ENGL 355 Rhetoric of Style
ENGL 355 Rhetoric of Style

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ENGL 355 Rhetoric of Style

Course Description

Welcome to Rhetoric of Style. In this class, unlike other rhetoric classes you may have taken, we will be less concerned with persuasion as such and more concerned with the rhetorical tradition of eloquence. Eloquence is a strategy of persuasion, it is what makes our ideas palatable to our audiences, but it is also and more importantly concerned with linguistic excellence in and of itself. As such, while we will always bear persuasion in mind, this course is designed to help you become a better and more thoughtful writer.

Meeting Location / Time

LAAH 372, TR 11:10PM-12:15PM


All writing has style. To say otherwise is to view style as something that has been added on later, and this view has been used to reject style in the rhetorical tradition at key moments throughout history. Style, then, for the purposes of this course will be all the decisions writers make in crafting their products. So even something as boring as a lab report or as everyday as a cellphone bill will be viewed as having a style, just maybe a style that our training in writing has conditioned us to see as the opposite of style: clarity. However, as we will find in class, clarity is a particular style, amongst many others. Throughout this course, we will read and write in a variety of different styles to better understand how writerly choices ultimately structure how we think about the ethos, pathos, and logos of rhetoric.

Learning Objectives

In this course, students will

  • Become better writers through an understanding of the choices writers make to accomplish particular goals and produce particular effects.
  • Identify the means by which writers communicate their purpose to audiences.
  • Analyze their writing and the writing of others for stylistic devices.
  • Explain the relationship between stylistic devices and rhetorical appeals in writing.

Class Notes

Plan on bringing a pen or pencil to every class. We will be working with paper!