Rhetorical Arts

This course teaches an integrated set of skills, competencies, and knowledge that enables students to engage in public debate with persuasive force and stylistic excellence. It emphasizes such rhetorical concepts as invention, arrangement, claims with supporting evidence, exigency and audience. Emerging out of Renaissance humanism, Jesuit rhetoric (or Eloquentia Perfecta) developed the classical ideal of the good person writing and speaking well for the public good and promotes the teaching of eloquence combined with erudition and moral discernment. Developing this tradition in light of modern composition study and communication theory, the Rhetorical Arts course complements the other Foundation courses with topics such as ethics and communication, virtue and authority, knowledge and social obligation. The objectives of the Rhetorical Arts course are to foster critical thinking, moral reflection, and articulate expression. Ultimately, the Rhetorical Arts course furthers the development of essential skills in written and oral communication and information literacy, as well as providing opportunities for active engagement with essential components of the Jesuit and Marymount educational traditions. More specifically, students will

  • have written and oral communication skills that enable them to express and interpret ideas—both their own and those of others—in clear language.
  • understand the rhetorical tradition and apply this knowledge in different contexts.
  • refine foundational skills in critical thinking obtained in the FYS.
  • distinguish between types of information resources and how these resources meet the needs of different levels of scholarship and different academic disciplines.
  • identify, reflect upon, integrate, and apply different arguments to form independent judgments.
  • conceptualize an effective research strategy, and then collect, interpret, evaluate and cite evidence in written and oral communication.


Related CTE Events

Resources for the Rhetorical Arts Class

Rhetorical Arts and Eloquentia Perfecta

Selection of Reading and Writing Sources

  • Beaufort, A.(2007). College Writing and Beyond: A New Framework for University Writing Instruction.
  • Bean, J.C. (2011). Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom.
  • Bean, J.C., Chappell, V.A., Gillam, A.M. (2014). Reading Rhetorically. [Student Audience - full of good explanations, examples, and applications]
  • Dehaene, S. (2010). Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read.
  • Graff, G., Birkenstein, C., Durst, R. (2012). They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings.
  • Parfitt, M. (2011). Writing in Response.
  • Ramage, J.D., Bean, J.C., Johnson, J. (2012). Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings.
  • Roen, D., Pantoja, V., Yena, L., Miller, S.K., Waggoner, E. (2002). Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition.
  • Rosenwasser, D., Stephen, J. (2008). Writing Analytically with Readings.

Selection of Writing Handbooks

  • Bullock, R., Weinberg, F. (2011). The Little Seagull Handbook.
  • Gordon, K.E. (1993). The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed.
  • Hacker, D., Summers, N. (2009). The Bedford Handbook.
  • Lunsford, A. (2009). EasyWriter.
  • Moore Howard, R. (2013). Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research.
  • Strunk, W., White, E.B. (1999). The Elements of Style.

Selected Online Writing Resources

Approved Course Proposals

Course Syllabi