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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Rhetorical Theory I: Classical Rhetoric

  • Template 2020
  • Section SAMPLE
  • 3 Credits
  • 12/02/2020 to 07/29/2100
  • Modified 10/27/2022

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Classical Rhetoric provides students with an overview of some of the histories and theories of “classical” rhetorics beginning with their origins in Ancient Greece and Rome and moving into more contemporary paradigms and treatments. This history will give students a thorough grasp of how much of what is talked about today in terms of “rhetoric” has its origin in antiquity. Students will read primary texts by Plato and Aristotle with the goal of understanding how such thinkers managed to lay the foundations for a field of study that is flexible, nimble, and incredibly powerful. The rich historical and theoretical treatment of rhetoric here will nicely prepare students to be able to follow and contribute to current conversations within the ever-growing field of rhetorical study.

This sample syllabus provides a basic overview of the course. The official course syllabus will be provided within the online course environment, accessible on the first scheduled day of class.


By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe how the word “rhetoric” has changed over time since its inception in Ancient Greece with Plato; be able, through comparison, to explain the different conceptions of rhetoric in Plato, Aristotle, and some of the early Greek rhetoricians.
  2. Identify the key differences (and continuities) between the Roman rhetoric of Cicero and Quintilian and that of the Greeks. Categorize the different conceptions of rhetoric in the Ancient Greece and Rome.
  3. Categorize and apply techniques and procedures of ancient rhetorical knowledge to current times.
  4. Formulate the effects and affects rhetoric has at its disposal in the field of composition and “writing studies” and create new effects of and affects from this very “old knowledge.”
  5. Create opportunities for students/teachers to apply ancient rhetorical knowledge in the writing/composition classroom.


Discussion Posts & Responses

Candidates will complete assigned content readings and respond to weekly discussion/reflection prompts. Course Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Kameen Position Papers

Candidates will compose two Kameen Position Papers and create a thoughtful response to another candidate’s position paper.

Course Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Final Project

Candidates will compose a project in the form of a “Pecha Kucha” . The project will illustrate how one would like to best define “rhetoric” while also illustrating the term’s/activities current and contemporary relevance and importance.

Course Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

  • A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. Students are expected to follow all policies in the USF Catalog and Student Handbook, both of which can be found in the student portal.
  • Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the various procedures and guidelines regarding USF’s COVID-19 Response, including the USF Preparedness Plan and other materials incorporated in the Saints United resource hub (
  • Policies not covered in this document will be handled in accordance with the USF Catalog, Student Handbook, and Program Handbook as applicable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Technology Support

If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support:

  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. Canvas has a 24 hour support by clicking on ? Help while in Canvas. You can Chat with Canvas Support, Report a Problem, or call the Canvas Support Hotline. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day seven (7) days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu; select Report a Problem to send an email support request, select Chat with Canvas Support (Student) for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session, or to speak to someone directly use the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline (Student). NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.
  2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at
  3. You can phone the Technology Support Center for personal help at (815) 768-8324 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday or fill out a Technology Support Center ticket and select Canvas/Online courses as the component.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, you can also contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via: