PRK 3515 Applied Rhetoric

Norwegian version

PRK 3515 Applied Rhetoric

Responsible for the course
Ratna Elisabet Kamsvåg

Department of Communication and Culture

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Every organisation is depending on having an awareness of what and how they communicate, in order to influence the way they are received and interpreted. This course will teach students about rhetoric, so that they can apply relevant methods and principles in any communication situation, based on the rhetorical way of thinking. They will be introduced to research of rhetoric, theory and criticism; all basic knowledge in order to analyse and design texts and messages for different contexts and specific situations. For instance there might be organisations in need of developing and maintaining identity, manage communication related to challenges, risks and crises or even communicating with employees.

Learning outcome
Aquired knowledge
Students who complete the course earn a thorough understanding of rhetorical analysis, and learn to adapt communicative actions for specific tasks. They should understand typical situations and strategies, be able to critically analyze and evaluate, using their conclusions to propose measures and help their organisations or clients to use a clear, appropriate and effective language.

Aquired skills
After completing the course students will be able to:

  • Identifying a rhetorical situation and mapping the options
  • Utilize rhetorical thinking in the analysis of internal and external materials, as well as applying the knowledge in their own copy writing
  • Understand and see the nuances between internal and external public role
  • Adapt communication to relevant channels and genres
  • Dealing with context on both macro and micro level
  • Describe community between form and content
  • Explain the interaction between organizational rhetoric and everyday public discourse
  • Self adaptation or development of new approaches in the communication challenges
Students who complete this course will develop an understanding of the rhetorical mindset, including ethics and action as important perspectives in all communicative activity.

    Students should have the course Influence and persuasion first.

    Compulsory reading
    Kjeldsen, Jens E. 2006. Retorikk i vår tid : en innføring i moderne retorisk teori. 2. utg. Spartacus

    Book extract:
    Svennevig, Jan. 2009. Språklig samhandling : innføring i kommunikasjonsteori og diskursanalyse. 2. utg. Cappelen akademisk forlag. Kapittel 5 (side 143 - 173)

    Bitzer, L. F. 1968. Det retoriske situation. Rhetorica Scandinavica. 3
    Rosengren, Mats. 1998. Doxa och den nya retorikens kunskapssyn. Rhetorica Scandinavica. 8

    Recommended reading
    Goffman, Erving. 1992. Vårt rollespill til daglig : et studie i hverdagslivets dramatikk. Pax
    Hoffman, Mary F. and Debra J. Ford. 2010. Organizational rhetoric : situations and strategies. Sage

    Course outline
    • Organizations and rhetoric in contemporary culture
    • Identifying rhetorical strategies in organizational rhetoric
    • Rhetorical situations in organizations
    • Critical approaches to organizational rhetoric
    • Evaluating and critiquing organizational rhetoric
    • Identity creation and maintenance rhetoric
    • Rhetoric about issues
    • Rhetoric about organizational risk
    • Crisis rhetoric
    • Organizational rhetoric for internal audiences

    Computer-based tools
    Student should be able to use basic text programs.

    Learning process and workload

    Recommended workload in hours:
    Use of hours
    Participation in lectures
    Group work (with supervision)
    Preparation for lectures
    Home work and reading
    Project paper
    Exam preparation and exam
    Total recommended use of hours

      Coursework requirements

      The final grade in the course is based on following activities and weighting:
      Part 1) Students will present in groups of 2 to the entire class. Both group members must be present for the presentation. Pass/fail
      Part 2) Group project paper, accounts for 60 % of the final grade. The project paper must be done in a group, the group shall consist of not more than 3 students, any student wishing to work alone must get special permission from the lecturer
      Part 3) A three (3) hour written examination accounts for 40 % of the final grade.

      Examination code(s)
      PRK 35151 Process evaluation accounts for 100 % of the final grade in 3515 Applied Rhetoric, 7,5 credits.

      Examination support materials
      No aids for the written exam
      All aids acceptable for the project paper.

      Re-sit examination
      A re-sit examination is offered next time course is scheduled.

      Additional information