Fall 2022 - ENGL 214 D100

History and Principles of Rhetoric (3)

Class Number: 4508

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5020, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units or one 100-division English course.



Introduction to the history and principles of rhetoric, and their application to the creation and analysis of written, visual, and other forms of persuasion.


History and Principles of Rhetoric

This course introduces the precepts and practices of the art of rhetoric from the rhetorical tradition, including kairos, stasis, progymnasmata, controversiae, intrinsic and extrinsic proofs, and the five canons of rhetoric. As a productive art of civic practice, rhetoric has long been concerned with training people to use discourse to participate in public decision making. It has focused on the local traffic of human interactions and the role of discourse in it, emphasizing particular circumstances and particular cases. In the course, we look at situations and cases where people disagree with one another for good reasons and we ask how they use discourse to attempt to persuade each other and change the course of events. We ask how the precepts of rhetoric might help us analyze particular rhetorical artifacts. In the course, students learn about the history, precepts, practices, and canons of rhetoric, and they gain experience using the rhetorical lexicon to analyze cases of public decision making.


See "Course Details"


  • 25% Rhetorical Analysis 25%
  • 25% Test 25%
  • 40% Essay 40%
  • 10% Participation 10%



No textbook.  Readings for the course are journal articles and excerpts from primary texts.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html