Rhetoric Courses

Professors DavisL, Deal, DeisL, FryeL, Hardy, K. Weese; Associate Professors Nowlin, PerryS, Rand, Varholy; Senior Lecturers Cabas, Robbins, Schooling; Assistant Professor Horne; Visiting Assistant Professors Fedors, Fenimore, Gruder-Poni, Kale, Nace

Director: Lizabeth A. Rand

The requirements for a minor in Rhetoric are 19 hours, including Rhetoric 102, 210, 301, and 310. Students must also complete two courses from the following group: Rhetoric 360, Rhetoric 370, and English 380. Finally, students must take Rhetoric 481 during the fall or spring semester of their senior year. Students completing the Rhetoric minor who elect also to complete the Creative Writing minor (see under English) are allowed a one course overlap (Rhetoric 301).

RHETORIC 100. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION. This course emphasizes basic sentence grammar-parts of speech, sentence types, sentence combining, and major errors in sentence construction-and the basic elements of composition-thesis development, paragraphing, and selection and organization of evidence. Students also develop vocabulary and reading skills. Prerequisite: consent of the Director of the Rhetoric Program.

RHETORIC 101-102. (3-3)
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF GOOD WRITING. In this course students learn and practice the skills they need to write well. The course emphasizes reading, clear thinking, composing, revising, and editing, and in the process prepares students for other courses that demand careful reading, thinking, and writing. The course also provides a foundation of skills necessary to pass the Rhetoric Proficiency Examination. Prerequisite: for Rhetoric 101, none; for Rhetoric 102, Rhetoric 101, or consent of the Director.

RHETORIC 200. (0)
PROFICIENCY TUTORIAL. (No credit-equal to a three-hour course.) This is a tutorial course designed for those students who have not passed the timed Rhetoric Proficiency Examination after three attempts or have completed the equivalent of six semesters of enrollment without passing the examination. During the semester students review the principles of sound argumentative prose under the tutelage of an instructor and write three essays. Receiving a grade of Satisfactory on the three essays constitutes a demonstration of proficiency in writing and so satisfies the College's Rhetoric Proficiency Examination requirement.

RHETORIC 210. (3)
PUBLIC SPEAKING. Students study the art of speaking in public. Students develop their abilities in the following areas: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Emphasis is placed on learning the skills involved in speaking intelligibly, forcefully, and persuasively to an audience. During the course of the semester each student delivers four speeches. In addition, he critiques his own work and the work of his peers; he also analyzes several videotaped speeches from the "Great Speeches" series. He writes a mid-term examination that tests his knowledge of the principles of public speaking and his ability to analyze speeches. His final grade in the course reflects both his oral and his written work. Prerequisite: none.

RHETORIC 301. (3)
CREATIVE NONFICTION. This course is a workshop/seminar that helps students refine their writing skills. Students also read and analyze works of nonfiction prose in order to discover how one writes most effectively about complex issues and how writers develop a personal style and voice. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

RHETORIC 310. (3)
ADVANCED PUBLIC SPEAKING. This course, which builds on the foundations students acquire in Rhetoric 210, develops advanced students' ability to create and support sound propositions of fact, value, and policy. Through a review of the five classical canons of oratory (invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery) and an examination of representative classical and contemporary speeches, students learn to support and refute claims; to analyze the rhetorical situation and tailor their message accordingly; to employ and evaluate scholarly evidence; to recognize and avoid fallacies in reasoning; to use appropriate, effective, coherent language; and to deliver arguments with conviction and eloquence. The presentation of an argument in a public forum is an integral component of the course. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 210.

RHETORIC 360. (3)
TOPICS IN RHETORICAL TRADITIONS.  This course emphasizes the historical study of rhetorical principles and practices and examines the influence of particular historical periods, scholars/writers, or movements on the discourse of the time. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. 

RHETORIC 370. (3)
RHETORIC AND CULTURE
.  This course investigates the ways in which definitions of our identity (including definitions tied to class, gender, race and ethnicity, religion, and technology, among others) acquire cultural significance through written and oral expression.  Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. 

 RHETORIC 481. (1)
CAPSTONE FOR RHETORIC MINORS
.  This course is required for students seeking to complete a minor in Rhetoric; students must enroll in Rhetoric 481 during the fall or spring semester of their senior year.  Students discuss argument and persuasion and attend and evaluate events sponsored by the Rhetoric program (or other departments or programs) that focus on the act of writing or speaking in the public square.  During the semester, students demonstrate their own rhetorical skills by writing essays and by giving a speech in a public forum.  This class enrolls only seniors who have declared a Rhetoric minor.

updated 7/10/14