Teaching Rhetoric: Resources
Rhetorical skill is the ability to make a good argument — to present your opinion and the facts that support it as persuasively as possible. Rhetorical training improves both the student’s speaking and writing ability. In the classical tradition, rhetoric is at the center of the high school years.
How can you teach rhetoric at home? Consider these resources…
Anthony Weston’s Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Press) is a brief introduction to writing and assessing arguments. Each chapter is organized around a specific rule, with plenty of examples and illustrations. It is easily available from bookstores; you can also order it from Greenleaf Press at 800-311-1508.
Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric is a classic text on constructing persuasive arguments. Aristotle’s text isn’t difficult to read in translation, and the Penguin edition (translated by Hugh Lawson- Tancred) is easily available for $12.95 through any bookstores.
The National Writing Institute’s Writing Exposition volume is an invaluable guide to techniques of argument — both good and bad. We highly recommend this for older students (tenth grade and above) who already write without difficulty. The exercises guide the student, step by step, through the construction of persuasive essays. You can order this by calling NWI at 800-688- 5375.
If you’re looking for a Christian perspective, try James Stobaugh’s Rhetoric: A Classical Writing and Speaking Course. This softcover workbook provides plenty of exercises and guides the student through argumentative writing techniques and through preparation of the research paper. You can order it from James Stobaugh at (610) 873-3768, or e-mail him at [email protected]
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