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Introducing Rhetoric is a fun, engaging, and sometimes challenging journey through the core elements of ancient rhetoric and the progymnasmata. In addition to the use of images throughout the first twenty lessons, there is also a lot of humor (I admit, yes, it is often very dry!) alongside many built-in activities.
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T. Michael W. Halcomb
This book is the fruit of many years of hard and meaningful study. Likewise, it is the result of striving to creatively teach the foundations of ancient rhetoric to a new generation of students and produce a helpful and engaging resource for learners and educators. Indeed, this volume is one I made for use in my own classroom and, as such, have field tested with students.
These particular students are, academically speaking and compared to the national mean, above-average. They are trained in the “Classical Christian” tradition, which places a high premium on the trivium across the curriculum. In their junior and senior years, there is a purposeful focus on ancient rhetoric, which sets the stage for composing a thesis, delivering it before a live audience, and defending it before a respected panel of judges.
Judging by their feedback, Introducing Rhetoric is a fun, engaging, and sometimes challenging journey through the core elements of ancient rhetoric and the progymnasmata. In addition to the use of images throughout the first twenty lessons, there is also a lot of humor (I admit, yes, it is often very dry!) alongside many built-in activities. These activities function both to reiterate concepts and provide learners with the opportunity to immediately do what they’re reading about.
The ways this book could be used in homeschool, high school, college, university, or seminary classrooms is virtually endless. Since the lessons are numbered 1.5, 3.2, 7.4, and so on, one can easily skip around and reorder things if they please. Personally, I work straight through the text each day with students. My strategy is to have them read every single paragraph of the book aloud, taking turns as they do so. When activities are encountered, we pause and complete them. Whatever is not completed may be assigned as homework.
Alongside many of the positive characteristics of this book that I have already mentioned, another that deserves attention is the multicultural nature of the text. Because of I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to, studied in, and lived in a number of different cultural contexts, I am able to draw from a wide net of stories, languages, literatures, and personal experiences. I sincerely hope that many of my first-person accounts add a flavor to this volume that I find sorely lacking in many academic works and textbooks. Moreover, while there are some “big words” throughout, I believe I explain them in a down-to-earth manner rather than a dumbed-down one.
Finally, I would like to thank GlossaHouse for accepting this work for publication. Additionally, I want to thank my wife Kristi for her support. A big “Thank you!” also goes out to Trinity Christian School for providing me with the opportunity to teach, an opportunity that has allowed me to create another innovative resource. And once again, I need to thank the students who have read through this book. They discovered typos, errors of other sorts, offered praise and criticism, and all the while, were pretty good interlocutors. Thank you all!
T. Michael W. Halcomb