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Jeffrey Walker, Chair PAR 3, Mailcode B5500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6109

Summer 2006

RHE f330E • Rhetorical Theory: Major Statements

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
88415 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
PAR 103

Course Description

From its origins in ancient Greece and down to the present day, rhetoric has been a central and defining part of the Liberal Arts, offering principles and precepts useful for the creation and critical analysis of discourse in such varied fields as politics, law, literature, science, history, philosophy, education, business, religion, and the sciences. At the same time, the very notion of what rhetoric is, or should be, has always been contested - so that "the rhetorical tradition" really consists of competing and intertwining strands of thought, which in turn foster different approaches to rhetorical art, training, and the actual practice of persuasive speech and writing in practical, civic, and literary contexts. This course, then, will introduce and examine several major theories of rhetoric, and key rhetorical concepts, both classical and modern.

Students will do several short writing assignments involving the analysis, critique, and/or application of rhetorical ideas, and one longer assignment. Grading will be based on these assignments and classroom participation.


Plato, Phaedrus
Aristotle, Rhetoric and Poetics
Cicero, De Oratore (On the Ideal Orator)
Kenneth Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives
Various handouts and selected examples for rhetorical analysis


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