Classical Rhetoric with Aristotle
This text is by the same author and follows the same standards and format as Traditional Logic. Basically, it is a guided tour through Aristotle's Rhetoric, and you will need a copy of that book to complete the course. It covers the first two books of Aristotle's thoughts on writing and oratory, basically concerning the speaker and the audience. Those familiar with Aristotle will know that he valued content and quality of writing more than technique, and this study reflects that philosophy. It should be noted that this is not an introductory course on writing, but is meant to refine those skills that students should already have, for the specific purpose of persuasion. The book is well laid out and is designed so that students can be taught even by those with little experience with this topic. The course is designed to be consumable and will lead students every step of the way through a study on rhetoric over the course of a year. Tips on how teachers can grade the work and keep students accountable are included in the book. The first part of the course covers Book One of Aristotle's Rhetoric: "Rhetoric as it Concerns the Speaker." It starts with lessons on the scope and purpose of rhetoric and the definition and division of rhetoric.The rest of the speaker section is then divided into political, ceremonial, and forensic rhetoric, with several lessons per topic. The second part of the book then covers Book Two of Aristotle's Rhetoric: "Rhetoric as it Concerns the Audience". It then gives a basic introduction to Aristotle's views on the subject and gives lessons covering Pathos, Ethos, and Logos. The text includes several ways to test students and helps them to thoroughly review and understand the content. Reading Comprehension Questions are the main part of the course and are designed to help students glean as much from Aristotle's Rhetoric as possible by completing short answer questions. Evaluating Writing Assignments require that the student not only know what Aristotle said, but assess it on the basis of their own assumptions, which may differ from Aristotle's. Weekly Research and Writing Assignments are designed to apply the lessons the student has learned. Reading Lessons are made up of questions based on Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book, which are designed to help the student fully understand what, how, and why Aristotle says what he does. Logic and Latin Review Questions are review questions related to Traditional Logic. Though that book is not a prerequisite for this course and these questions can be skipped, the author does recommend completing that before beginning this. Finally, there are Case Study Analyses focusing on four speeches, which are classic examples of the three kinds of speeches discussed by Aristotle. Each case study is accompanied by questions relevant to the section of Aristotle just covered. These are designed as models for the students to imitate in their own persuasive discourse. The user-friendly format and multiple-aspects of reviewing make this a very complete review and guide for Aristotle's Rhetoric. A Teacher Key can be purchased separately and provides detailed answers for the lessons and exercises.
Classroom DVDs are also available which offer verbal instruction on every aspect of the course along with helpful graphics slides that help to explain lesson content. Downloadable lecture slides to accompany the DVDs are available from Memoria Press. ~ Rachel S.