While “rhetoric” may have negative connotations for many, in reality, rhetoric means “the art of persuasion.” In other words, in everyday argumentation, we all use rhetoric to persuade our audience to believe what we’re trying to convince them of.

The chapters linked out from below will introduce you to the basics of rhetorical argument, and attempt to answer some of the following questions:

  • What is rhetoric?
  • What is rhetorical analysis, and why is it important?
  • What are the rhetorical appeals?

Melanie Gagich and Emilie Zickel offer an introduction to rhetoric in Chapter 6: Thinking and Analyzing Rhetorically of their OER A Guide to Rhetoric, Genre, and Success in First-Year Writing.

For more reading, in her chapter, “Backpacks vs. Briefcases”, Laura Bolin Carroll discusses rhetoric, rhetorical analysis, and introduces the rhetorical appeals.

Writing Commons also provides a chart on rhetorical appeals.


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College Comp II Copyright © 2019 by Jude Miller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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