Section: Composition   |   School: School of Rhetoric

Both Rhetoric courses carry the honors designation.

Rhetoric 1

Rhetoric I introduces students to the concepts and practical principles of the ancient art of rhetoric, the third part of the classical Trivium. Drawn largely from Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, the course trains students in using and applying the classical rhetorical canons to a variety of spoken and written assignments. In particular, students will learn how to think rhetorically as both producers and critics of persuasive communication, guided by knowledge of the rhetorical process, kairos and stasis theory, the common topics, and proofs.  Students will also continue to develop their skill in constructing well-organized essays and speeches, advancing their range of stylistic expression, preparation and delivery. Underlying this course is the assumption that excellent speech and writing is part of what brings glory to God and part of what brings us to enjoy Him.

Prerequisites: One year of formal Logic
Textbooks:  Specific texts vary by teacher

Rhetoric Refresher (Summer)

This summer course is designed to reinforce the practical skills in video-delivered speeches and essays as well as reviewing the basic topics covered in Rhetoric 1. It is also appropriate for students who have not taken Rhetoric 1 with WHA but are enrolled in Rhetoric 2/Senior Thesis.

Rhetoric 2/Senior Thesis

Rhetoric 2 emphasizes the kind of self-growth demanded by the risks of real-world persuasion, especially as it occurs in the kinds of situations that must be strategized carefully before speaking and writing eloquently. This level of instruction “opens the circle” of the student’s Rhetoric I experience by creating workshops that require the speaker/writer to become accessible to the community, outgoing toward the adversary or the indifferent, and accountable to the highest principles of civilization. Students review and apply the concepts and practical principles of the ancient art of rhetoric in more demanding situations, enabled by the “grammar of rhetoric” and enculturated by the Great Conversation that precedes them. The final stage of the course is a closely monitored tutorial experience that traverses the entire thesis process: from inquiry, through advocacy and defense, to polished final draft.

Prerequisites: Rhetoric 1 or permission of the instructor