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Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, 4th Edition Hardcover – August 6, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0195115420 ISBN-10: 0195115422 Edition: 4th

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A definitive, highly usable, rigorous text--I have used it with great success for many years. The new material in the 4th edition is marvelous. Exactly the kind of work needed to prepare teachers."--Mitzi Brunsdale, Mayville State University

"An indispensable and lucid guide to rhetoric that will make students proficient writers and acute interpreters of texts ranging from contemporary advertisements to Homer."--Corinne E. Blackmen, Southern Connecticut State University

"Interesting and well written. I particularly like the selected readings by Homer, Socrates, Madison, Thoreau, and the others. A very comprehensive study."--Wendy Stackable, Covenant Christian Academy

Praise for the previous edition (1st 3 quotes): "Remains the single best, most comprehensive, most readable, most useful, most usable text for both introductory and advanced classes in rhetoric/composition."--Vivian Thomlinson, Cameron University

"A classic in the field of composition studies, a work that has shaped the disciplone. Sorts out the often confusing writings of classical rhetoric and shows how the ancient art can help contemporary students negotiate the realm of persuasive discourse."--Gary Layne Hatch, Brigham Young University

"The definitive rhetorical handbook for contemporary students."--William Sewell, Southwest Missouri State University

"My students appreciate the clear and complete explanations of rhetorical principles in this text."--Jody D. Brown, Ferrum College

"An excellent text for Advanced Composition and Rhetoric because it allows you to pace the course according to the level of your classes."--Mark Craver, George Mason University

About the Author

Edward P.J. Corbett is at Ohio State University (Emeritus). Robert J. Connors is at University of New Hampshire.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 562 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4th edition (August 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195115422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195115420
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I bought this text book for a rhetoric and composition class last year.
Mike
The book is very clear when explaining, describing and citing the concepts and resources that have always been used in rethoric.
DA
This book is filled with commentary on classical understandings of rhetoric.
J. Atkins-Gordeeva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Ouida MacGregor on May 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For 35 years I have guarded with my life, my copy of Edward Corbett's book, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, thinking it was out of print. To my delight, when I was about to recommend it for a writing class I was going to teach, I found it on Amazon.com. Since the Back to Basics education movement of the 1970's the fundimentals of logic and expository writing are seldom taught in the public schools, resulting in a generation of adults with marginal communication skills. Edward Corbett's book fills a void, offering serious writers a set of guidelines for reasoned discourse. Corbett reviews rules of logic begining with Aristotle's syllogism, that device which permits the writer to examine the premises of his or her arguments and thus test their logical validity. He further examines the common fallacies of deductive and inductive reasoning, and gives the writer practical exercises to improve his logical skills. Corbett outlines the various approaches a writer might make to win an audience over, explains how to most effectively arrange the material, and suggests methods for selecting the most appropriate style and tone. Readings of classical and modern writers illustrate the principles Corbett presents. In short, this is a serious book for serious writers. It is a book to be treasured, a reference book for a lifetime. Thank heavens it is not out of print!
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147 of 152 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Heersink on December 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Make no mistake. This is a textbook, not a leisurely "how to" book on how to write more creatively. The author is clearly oriented towards the classical rhetorical styles of ancient Greece and Rome, resurrected in the Renaissance, and largely a lost art after the Victorians. Despite the textbook orientation, it is a book the unschooled student of rhetoric can pick up and "study." I emphasize "study." One cannot breeze through this book. And, while many of the issues addressed apply to both writing and speaking, clearly this is a rhetorician's skillbook, not a grammarian's. The book is divided into three parts: Part I develops a strategy for speaking/writing as a cohesive whole; Part II develops the modes of argumentation, particularly the syllogism; and Part III, perhaps the least important in today's universe of knowledge, develops the tropes particular to rhetoric. There are better books on each of these three parts, but no book that incorporates all three any better. Take notes. Study. And you'll be richly rewarded.
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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on January 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rhetoric has come to be seen as a discipline for frauds and charlatans. It has the connotation of artful trickery and deception. No matter what you may think of rhetoric, you engage in it each and every time you try to prevail upon someone to see things your way. Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Any artform practiced by mortals can be (and is) misused by unscrupulous villains. Those who decry rhetoric for its susceptibility to misuse overlook this point: Rhetoric, properly understood and applied, is the best defense against misused rhetoric.
For a good grounding in the basics of rhetoric, the student need look no farther than this textbook. It is not easy reading, but diligent study will equip the reader well for the tasks of analyzing, defending, and making arguments. The book aims at the written word, but the principles apply as well to the spoken.
The book divides itself into six chapters:
1. Introduction
2. Discovery of Arguments (Deciding what to say).
3. Arrangement of Material (Marshalling your arguments for greatest effect).
4. Style (How best to speak/write your arguments).
5. The Progymnasmata (Exercises in rhetoric).
6. A Survey of Rhetoric (History of rhetoric from Ancient Greece to modern times).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kim Gun Young on December 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm writing this review as a high schooler who wanted to learn more about this fascinating topic, but was not given the opportunity in school to learn it. I studied rhetoric using a dozen or so books on the topic, with this book as my main staple. The book is 'comprehensive', meaning it covers the basics and the theory, but not the actual application, although a few sections within this book intends to do just that. So if your English teacher is doing a great job on making your essay sound better, you might not want to trouble yourself with 80% of this book's content, although the section on exemplary works and figures of speech may be a great boon to your writing style. Certainly the best way to learn rhetoric is to read exemplary works by many different authors and learn from their different styles. However, if you want to learn rhetoric, but don't know where to begin, I would strongly recomment this book.
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55 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after reading several articles written by Corbett. As a GTA, I hoped it might be useful in teaching freshman composition. Although I found it helpful, it is certainly not written for most of today's college freshmen. Although Corbett uses fairly simple language, the text fails to use principles of document design to present the information effectively. Although this text was originally intended to be used in teaching freshman composition, I do not believe that it will be as useful to me in the classroom as I had hoped. I would not, for example, be able to assign readings from directly from this text and expect my students to grasp the material. Today's college students appear to be far less willing to work to get the information they need from a text, and this text definitely requires work.
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