A Rhetorical Guide (First Edition)
Theodore F. Sheckels and Caroline Kouneski
©2022, 290 pages

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    Featuring a balance of practical advice and sound instruction, Speechwriting: A Rhetorical Guide provides readers with essential knowledge to prepare and deliver well-constructed and well-researched speeches appropriate for a variety of contexts.

    The first part of the book discusses traditional rhetorical theory in a way that is direct and easy for students to understand. The chapters cover such topics as audience and the rhetorical canons of invention, elocution or style, disposition or organization, delivery, and memory. Chapters in the second part then apply the rhetorical principles to four different types of speeches: inaugural addresses, commencement addresses, a variety of persuasive speeches, and a number of ceremonial ones.

    The text includes excerpts from actual speeches, illustrative speechwriting samples with commentary from a prospective speech writer, and a set of exercises that encourage readers to think about how the sample speech might be improved upon or modified if they were the one writing it.

    Speechwriting connects rhetorical theory to modern situations and settings to emphasize real-world application. The text is an exemplary resource for courses in speech and writing as found in departments of communication studies, English and composition, political science, education, and any other discipline in which people are frequently asked to speak or address an audience.

    Theodore F. Sheckels (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University) is the Charles J. Potts Professor of Social Science, as well as a professor of English and communication studies, at Randolph-Macon College. Dr. Sheckels has contributed numerous articles and book chapters and has published thirteen books, including Rhetorical Criticism: Empowering the Exploration of “Texts" and The Bully Pulpit: Presidential Rhetoric from Theodore Roosevelt to Donald J. Trump. His research interests include presidential debates, the political dimensions of Margaret Atwood’s fiction, and a wide range of political communicators from the 20th Century including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
    Caroline Kouneski (B.A., Randolph-Macon College) is a 2019 magna cum laude graduate of Randolph-Macon College, where she double-majored in communication studies and political science. She was a four-year member of the college’s debating society, winning multiple awards in different public speaking events. She represented the U.S. on the 2019 debating tour of Japan.
    Other Cognella titles by Theodore F. Sheckels:

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    "Speechwriting: A Rhetorical Guide guides novice and expert writers through all the considerations of how to design a speech. The rhetorical mechanisms that craft excellent speakers and writers seem to have faded with time. A book like this is valuable to help remind writers of those important elements of speech and emphasize the need to incorporate them every day. This book is a healthy overview of all those things."
    Dakota C. Horn, Lecturer and Basic Course Director, Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts, Bradley University

    "As someone who spent 16 years writing speeches in the political arena before spending an almost equal amount of time teaching communication, I consider this book to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the craft of speechwriting, regardless of their background. It will gain a spot on my bookcase."
    Carl Hyden, Associate Dean for Administration, School of Global Journalism & Communication, Morgan State University

    "It's refreshing to see a speechwriting text that includes examples from a variety of contexts and that provides practical guidelines that are well grounded in theory. The text does a great job in explaining the difference between writing for self and writing for others, covering different types of speeches within a variety of contexts, and explaining the traditional forms of rhetorical appeals."
    Jean DeHart, Professor of Communication Studies, Appalachian State University

    "This text employs a conversational style of writing and will be an 'easy read' for students, which is helpful in getting them to engage with the material."
    Kristin N. English, Digital Learning Fellow, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
    Previous Interim Department Chair and Mass Communication Coordinator, Georgia College and State University

    "A speechwriting textbook that elevates and modernizes rhetoric."
    Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, Interim Associate Dean, School of Arts and Science, Iona College

    "The greatest strengths and benefits of Speechwriting: A Rhetorical Guide include: its practicality and consistency of organization from chapter to chapter; the direct style of writing it employs throughout; and its niche in support communication studies pedagogy that touches upon speechwriting."
    Robert E. Patterson, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Communication, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
    Theodore Sheckels has received the 2022 Richard E. Vatz Agenda-Spin Persuasion Award from the Eastern Communication Association. The award is granted to a current member of ECA who indicates by their writing and/or media work a dedication to persuasion or political persuasion consistent with the rhetorical perspective argued in Dr. Vatz's “The Myth of the Rhetorical Situation” and The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: The Agenda-Spin Model (LAD Custom Publishing, 2021: Buy.ladportal.com/course-pack/view/id/121). Learn more on the ECA Awards webpage.