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Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion Paperback – October 12, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199764112 ISBN-10: 0199764115

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199764115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199764112
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.3 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A rich and rewarding textbook that shows how stylistic features make for persuasion. It provides readers with a good introduction to the study of figures in the sense of classical rhetoric."--Linguist List


About the Author

Jeanne Fahnestock is Professor of English at the University of Maryland. She is the author of Rhetorical Figures in Science, and co-author of A Rhetoric of Argument.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A contemporary rhetorical lens on language requires many vantages, from the ancient study of persuasive situations to the history of English, the lexicon, sentence grammar, prosody, and stylistics. There are volumes of books written on each of these subjects, but these books are fragmented across disciplines, argots, and typically siloed within particular granularities of language without the grains adding cumulatively to the holistic effects of persuasion. This book addresses these gaps and addresses them brilliantly. It's a one-stop volume for students of language who want to examine every layer from words to discourses for persuasive saliency. What is particularly compelling about the book is that there are no phony examples. Every concept is carefully illustrated from real life examples the author has culled with painstaking care. Fahnestock's synthetic vision is striking and original but the book is also user-friendly, progresses linearly and cumulatively and could serve as a textbook in an advanced undergraduate or graduate course on language theory pertaining to rhetoric and persuasion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Talula Tabbouleh on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fahnestock's book focuses on how writers achieve effects from their choices of words, phrases, and sentence patterns. I find it very easy to read, but it isn't a manual that teaches people how to write so much as a manual that gives insight into how one might analyze small portions of text to understand written style better: it is amply illustrated by political speeches, news articles, and other texts so that every point is explained and at least one exemplar analyzed to show how seemingly small changes in style can have important changes in meaning and persuasive effect on an audience. In short, it is a step towards learning how to analyze in detail how persuasion is accomplished through language, which would help you write, but it isn't a manual for writing.

People who teach writing or edit would benefit from studying this book. If you are thinking of an MA or PhD in any communication field (written or oral or combined), this book is an excellent introduction by an outstanding professor. People who teach any subject and ask students to analyze language related to that subject would probably also benefit from it. And anyone who is simply interested in language and persuasion will find this a lucid guide to understanding how stylistic choices impact meaning/audience reception. It will definitely give you a different perspective on the daily communications that come your way.
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By debra finney on June 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful for my students. This book provided good practice for my students prior to their AP test.
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Format: Paperback
This is a scholarly, interdisciplinary book that draws on classical rhetoric, modern rhetoric, linguistics, language analysis, etymology, and argumentation theory to methodically explore how stylistic choices can improve and enhance the persuasive use of language in both spoken and written formats.

The author divides the book into four parts that discuss and analyze the persuasive effects of stylistic choices in terms of: (1) word choice; (2) sentences; (3) the different interactions between or among the speaker/writer, the audience, other speaker(s)/writers(s), and the occasion and situation in which the speaker/writer is communicating; and (4) passage construction. The author's discussion, analysis, arguments, and conclusions are supported and illustrated by numerous examples of spoken and written language from ancient to modern times, excerpts and quotes from various articles and books about classical and modern rhetoric, thoughtful reasoning, astute observations and insights, and citations to numerous publications (which are listed in an extensive References section at the end of the book).

This book is very methodical and erudite, and requires a reader to invest time and careful attention to follow the author's discussion, analysis, arguments, and conclusions. The author's discussion, analysis, arguments, and conclusions are insightful, informative, thought-provoking, and generally persuasive.
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