 Starting at $1,219.65 $2,394.65 $1,219.65$2,394.65
    It took 3,000 years for the ideas of Western philosophy to reach maturity. With these seven in-depth courses, however, you can encompass its broad scope in a matter of weeks. Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition focuses on the long intellectual debate about the nature of the self, the authority of experience, the right way to live life, and more, while Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition...
  22. (Set) Art of Public Speaking & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition Set

    (Set) Art of Public Speaking & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $219.90 Starting at $219.90 $454.90 $219.90$454.90
  23. (Set)  The Critical Thinkers Toolkit Set

    (Set) The Critical Thinkers Toolkit

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,289.70 Starting at $1,289.70 $1,529.70 $1,289.70$1,529.70
    To be a critical thinker, you have to embrace multiple facets in your approach. Learn how to look at challenges from every fundamental perspective with this comprehensive six-course set including Critical Decision Making and Game Theory. From approaching a conflict to persuasively arguing a point of view, this set will prepare you to think through, and effectively make, good choices.
  24. (Set) Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making & Thinking about Capitalism  Set

    (Set) Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making & Thinking about Capitalism

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $219.90 Starting at $219.90 $454.90 $219.90$454.90
    Learn new, economics-centered ways to think about decision making and capitalism with this two-course set. First, find out why "thinking like an economist" can give you newfound confidence in a range of financial and personal situations with Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making. Then, gain fresh insights into capitalism's history, its proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on...
  25. (Set) Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies takes you to the vibrant heart of 15 of the Bard's most masterful plays, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, and King Lear. Afterward, strengthen your own ability to successfully argue your views and ideas in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition.
  26. (Set) Art of Reading, Building Great Sentences & Argumentatio Set

    (Set) Art of Reading, Building Great Sentences & Argumentatio

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $389.85 Starting at $389.85 $764.85 $389.85$764.85
    Discover the secrets of great writing, artful reading, and effective reasoning with this enjoyable and accessible three-course set. First, investigate the myriad ways we think about, talk about, and write sentences in Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. Then, learn how to make your reading experiences more enriching and enjoyable with The Art of Reading, Afterward, strengthen your ability to...
  27. (Set) Effective Communication Skills & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Effective Communication Skills & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
    Achieve lasting success in your life with these two engaging and rewarding courses. In Effective Communication Skills, learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in doing so, and how you can improve your own effectiveness. And in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, learn how to reason, how to persuade others that what you think is right, and how to...
  28. (Set)  Argumentation, 2nd Edition & Questions of Value Set

    (Set) Argumentation, 2nd Edition & Questions of Value

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $259.90 Starting at $259.90 $509.90 $259.90$509.90
  29. (Set) Great Ideas of Philosophy & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning  Set

    (Set) Great Ideas of Philosophy & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $879.90 $429.90$879.90
    What are the greatest ideas of philosophical history? And how can you argue your own ideas? In The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition, survey the long chain of debate that began in ancient history and continues through our contemporary world. Then, strengthen your own ability to successfully argue your views and ideas in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition.
  30. (Set) Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator & Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    Enhance and improve your strengths as a teacher and instructor with this two-course set on the craft of effective teaching and reasoning. First, learn how to reach astounding new levels of success as a teacher with The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator. Then, strengthen your ability to argue your views successfully and persuade others that what you think is right with Argumentation: The Study of...