Classical Rhetoric – ENGL 570

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 10/20/2020

Course Description

A study of classical skills of argumentation and persuasion, focusing on theory and application.



It is the student’s responsibility to make up any prerequisite deficiencies, as stated in the Liberty University Catalog, which would prevent the successful completion of this course.


ENGL 570 Classical Rhetoric provides the student with a thorough examination of core rhetorical theories of Greek and Roman thought. Though centuries removed from many of these works, the student will discover how classical thought still shapes modern discourse. The student will encounter central rhetorical themes such as connections between rhetorical learning and public citizenship, the relationship of language and thought, and concepts of virtue, agency, and Kairos. Considering these themes and concepts through a biblical worldview increases a student’s awareness of complex discursive practices and the power of language in broader contexts.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify core theories, debates, and questions in classical rhetoric.
  2. Critique significant theories and trends of classical rhetoric.
  3. Evaluate classical rhetorical theories in relation to greater contexts including composition studies.
  4. Produce in-depth research using appropriate scholarly methods and resources relevant to the field.
  5. Discuss classical rhetoric through a Christian worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences; therefore, student participation in each thread is necessary for greater understanding of the subject matter. Each thread must address the prompt, be 500-words minimum, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates' thread. Each reply must be 200-words minimum.

This is a formal proposal that clearly defines the student’s midterm project. The student will select one choice from those listed in the Midterm Project: Proposal Assignment Instructions, indicate what the focused content of the project is, and describe the practical value it has to the student in 300–500 words. The proposal must be in current APA format if citations are necessary and included. This proposal corresponds to the Midterm Project. 

The Midterm Project: Final Submission will be the fully completed extension of the proposal (Note: the proposal may shift the focus as a result of instructor feedback on said proposal and any further discussions between instructor and student). The assignment must be a minimum of 1500-2000 words if in written form or must be an equivalent length/amount of work in another medium. The assignment must use current APA formatting guidelines to reference original works.

This is a formal proposal that clearly defines the student’s term paper topic.  The student will select one of the general prompts provided in the Term Paper: Proposal Assignment Instructions, modify the prompt to a more specific focus, and explain how the student envisions the final paper might look in 300–500 words. This proposal corresponds to the Term Paper: Outline and the Term Paper: Final Submission. The assignment must use current APA formatting guidelines to reference original works.

This is a formal, full sentence outline that reflects the structure of the final term paper. The outline should reveal what the key points will be, what primary sources the student will utilize, and what type of support they will use for main ideas. This outline corresponds to the Term Paper: Proposal and the Term Paper: Final Submission. Though there is no word requirement, students should present an outline that sufficiently reflects their intended approach, including a thesis, all main points, and primary subpoints that will be used for support. Though not required, a reference list is highly suggested.

This conference length research paper will be a product of all the readings, the Discussions, and the student’s specific focus developed during the semester.  The student will synthesize material read in class as well as part of their outside reading to formulate an original idea(s) about a rhetorician, theme, or concept in classical rhetoric. The paper must be between 4500–5000 words and include a minimum of 10 secondary sources. This paper corresponds to the Term Paper: Proposal and the Term Paper: Outline.