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. (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 $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$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...
  2. (Set)  Argumentation, 2nd Edition & Questions of Value Set

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

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $509.90 Starting at $509.90 $509.90 $509.90$509.90
  3. (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.
  4. (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.
  5. (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...
  6. (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 $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$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...
  7. (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 $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$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...
  8. (Set) Argumentation, 2nd Edition & Economics, 3rd Edition  Set

    (Set) Argumentation, 2nd Edition & Economics, 3rd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$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.
  9. (Set) Writing Creative Nonfiction & Argumentation  Set

    (Set) Writing Creative Nonfiction & Argumentation

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$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...
  10. (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 $384.90 Starting at $384.90 $454.90 $384.90$454.90
  11. (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 $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$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.