Rhetoric is the foundational discipline for the study of persuasive advocacy.
“Rhetoric is the art of clear, persuasive communication.” Susan Wise Bauer, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (Norton, 2016), 48.
Rhetoric deals with effective and persuasive communication in the context of advocacy or argumentation. Some understanding of rhetoric is certainly useful for the modern advocate, especially in brief-writing—perhaps the advocate’s most frequent opportunity to practice persuasion.
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Knowledge of rhetoric will help you to do the following:
(1) frame your arguments to your client’s best advantage;
(2) deliver an argument that is persuasive and logical in its structure, style, and contents;
(3) target the court’s values and preferences through a careful consideration of your presentation’s likely emotional impact on the court;
(4) project your competence, mastery of the material, and trustworthiness through the contents of your brief; and
(5) discover the best possible modes of persuasion for addressing the issues.
Chinua Asuzu, Brief-Writing Master Plan (Partridge, 2022), 590–591.
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