What Are the Different Types of Rhetoric Classes?

G. Wiesen

Rhetoric classes are often categorized based on the types of subjects covered in the class and the level of familiarity students entering the class are expected to have. Introductory classes, for example, are those that new students often take to begin learning about its history as well as basic concepts often included in rhetorical discussions. More advanced classes are offered by many colleges and universities to allow students to focus on a greater understanding of rhetoric. There are also rhetoric classes offered by some schools that focus on a particular application or type of rhetoric such as political rhetoric or an analysis of rhetoric as it relates to modern technology.

A boy giving a speech.
A boy giving a speech.

A number of schools teach rhetoric classes. The basic idea behind rhetoric usually concerns an understanding of how people communicate and the different ways in which persuasive or effective arguments can be formed. Studies of rhetoric have changed over the millennia since it was first explored as a subject, and many modern rhetoric classes focus on subjects other than those considered in Ancient Greece.

Many schools offer introductory rhetoric classes that help students learn about the basic principles of rhetoric. Students often learn the different terms used in discussing rhetoric, such as “logos,” “ethos,” and “pathos,” as well as developing an understanding of the history behind it. These classes might apply this understanding to modern contexts and allow students to better understand how persuasive arguments are formed.

More advanced rhetoric classes are also offered by many colleges and universities, allowing students to further their understanding of rhetorical concepts. These classes often focus on more advanced applications of rhetoric in modern communication and classical examples. Students in these classes may need to analyze speeches given by politicians or business leaders for the use of rhetorical devices and demonstrate an understanding of various applications of rhetoric. Though somewhat similar to the topics covered in introductory classes, these activities are often more complex in nature.

There are also many schools that offer rhetoric classes in specific subjects, applying rhetorical ideas to particular contexts. A school might offer courses in political rhetoric, for example, that allow students to focus more heavily on understanding how politicians use different devices to create more persuasive arguments. These types of rhetoric classes can focus on a wide range of different subjects, usually depending on topics that are relevant and important in the modern world. Such subjects can include anything from rhetoric and technology to the use of rhetoric in scientific discussions and how it is used to alter language on a wide scale.

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