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Rhetorical Criticism

Empowering the Exploration of "Texts" (First Edition)
Theodore F. Sheckels
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Rhetorical Criticism: Empowering the Exploration of “Texts” encourages students to analyze texts of various sorts—speeches, advertisements, memory sites, and more—to gain a clear understanding of what the text has to say and how it persuades or otherwise affects its audience. The book clearly and succinctly helps students build the skills required to easily and effectively practice rhetorical criticism.

The book begins with a chapter that defines “rhetoric,” “criticism,” and “text,” demonstrates how theory-based rhetorical criticism can be exciting, and emphasizes that there are many diverse lenses through which to illuminate texts. The proceeding chapters explore various types of rhetorical criticism, including classical, The Chicago School, Burkean, fantasy theme, narrative, genre, mythological, Bahktinian, ideological, feminist, and constitutive. Each chapter begins by explaining the theory in which the critical approach is based. It then explains how a critic utilizing that particular type of rhetorical criticism manages the critical process and offers the reader an extended example of the critical approach in use. Conversational in nature and inclusive of a wide range of critical methods, Rhetorical Criticism is ideal for undergraduate courses in rhetoric-oriented courses.

Theodore F. Sheckels is the Charles Potts Professor of Social Science as well as professor of English and communication studies at Randolph-Macon College. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Sheckels has contributed numerous articles and book chapters to publications within his field and has published six books. His research interests include the political dimensions of Margaret Atwood’s fiction, presidential debates, and lesser-known political communicators from the 20th Century.