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Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice [Paperback]

Sonja K. Foss
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 8, 2008 1577665864 978-1577665861 4
Understanding the processes of rhetorical criticism--the systematic investigation and explanation of symbolic acts and artifacts--creates opportunities for more effective communication. When we are aware of the various options available in the construction of messages and how they function to produce effects, we have the tools needed to question the messages in artifacts rather than responding uncritically. Sonja Foss, who has an enviable talent for synthesizing complex rhetorical concepts and processes into clear explanations, presents nine methods of rhetorical criticism. She carefully explains and illustrates the theory behind each method with abundant examples of applications. Interesting and lively essays, some written by students, encourage readers to develop their critical skills. Useful bibliographies list additional samples for each type of criticism. Rhetorical criticism is not a process confined to a few assignments in a rhetorical or media criticism course. It is an everyday activity we can use to understand our responses to symbols of all kinds and to create our own symbols to generate the responses we desire.

Also by Sonja K. Foss and available from Waveland Press: with Karen A. Foss and Robert Trapp, Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric, Third Edition (ISBN 9781577662051); with Karen A. Foss and Cindy L. Griffin, Feminist Rhetorical Theories (ISBN 9781577664963); with Mary E. Domenico and Karen A. Foss, Gender Stories: Negotiating Identity in a Binary World (ISBN 9781577667919); with Karen A. Foss, Inviting Transformation: Presentational Speaking for a Changing World, Third Edition (ISBN 9781577667216); with Karen A. Foss and Robert Trapp, Readings in Contemporary Rhetoric (ISBN 9781577662068); with Karen A. Foss and Cindy L. Griffin, Readings in Feminist Rhetorical Theory (ISBN 9781577664970).

Titles of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Hauser, Introduction to Rhetorical Theory, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577662211) and Sillars-Gronbeck, Communication Criticism: Rhetoric, Social Codes, Cultural Studies (ISBN 9781577661719).

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Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice + Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction + The Essential Guide to Rhetoric
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Editorial Reviews


"This edition remains the consummate single-book source for how to conceive of and undertake rhetorical criticism. The chapters are concise and authoritative as they move the reader through an array of methodological approaches. This book rarely leaves my desk. Highly recommended." --D. Robert DeChaine, California State University, Los Angeles

From the Back Cover

"This is a valuable revision, particularly the chapter on pentadic criticism. The textbook challenges to be an excellent primary text for undergraduate rhetorical criticism classes. The student sample essays are particularly useful to illustrate the methods." -- Clarke Rountree, University of Alabama "An important update for a strong method-driven approach to critical engagement of texts." -- Robert Reid, University of Dubuque

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc; 4 edition (August 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577665864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577665861
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's a great introduction to rhetorical analysis May 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I teach rhetorical theory to writing majors who tend to be most interested in writing fiction and highly emotional poetry, so the concept of rigorous analysis is a challenge. Foss's strategies (and a great class) opens students' eyes to the power of rhetoric. It makes analysis accessible and useful. I love the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a valuable undergrad text February 15, 2013
While the approachj is somewhat cookie-cutter, this is an advantage with undergrads because it gives them a useful outline for writing rhetorical critcism, apart from method. Although I don't use this in my grad semminar, I recommend it for those who haven't had a basic rhetorical criticismm class as an undergrad. I still pull out feminist criticism from its chapter as a singular method, because the students respond well to that.There are other books out there with some davantages, but this one is the go-to textbook on an undergraduate class in rhetorical criticism, in my estimation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it for school June 3, 2014
By Javier
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for class and it worked out great. I can't say I read the whole thing but class was interesting
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorite Text Books July 3, 2013
By Jack
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
it was very well organized, easy to understand, and had plenty of example criticisms to make the theoretical concepts easier to understand. There is very little jargon, and where there is jargon there are explanations to it. Nothing but the best written by one of the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent January 14, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must for any graduate or doctoral student in Communications & Rhetoric. There are good descriptions of the various methods and clear examples...somewhat simplistic, but an excellent resource.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book November 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As A first year grad student, I found it to be very helpful and a great supplement for my writing.
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