Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE English Rhetoric and Writing Skills for Media and Communications Students

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for English Language Proficiency

DESCRIPTION The unit provides an introductory overview to:
i. English Rhetoric;
ii. English Writing Skills for Journalists.

In the first part of the unit, through carefully selected texts in English (both spoken and written) students will be introduced to aspects of contemporary rhetoric. This focus will allow students to appreciate and analyse the function of rhetorical devices and rhetorical strategies in a variety of literary and non-literary genres, including creative non-fiction and political speeches.

In the second part of the unit, students explore the interface between literature and journalism by studying the use of literary and linguistic devices in a range of journalistic genres, such as profiles, features, op-eds and travel writing. The focus in this part of the unit is on how journalists can use language in an effective way within the context of genre, audience and subject matter.

As a whole, the unit fosters a holistic understanding of the English language and the possibilities it offers in terms of usage in different genres and different contexts.

Study-unit Aims:

The unit aims to:
i. introduce students to the function of rhetorical strategies and devices in both spoken and written English;
ii. expose students to language in a wide variety of media genres;
iii. allow students to develop their understanding of the way English may be used in different contexts and for different purposes;
iv. guide students in understanding the relevance of using a variety of linguistic strategies and devices in their own writing.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Given a previously unseen text or texts, students will be able to identify and describe rhetorical devices in a variety of discourse, including journalism, speeches and other media texts;
2. Given texts from a range of genres discussed during the unit (personality profiles, travel writing, opinion pieces, and features), students will be able to describe the journalistic effectiveness of linguistic strategies employed in the texts;
3. Given an outline as a guide, students will be able to write effective short pieces which describe and evoke character, action, and opinion.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Describe the use of different styles of English use in various contexts;
2. Identify and describe the effectiveness of linguistic devices in a range of genres;
3. Identify and describe the use of a range of rhetorical strategies in various kinds of discourse, both written and spoken;
4. Apply a variety of linguistic and rhetorical devices in different communication contexts, both written and spoken.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Lanham, Richard A., A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms 2nd ed. (University of California Press, 1991)
- Clark, Roy Peter, Writing Tools: Fifty Essential Strategies for Every Writer (Little, Borwn and Company, 2008)

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is offered to students of the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences only.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (15 Minutes) SEM2 No 30%
Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) SEM2 Yes 70%


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.