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Harvard University

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Harvard University via edX

Overview

We are living in a contentious time in history. Fundamental disagreements on critical policy, economic, and political issues make it essential to learn how to compose an effectiveargument and to analyze the arguments of others. This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make needed changes in society. Conveying a convincing message can benefit your personal, public, and professional lives.

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. In it, you will learn to construct and defend compelling arguments, a crucial skill in many settings. We will be using selected speeches from prominent twentieth-century Americans -- including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, Ronald Reagan, and more -- to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style. Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view.

Built around Harvard Professor James Engell's on-campus course, "Elements of Rhetoric," this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you. You will be inspired to share your viewpoint and discover the most powerful ways to convince others to champion your cause. Join us to find your voice!

Taught by

James Engell

Reviews

4.6 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at edX based on 149 ratings

Start your review of Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

  • Anonymous
    Excellent short course to develop both your "Writing and Speaking Skills". Taught the "Harvard-way", each of the eight modules is full of valuable insights.

    Relevant written articles and videos of famous speeches supported with Instructor's explanations -- facilitate and magnify your learning.

    Reference material further consolidates your learning process.

    Strongly recommended.
  • Alex Neeley
    Overall this course was very informational. It was a great beginner level introduction into how to break an argument down that you are making and challenging. The speech examples were relevant and made the lessons impactful.
  • Rodney John Valencia
    This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. In it, you will learn to construct and defend compelling arguments, a crucial skill in many settings. 
  • Great content for every student to pick and learn. The content is well detailed and tailored to meet every student's need in every field.
  • Profile image for Eduardo Lucas Fragoso
    Eduardo Lucas Fragoso
    Em busca de aprendizado contínuo, pretendo aprender um pouco sobre a arte da persuasão. Uma vez que gosto de discursar em público, usando palavras diferenciadas. Acredito que essa seja a probidade de eu me tornar um orador de sucesso.

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