Cover image for An introduction to rhetorical communication
An introduction to rhetorical communication
McCroskey, James C.
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, [1978]

Physical Description:
xiii, 365 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Subject Term:
Format :

On Order



An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication offers a true integration of rhetorical theory and social science approaches to public communication. This highly successful book guides readers through message planning and presentation in an easy step-by-step process. An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication provides a solid grounding in the rhetorical tradition and the basis for developing effective messages. For anyone interested in Public Speaking, Persuasion, or Introductory Rhetorical Theory.

Table of Contents

I Getting Started
1 A Rhetorical Tradition
Earliest Writings
The Greek Period
The Roman Period
Third Century A.D to the Renaissance
The Renaissance
The Colonial Period
The Twentieth Century
History in Perspective
2 The Nature of Rhetorical Communication
The Meaning of Rhetorical Communication
Models of the Communication Process
Interpersonal Communication Model
Some Important Distinctions
Misconceptions about Communication
The Goals of Rhetorical Communication
3 Stage Fright: A NormalProblem
A Normal Problem
Communication Apprehension
Causes of Stage Fright
Effects of Stage Fright
Controlling Stage Fright
A Final Word
II Basic Theory
4 The Nature of the Receiver: Attitude Formation and Change
The Nature of Attitudes
Attitudes and Beliefs
Attitude Formation
The Persistence of Attitudes
Attitude Consistency and Attitude Change
Message Discrepancy and Attitude Change
Retention of Attitude Change
Rhetorical Thought
5 Ethos: A Dominant Factor in Rhetorical Communication
Ethos Defined
The Dimensions of Ethos
The Effect of Initial Ethos
Initial Ethos and Learning
Derived Ethos
Terminal Ethos
Long-Term Effect of Ethos
Power and Ethos
6 The Nature of Persuasive Argument
A Psychological Model of Argument
The Types of Claims
The Types of Warrants
Verification of Warrants
The Types of Data
Options Regarding Reservations
7 Nonverbal Communication
The Importance of Nonverbal Messages
8 Diversity and Culture
Cultural Sensitivity
On Becoming Enculturated
Culture as Communication Context
Xenophobia and Ethnocentrism
The Ethnocentrism Continuum
Improving Rhetorical Communication Across Cultures
III Message Preparation and Presentation
9 Message Preparation: Preliminary Considerations
Selection of a Topic
Selection of a Purpose
General Audience Analysis
Channels and Forms for Presentation of Messages
Perception of the Possible
10 Informative Messages
Persuasive versus Informative Intent
Pseudo-Informative Messages
The Goodwill Informative Message
The Motivation to Inform
Understanding and Belief
Understanding: Determining the Informative Goal
Characteristics of Informative Messages
The Materials for Informative Messages
Visual Aids for Informative Communication
11 Message Preparation: Invention
Invention Defined
The Basic Plan
The Generation of Argument
Determination of Needed Arguments
Audience Analysis
Inoculation and Reservations
Topoi and the Generation of Argument
The Aristotelian Topoi of Good and Evil
Topoi of Policy Argument: Stock Issues
The Town Public Policy Topoi
The Topoi of Fear and Pleasure
The Topoi of American Values
Using Topoi in Invention
Securing Data for Argument
Tests of Evidence
How to Obtain Evidence
Recording Evidence
12 Message Preparation: Disposition
Invention and Disposition: The Siamese Twins
Research on Arrangement
Outlining the Message