Book

Rhetorical Style

Jeanne Fahnestock

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199764129
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918928 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764129.001.0001
Rhetorical Style

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Rhetorical Style promotes a renewed appreciation of the persuasive potential of the English language by demonstrating how language choices argue. It combines advice about effective style from the rhetorical tradition with insights from stylistics and discourse analysis to provide a full spectrum of methods for text analysis. Using examples from political speeches, nonfiction works, and newspaper reports, it emphasizes the continuing relevance of rhetorical principles of stylistic analysis and their usefulness in understanding effective arguments. Rhetorical Style is comprehensive in its coverage. Part I reviews the historical layers of English, its methods of word formation, its registers and varieties. Part II covers sentence basics in a brief and accessible way, noting how sentence forms serve persuasion, especially those optimal “iconic” forms that epitomize their content. The interactive dimension of texts is covered in part III in accounts of how speakers, audiences, other voices, and even situations and occasions can be selectively presented to serve an arguer's purposes. Finally, part IV goes beyond the sentence level to passage construction, explaining how a coherent string of sentences can build into a sustained argument. The final chapter explains Amplification, the tour de force rhetorical performance that draws on features from all the levels. Throughout, the explanations and the examples from actual texts provide evidence linking language choices to argument forms and persuasive purposes. Rhetorical insights into how language argues have survived for centuries. Rhetorical Style was written to give these enduring principles wider circulation.

Keywords: style; rhetoric; argument; persuasion; figures of speech; language; writing

Book.  464 pages. 

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Rhetorical Style

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Language of Origin in Rhetorical Style

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Categories of Word Choice in Rhetorical Style

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Language Varieties in Rhetorical Style

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Tropes in Rhetorical Style

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Figures of Word Choice in Rhetorical Style

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Sentence Architecture in Rhetorical Style

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