Presenting Your Case Effectively: Advocating for Oneself & One’s Family (GPS)

Students have a lot on their plate. When a problem arises – be it academic, family related, personal or professional – advocating for oneself and one’s family can feel like a daunting task, particularly if the stakes are high. Traditionally defined as the “art of persuasion”, rhetoric is a powerful tool that students can utilize to better communicate through the written word. What is the best way to present one’s case? How can emotions be conveyed strategically and diplomatically? When writing a letter, what should come first – the presentation of the problem or the suggested solution? This workshop will touch upon these questions by focusing on the strategic use of rhetoric in letter writing.

Pre-requisite: Students will prepare and bring with them to the workshop a claim letter/memo requiring adjustment when something has gone wrong.


Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic teaches business communication and media rhetoric at Innis College, U of T. She has also designed and taught courses in essay and report writing, rhetoric, grammar and stylistics. Her main areas of research and interest are focused in communication studies, namely communication in the blogosphere, rhetoric of war, spinning and framing tactics in the press. Viktoria is also co-founder, Communications Director of OnPoint Communications, a strategic communications consulting company.

Karolina Szymanski — Karolina Szymanski has worked at the University of Toronto for three years in various student-life related capacities. She has been intimately involved in a number of workshops and she has sat on the FCO’s Student Advisory Committee. In May, 2010, in response to student requests for more programming around self-advocacy, Karolina successfully facilitated a similar workshop at the “Embracing Effective Energies Conference” in her then role of Asst. Programming Officer with the School of Graduate Studies.

Doctoral stream students can take this course as part of the GPS Program. GPS is a new initiative from the School of Graduate Studies that comprises a variety of offerings that provide students a full range of optional opportunities for professional skills development at University of Toronto. Your successful completion of GPS will be recognized by a transcript notation.