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Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and statues of Aristotle, Churchill and Mandela
level of study Level 1, 2, 3, Master's and PhD level
time taken to complete 5 x 2 hour workshops

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In a post-truth world of fake news, alternative facts and micro-targeting, the art of understanding and using rhetoric is more important than ever. This course will provide students with the skills to identify elements of rhetoric in communication. Through identification, students will be able to deconstruct communicative practices and engage more critically with all types of information. As well as equipping students with a greater degree of information literacy to meet the challenges of digital citizenship, it will allow for an understanding of how to construct persuasive arguments through rhetorical devices.

Information: Modules that carry the AS- code are non-credit bearing modules. This means that successful completion of these modules by attending 80% of the course, will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).


This course is made up of the following two-hour sessions:

SESSION ONE: Introduction

What is rhetoric? Where do we find it and why does it matter? This class will outline the concept of rhetoric by briefly summarising the origins of its study and provide frameworks for rhetorical analysis. It will draw upon current examples of rhetoric in action and invite debate.

Tuesday 14th February 2023, 10:00-12:00

SESSION TWO: The 5 rhetorical canons

This class outlines the five canons of rhetoric, which are introduced as invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. The session then provides the opportunity to identify elements of these canons from real-world examples

Tuesday 21st February 2023, 10:00-12:00

SESSION THREE: Rhetoric in the information age 

This class will focus on identifying rhetorical devices used in the digital age. First, it introduces some common tropes used in advertising and online communication before providing examples and exercises for students to practice the identification of these in real-world examples.

Tuesday 28th February 2023, 10:00-12:00

SESSION FOUR: Invention and arrangement

Once a rhetorician has decided on the most effective means of persuasion, the arrangement of their work is vital in maximising their strong arguments and flowing naturally to a conclusion. This class will provide examples for analysis of arrangement. With regard to speech, these parts will be outlined as exordium, narration, division, proof, refutation and peroration – a structure that resembles how effective essays are often written.

Tuesday 7th March 2023, 10:00-12:00

SESSION FIVE: Putting it all together

This class will bring the elements of rhetoric together in identifying them from everyday examples. It will equip the student with practical skills of information deconstruction and arguments enabling objective analysis. Students will construct cogent arguments utilising the skills outlined and practised in the previous weeks.

Tuesday 14th March 2023, 10:00-12:00