EKIA4200 Rhetoric and Persuasive Speech-writing (5 cr)

Study level:
Intermediate studies
Grading scale:
Responsible organisation:
Department of Language and Communication Studies
Curriculum periods:
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020



In this course you will be trained in the 4000-year-old art of rhetoric. You will learn how to persuade people using linguistic structures specifically designed to influence, stimulate, and motivate. You will compare the use of persuasive language in a range of contemporary and historical settings, and consider exactly what makes language persuasive. In a group you will use this knowledge to create a persuasive speech on a topic of your choice, which you will deliver to a live audience of students and staff. Speeches will be graded by the audience. You have to persuade them!

Completion methods

Contact teaching, group speech-writing, presentation, written report

Assessment details

Presentation, written report.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the students will be able to:
• Know about types of rhetorical devices and terms used for them;
• Comprehend their use in various genres of persuasive language (e.g. advertising, politics);
• Apply this knowledge to writing and delivering a persuasive speech of your own (in a group);
• Analyse the rhetorical structures in your speech, comparing this to research on rhetoric;
• Evaluate your work constructively, with clear ideas for potential future improvement.

Additional information

This course can be seen as a form of advanced proficiency training, providing an opportunity to deploy your English skills in a new and creative style, delivered orally. The skills you gain will be useful in a range of professional settings, whenever you seek to command the attention of an audience.

Attendance policy:
Students may be absent from no more than two classes; the group writing sessions (later in the course) are obviously the most important.

Description of prerequisites

Basic studies

Study materials

The study materials will be available in Moodle. Further readings will be announced in the course. A useful background source is the free online book ‘Rhetoric and Composition’, https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Rhetoric_and_Composition.

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods
Unpublished assessment item