Endangered Species: A professor who can write

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

We found one!

“The word rhetoric is thrown about in mostly negative ways—accuse someone of employing rhetoric and you have implied a lack of sincerity or content (which is why the commonly used phrase is “empty” rhetoric),” Chad Chisholm writes in The Intercollegiate Review. “Yet in its classical sense, rhetoric means the use of language (whether in speech or text) to persuade an audience.”

“Let’s consult the rhetoricians of Ancient Rome, for example. The Roman teachers were acutely aware of the role of audience. Quintilian—who taught oratory in the early years of the Roman Empire—speaks of arguing before ‘judges’ because an audience was likely to be a person or group that was going to make a decision on your proposal.
In a similar way, your college paper proposes an argument to a professor in the hopes of receiving a good grade. It’s important for you, then, to consider the rhetoric of your essay.”

Chisholm teaches at Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina and gives some excellent writing advice in his article in the IR.