chapter  11
A Special Afterword to Graduate Students in Rhetoric
Pages 4

For me personally, the most obvious and immediate application of classical rhetoric was in my teaching of first-year composition. Like most inexperienced graduate teaching assistants, I had begun with the assumption (perhaps unconsciously) that I should teach the way I had been taught. I had diligently mapped out the steps of the writing process as I understood it, and I had urged my students to be creative and critical writers while laying out prescriptive rules I had always assumed writers should follow. I talked extensively about invention, arrangement, and style issues, completely dismissed rhetorical memory, and treated delivery as conforming to specific teacher-provided manuscript conventions. What I came to realize, though, through studying classical rhetoric and reexamining its five canons, was that by simplistically interpreting memory and delivery I was dismissing or marginalizing 40% of a five-part construct.