Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Taiwan
This paper reports a two-month study that investigated the extent to which classical rhetoric may foster writing development among a group of 24 tertiary-level students majoring in English. Seven rhetorical devices were targeted as operational abilities for student practice in essay writing. Data are drawn from students' first drafts prior to the treatment and revision drafts after the study was completed. Post-study questionnaires are also collected to examine student perceptions involved in the production. The data analysis includes a comparison of texts produced by each individual learner and an investigation into the learners' reflections on the experience of exercising rhetoric in that composition process. Results indicate that students produced longer and stronger texts in terms of expressiveness, creativity, and complexity with treatment. Rhetoric training affords students with abundant opportunities to see more clearly the inter-relatedness of form and meaning, and the psychology of diction both in their own writing and that of others. This study concludes with implications for composition pedagogy when taken in an EFL context.
Key Words: writing pedagogy, pedagogical stylistics, rhetoric used in composition teaching