Week 3 – Review an argument

Workbook Activity 3: Watch “In Defense of Rhetoric” and write a short review highlighting the key arguments. 

I found Clemson University’s (2011) video “In Defense [sic] of Rhetoric” a bit ironic. The purpose of the video is to use rhetoric to persuade viewers of the benefits of rhetoric. Yet, the strength of the video’s (Clemson University, 2011) argument is somewhat weakened by the unconvincing tone of the narrator.

The video (Clemson University, 2011) contains several key arguments. The most common argument presented by the speakers is rhetoric is used by everyone, every day, in almost every situation (Clemson University, 2011). This view is supported by Aristotle, who states in Rhetoric (350 B.C.E., n.p.) that the modes of persuasion and argument used in rhetorical speech are possessed by everybody.

The second key argument is that rhetoric allows people to create and assess messages effectively (Clemson University, 2011). More specifically, for university students, knowledge of rhetoric enhances communication and presentation skills, which benefits both their personal and future working lives.

The final key argument presented is that rhetoric is at the forefront of technology (Clemson University, 2011). For example, when someone choose what internet browser to use or how to edit a photo they have taken, they are employing what the video refers to as visual rhetoric (Clemson University, 2011).


Aristotle. (350 B.C.E.) Rhetoric. Rhys Roberts, W. (Trans). Retrieved from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/rhetoric.mb.txt

Author, Clemson University (ClemsonEnglish). (2011, June 27). In defense [sic] of rhetoric video [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYMUCz9bHAs&feature=youtu


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