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Classical Rhetoric for...
Edward P.J. Corbett
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Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  220 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The most widely used textbook of its kind for courses in advanced composition and writing, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student discusses the three vital components of classical rhetoric - argument, arrangement, and style - bringing these elements to life and demonstrating their effective application in yesterday's and today's writing. Presenting its subject in five p ...more
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published April 15th 1971 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1965)
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This college textbook, first published in 1965, is much more than a mere aid for students trying to learn how to come up with essay topics and then how to write the essay; it is a labor of love, even a cri de coeur, by a man who wants to revive the ancient and much-examined art of rhetoric. This book can be studied with great profit by anyone who wants to write effectively.

The author breaks his text into five parts:

* an Introduction in which he defines rhetoric and presents examples of effective
Feb 24, 2014 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Designed a rhetoric class with this book and made my students do daily imitations!!
May 14, 2010 Sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Classical Rhetoric" is definitely beneficial for any writer. Edward Corbett and his co-author, Robert Connors, analyze the process of writing. While this is obviously useful for persuasive, analytical, and other forms of academic writing, many techniques discussed are helpful for any writing. Corbett and Connors work with many processes for writing, and provide different methods to approach an assignment or experiment.

The one thing I don't love about this book is the weightiness of explanation.
Dec 29, 2012 Kristine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rhetoric
Challenging, erudite, and dense, but also one of the clearest and best written books I have encountered in field of classical rhetoric. I was inspired to look up some older rhetoric books ( has many with no copyright available for free) to search for practical exercises in not only rhetoric, but also progymnasmata exercises (sort of per-rhetoric training for younger kids) that are fun and challenging at the same time for homeschooling. Corbett makes the whole field of rhetoric viewabl ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 10, 2015 Elliott Bignell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get round to reading this book properly, its paedagogical heft being somewhat daunting, but I am glad I did so. For a person coming from a technical background, and lacking a classical grounding, it may not even be that clear what classical rhetoric really is. (Unless one has already taken a hobbyist's interest in Aristotelian philosophy or law.) This book will rectify that deficit very effectively, and I daresay it amounts to a full foundational course even for a professio ...more
Daniel Reynolds
Apr 08, 2016 Daniel Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely lucid overview of a tradition that is just now coming back into vogue - both fascinating and practical.
Sep 15, 2013 Parnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will always be a favorite on my bookshelf. It touches on many subjects; logic, debate, argumentation (forming and analyzing), cogent and lucid expression, &c... It also has many exercises that are tremendously useful.
Dr. Donnelly used this text in his Baylor undergraduate Milton course (Spring 2013). It was also assigned for his Milton course that I took in Spring 2014.

Read pp. 1-96, 120-30, 337-39, 377-411.
David Hincapie
Mar 16, 2014 David Hincapie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because of this book I now have an opinion on the teaching of English composition that is as strong and deeply felt as that of any English teacher or professor with twenty years of experience.

I am either an annoying fool or I have wisely assimilated another's wisdom. The author is himself a professor with decades of experience, so he's at least worth listening to.

The idea behind this book is simple: Since Aristotle the art, technique, and purpose of argument has changed little. Rhetoric is the s
Rick Davis
Jun 20, 2012 Rick Davis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've actually used this a lot in the past. However, I haven't read every essay in the book. Maybe someday I'll finish it.
Feb 04, 2011 Jackee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Jackee by: workshop professor
Shelves: favorites, writing
If you want to advance your formal writing techniques read this book and use it for reference forever after.
Feb 01, 2009 Zanéa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book except for the decent essays like the one by Thoreau and Woolf.
Apr 18, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only read about half. I wish that more people would study this subject.
Jan 21, 2008 Mikael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
git those pebbles out o yo mouth demosthenes cant hear a word youre sayin man!
Sep 04, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The is the book I turn to first when I need help with my writing.
Randy Hulshizer
Oct 07, 2015 Randy Hulshizer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rhetoric
Excellent book for an overview of classical rhetoric.
Jan 20, 2008 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really worth a look for readers and writers.
May 14, 2009 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended by " The Word Nerds"
Nov 11, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-teaching
Corbett's Classical Rhetoric is on my "save in case of fire" shelf at home. As a high-school English teacher, I'm continually perplexed by the conflation of reading, writing and argument into a single course we call English (or language arts in the lower grades). Why not separate literature and rhetoric? Every subject in the curriculum would benefit from students having had at least a couple years of study in rhetoric alone. And Corbett's book would-of course-be the text. .
Matt McMahon
Aug 13, 2014 Matt McMahon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written and gripping book on Rhetoric. Great instruction for how to form arguments and how to present them. This is one of my permanent reference collection. I turn to it for inspiration often.
Bob Ladwig
Feb 11, 2013 Bob Ladwig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on classical rhetoric.
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