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Overview:

Teaching students to read not just what the text says, but also how the text says it, is important to reading comprehension. Rhetorical analysis assumes that an author writes for specific audiences and for specific purposes, so it is especially useful when reading texts that present an argument. In other words, rhetorically analyzing a text encourages students to consider the reading in its context and allows for a sophisticated understanding of the material. Aristotle, in The Rhetoric, defines rhetoric as "the available means of persuasion." Although rhetoric scholars complicate that definition, it will work very well for introducing students to this type of reading.