The art of writing is central to the practice of law; from memos to legislation to closing arguments, one has to craft language convincingly in order to shape people’s actions. In a way, too, literature is concerned with persuasion as well — not just within the actions of a given story, but also in the very act of bringing us into its world as readers. In this course, we will engage critically with both literary and legal texts in an attempt to tease out the forms and functions of persuasion. A small amount of substantive law will be touched upon in the course of our investigations, but this course requires no previous knowledge of the law. Although the course may be of particular interest to pre-law students, the type of writing assignments we will engage in should be useful for students in a variety of disciplines, from English to engineering.