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
    4 out of 5
    65% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (121)
    Save up to $215.00 Starting at $29.95 $254.95 $29.95$254.95
    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
    4.8 out of 5
    77% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (67)
    Starting at $129.95 Starting at $129.95 $129.95 $129.95$129.95
    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) 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.
  4. (Set) Prime Thinking Skills  Set

    (Set) Prime Thinking Skills

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,779.60 Starting at $1,779.60 $2,104.60 $1,779.60$2,104.60
    In today's 21st-century marketplace, it pays to be an effective critical thinker; to have the specific knowledge and skills necessary for success in both the workplace and at home. With these Great Courses, you'll find information and strategies aimed at transforming you into a prime thinker. Make smarter, savvier decisions. Hone your reading and interpretation skills. Tap into the secret knowledge of how experts...
  5. (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 $509.90 Starting at $509.90 $509.90 $509.90$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.
  6. (Set)  Your Deceptive Mind & Argumentation Set on sale

    (Set) Your Deceptive Mind & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $421.00 Starting at $61.90 $509.90 $61.90$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. No Excuses: Existentialism; Th Set

    No Excuses: Existentialism; Th

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $2,394.65 Starting at $2,394.65 $2,394.65 $2,394.65$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...
  8. (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 $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$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...
  9. (Set) Art of Reading, Building Great Sentences & Argumentatio Set

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $644.85 Starting at $644.85 $764.85 $644.85$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...
  10. (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...
  11. (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 $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$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.
  12. (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:...
  13. (Set) Your Guide to Using English Set

    (Set) Your Guide to Using English

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $964.80 Starting at $964.80 $1,139.80 $964.80$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...
  14. (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 $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$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.
  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 $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$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) 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 $744.90 Starting at $744.90 $879.90 $744.90$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.
  17. (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 $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
  18. (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 $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$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...
  19. (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 $384.90 Starting at $384.90 $454.90 $384.90$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...
  20. (Set) Analysis and Critique & Argumentation Set

    (Set) Analysis and Critique & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90